Policies & Procedures

The Graduate School's policies and procedures serve as a resource for both graduate students and their advisors. These policies contain information on official policies and procedures relating to admissions, registration, grading, student records, degree requirements and academic integrity.

A

Academic Dismissal

Graduate students not meeting the written terms of their academic probation may be academically dismissed from the program by the director of graduate studies, chair of the department or graduate program director. Such dismissals shall be done in a timely fashion but no later than three weeks after the completion of the term. The Graduate School will be notified in writing of all such academic dismissals.

Graduate students who are dismissed for academic reasons from a graduate program will have a "GRD" (Graduate School) service indicator placed on their academic record to prevent future registration.

Academic Grievance

Academic Grievance Preamble

It is an objective of the University at Buffalo and its Graduate School to encourage the prompt consultative resolution of grievances of graduate students as they arise and to provide orderly procedures for the formal consideration and resolution of complaints that cannot be resolved through consultation.

This set of procedures is designed to provide a well-defined, yet appropriately flexible structure that recognizes and reflects the issues unique to graduate education as well as academic areas common to all faculty-student or administrator-student relationships.

The following procedures provide a sequence of steps for the orderly and expeditious resolution of grievances initiated by graduate students. While recognizing and affirming the established principle that academic judgments and determinations are to be reached solely by academic professionals, it is the Graduate School's intention to secure, to the maximum extent feasible, equitable treatment of every party to a dispute. To that end, those who oversee the grievance process are charged to pay heed not only to issues of procedural integrity, but also to considerations of substantive fairness.

Grievance Definitions and Limits

  1. Definition. A grievance shall include, but is not restricted to, a complaint by a graduate student:
    1. that he or she has been subjected to a violation, misinterpretation or inequitable application of any of the regulations of the university, the Graduate School, a college or school or department; or
    2. that he or she has been treated unfairly or inequitably by reason of any act or condition that is contrary to established policy or practice governing or affecting graduate students at the University at Buffalo.
  2. Time limit. A grievance must be filed within one calendar year from the date of the alleged offense. The cognizant department chair, college or school dean or the dean of the Graduate School may extend this time limit upon demonstration of good cause.

Academic Grievance Consultative Resolution

Virtually all disputes originate in the department or comparable administrative unit and should, if feasible, be resolved through consultation between the disputants. The parties should meet and exert a good faith effort to resolve the dispute amicably.

At the request of either or both parties, the consultation may be recorded by a departmental note-taker (a staff or faculty member, but not a student). If a departmental note-taker is present during the consultation, the student may have an additional note-taker of his/her choosing also in attendance. Neither note-taker may actively participate in the consultation between the parties to the grievance other than to request repetition or clarification of statements made by either party during the consultation session.

It may be useful for the student to seek first the assistance of his or her advisor, department chair or director of graduate studies acting as a mediator to aid in evenhandedly resolving the dispute.

Academic Grievance Formal Resolution

I. Departmental Level Review

Step 1: The student who believes that the grievance is severe or has been unable to obtain an acceptable consultative resolution should submit in writing to the cognizant department chair a description of his or her complaint, including any evidentiary or supporting materials and a request for a hearing. (If the department chair is a party against whom the grievance is brought, either as a teaching faculty member or as chair, or where the chair can demonstrate that it will best serve the interests of the parties, direct petition to the school or college level may be pursued.)

Step 2: The cognizant department chair shall give the Department Grievance Committee (see Appendix A) and each principal a copy of the written grievance, including any evidentiary or supporting materials and a copy of the Academic Grievance Policy and Procedures for graduate students.

Upon initial review of the materials and statements presented by the grievant, if the Department Grievance Committee finds the grievance does not have reasonable supporting grounds, the committee shall conclude the grievance is without merit. In this initial review the committee may also consider materials or statements submitted by the teaching faculty member(s) against whom the grievance is lodged. If the grievance is found without merit, the committee shall report this denial to the cognizant department chair. The committee shall complete this initial review within 15 academic days¹ of its receipt of the grievance. The cognizant department chair shall then submit a Statement of Decision to the principals (via certified, return receipt mail), the cognizant college or school dean and the dean of the Graduate School within 10 academic days¹ of receipt of the committee decision.

If the Department Grievance Committee finds the statement of grievance has reasonable supporting grounds, the committee shall proceed with hearings as provided below.

Step 3: The Departmental Grievance Committee shall convene hearing(s) as necessary to allow both principals the opportunity to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written and verbal, of each principal and of others who contribute information to the committee.

The hearing shall convene within 20 academic days¹ of the department's receipt of the written grievance. The cognizant department will notify principals at least 72 hours prior to the hearing.

The hearing(s) shall be conducted in a fair and expeditious manner, but shall not be subject to the rules governing a legal proceeding. Each principal shall have the right to be present (under unusual circumstances, if either party is considered to pose a physical threat to the other or to the committee, the chair of the committee may request that either the student or instructor participate by phone) and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty who is not acting in a legal capacity on behalf of a principal. An advisor may not speak on behalf of or advocate for a principal or otherwise address members of the hearing committee. Hearing(s) shall be conducted in confidence (see Appendix B).

Step 4: The Departmental Grievance Committee shall submit its recommendation(s) in writing, including findings and reasons for the recommendations, to the cognizant department chair within 10 academic days¹ of the final meeting of the committee.

Step 5: The cognizant department chair shall consider the committee's findings and recommendations and render a final decision. This Statement of Decision and an indication of the student's right to appeal the department chair's decision (including time limit) shall be submitted, in writing, from the department chair to the principals (via certified, return receipt mail), the cognizant college or school dean and the dean of the Graduate School within 10 academic days¹ from receiving the Department Grievance Committee's written recommendations.

Files shall be maintained in the offices of the cognizant dean and the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.

II. School or College Level Appeal

Step 1: If either principal wishes to appeal the departmental ruling, a written statement of the appeal, including any additional evidentiary or supporting materials, shall be filed within 10 academic days¹ of receipt of the department chair's Statement of Decision. The appeal shall be filed with the cognizant college or school dean. (If the dean is a party against whom the grievance is brought, either as a teaching faculty member or as dean, or where the dean can demonstrate that it will best serve the interests of the parties, a direct petition to the Graduate School level may be pursued.)

Step 2: Upon review of relevant materials, including all materials and statements presented during prior hearings and materials and statements subsequently presented, if the cognizant college or school dean does not find that the statement of appeal provides reasonable grounds to appeal nor raises doubt concerning the adequacy of prior review, the dean may issue a formal decision regarding the appeal. In such a case, the dean shall submit a Statement of Decision to the principals (via certified, return receipt mail), the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School within 20 academic days¹ of receipt of the appeal.

Alternatively, if the dean deems it necessary or appropriate to consider further the circumstances of the appeal, he or she shall convene a Decanal Grievance Committee within 20 academic days¹ of receipt of the appeal. The Decanal Grievance Committee shall include two faculty members and two graduate students. In those college/schools comprised of multiple academic departments, the Decanal Grievance Committee shall not include representatives from the department(s) involved in the grievance (see Appendix C).

Step 3: The cognizant dean shall give the Decanal Grievance Committee and each principal a copy of the Academic Grievance Policy and Procedures for graduate students, the original written grievance, the written appeal to the school or college level, any supplemental materials and statements and all documentation and recommendations from the departmental proceedings.

Step 4: The Decanal Grievance Committee shall convene hearing(s) necessary to allow both principals the opportunity to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of the principals as well as others who contribute information to the committee. The principals must be given at least a 72-hour prior notice of the hearing.

The hearing(s) shall be conducted in a fair and expeditious manner, but shall not be subject to the rules governing a legal proceeding. Each principal shall have the right to be present (under unusual circumstances, if either party is considered to pose a physical threat to the other or to the committee, the chair of the committee may request that either the student or instructor participate by phone) and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty who is not acting in a legal capacity on behalf of a principal. An advisor may not speak on behalf of or advocate for a principal or otherwise address members of the hearing committee. Hearing(s) shall be conducted in confidence (see Appendix B).

Step 5: The Decanal Grievance Committee shall submit its recommendation(s) in writing, including findings and reasons for the recommendations, to the cognizant college or school dean within 10 academic days¹ of the final meeting of the committee.

Step 6: The cognizant dean shall consider the committee's findings and recommendations and render a final decision. This Statement of Decision and a statement of the student's right to appeal the dean's decision (including time limit) shall be submitted in writing from the dean to the principals (via certified, return receipt mail), the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School within 10 academic days¹ from receiving the Decanal Grievance Committee's written recommendations.

Files shall be maintained in the offices of the cognizant dean and the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.

III.  Graduate School Level Appeal

On rare occasions, when all established procedures within a college or school have been exhausted, it may be appropriate for the dean of the Graduate School to consider a final university appeal. In general, the dean of the Graduate School will consider only those appeals that document violations of applicable due process in prior proceedings or which establish sound cause to believe that prior proceedings have resulted in a decision contrary to law, the Polices of the SUNY Board of Trustees, or policies of the University at Buffalo. In general, the dean of the Graduate School will not consider appeals that merely challenge the appropriateness of a judgment reached following a full and fair review of a matter by the department and the dean of the college or school.

Step 1: If either principal wishes to appeal the decision(s) of the college or school dean, the written statement of appeal, including any additional evidentiary or supporting materials, shall be filed within 10 academic days¹ of receipt of the Statement of Decision. The appeal shall be filed with the dean of the Graduate School.

Step 2: Upon review of relevant materials, including all materials and statements presented during prior hearings and any materials and statements subsequently presented, if the dean of the Graduate School does not find that the statement of appeal provides reasonable grounds to appeal nor raises doubt concerning the adequacy of prior review, the dean of the Graduate School may issue a formal decision regarding the appeal. In such a case, the dean of the Graduate School will submit a Statement of Decision to the principals (via certified, return receipt mail), the department chair and cognizant dean within 20 academic days¹ of receipt of the appeal.

Alternatively, if the dean of the Graduate School deems it necessary or appropriate to consider further the circumstances of the appeal, he or she shall convene a Graduate School Grievance Committee within 20 academic days¹ of receipt of the appeal (see Appendix D).

Step 3: The Graduate School shall give the Graduate School Grievance Committee and each principal a copy of the Academic Grievance Policy and Procedures, the original written grievance, the written appeals to both the school/college and the Graduate School levels, any supplemental materials and statements and all documentation and recommendations from the departmental and decanal proceedings. The Graduate School will notify principals at least 72 hours prior to the hearing.

Step 4: The Graduate School Grievance Committee shall convene hearing(s) as necessary to allow both principals the opportunity to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of the principals as well as others who contribute information to the Committee.

The hearing(s) shall be conducted in a fair and expeditious manner, but shall not be subject to the rules governing a legal proceeding. Each principal shall have the right to be present (under unusual circumstances, if either party is considered to pose a physical threat to the other or to the chair, the chair of the committee may request that either the student or instructor participate by phone) and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty who is not acting in a legal capacity on behalf of a principal. An advisor may not speak on behalf of or advocate for a principal or otherwise address members of the hearing committee. Hearing(s) shall be conducted in confidence (see Appendix B).

Step 5: The Graduate School Grievance Committee shall submit its letter of recommendations, including findings and reasons for recommendations, to the dean of the Graduate School within 10 academic days¹ after the final meeting of the committee.

Step 6: The dean of the Graduate School shall consider the committee's findings and recommendations and render a final university decision/determination. The dean of the Graduate School's Statement of Decision shall be submitted in writing to the principals (via certified, return receipt mail), the department chair and the cognizant academic dean within 10 academic days¹ from receiving the Graduate School Grievance Committee's written recommendations.

The determination/decision of the dean of the Graduate School constitutes the final step in the university review process and may not be further appealed.

Files shall be maintained in the office of the cognizant dean and the Graduate School.

Note:

¹Academic days are defined as weekdays when classes are in session, not including the summer or winter sessions.

Academic Grievance Appendix A

Departmental Grievance Committee Membership

The cognizant department chair, or the chair of the departmental Grievance Committee, shall assemble, from a pool of individuals comprising the Departmental Grievance Pool, a Departmental Grievance Committee comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two graduate students or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio. The departmental representatives in the Grievance Pool shall be selected by the respective faculty and student constituencies in an appropriate democratic fashion and in no case shall these representatives be appointed by the departmental or decanal administration. If deemed appropriate, the Departmental Grievance Pool may also serve as the Departmental Academic Integrity Pool.

The members of the Grievance Pool and the Grievance Committee shall be selected so that no member is involved in a disproportionate number of grievances. Each principal to the dispute shall have the option of requesting, without stipulating a reason, the replacement of one member of the committee appointed to hear the grievance. If any principal finds the replacement member inappropriate, the party shall transmit, within five academic days¹ of the naming of the committee, a written statement of the grounds for this "challenge for cause" to the cognizant department chair who shall rule on its merits and either retain or replace the committee member so challenged. Each committee member selected shall have the option of disqualifying him/herself from the committee by stipulating reasons why he or she feels unable to deal with the grievance in an unbiased fashion.

Academic Grievance Appendix B

Confidentiality of Proceedings

Once the department chair, college or school dean or the dean of the Graduate School initiates a grievance hearing, principals and committee members shall have the obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings and of all materials or testimony presented in hearing proceedings, until a decision is formally transmitted to the principals involved in the grievance.

If a breach of confidentiality by either principal (as defined above) is formally brought to the attention of the Grievance Committee, upon a majority vote of the committee, it may choose to consider this breach a case of possible misconduct. If a committee member is charged with a possible misconduct, such charge will be heard at the next highest level Grievance Committee. Such consideration shall take precedence over the pending grievance and a misconduct hearing shall be conducted and findings shall be transmitted, in writing, to the principals and committee members and shall be placed in a supplemental file of the grievance proceedings. Such findings may then be considered in the subsequent review of the grievance.

Academic Grievance Appendix C

Decanal Grievance Committee Membership

The cognizant college or school dean, or the chair of the school or college Grievance Committee, shall assemble, from a pool of individuals comprising the college or school Grievance Pool, a Decanal Grievance Committee comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two graduate students or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio. In those college/schools comprised of multiple academic departments, the Decanal Grievance Committee shall not include representatives from the department(s) involved in the grievance. The college or school Grievance Pool shall include two representatives, as appropriate, from each department: one faculty member and one graduate student. The departmental representatives in the Grievance Pool shall be selected by the respective faculty and student constituencies in an appropriate democratic fashion and in no case shall these representatives be appointed by the departmental or decanal administration. If deemed appropriate, the Decanal Grievance Pool may also serve as the Decanal Academic Integrity Pool.

The members of the Grievance Pool and the Grievance Committee shall be selected so that no member is involved in a disproportionate number of grievances. Each principal to the dispute shall have the option of requesting, without stipulating a reason, the replacement of one member of the committee appointed to hear the grievance. If any principal finds the replacement member inappropriate, the party shall transmit, within five academic days¹ of the naming of the committee, a written statement of the grounds for this "challenge for cause" to the cognizant academic dean who shall rule on its merits and either retain or replace the committee member so challenged. Each committee member selected shall have the option of disqualifying him/herself from the committee by stipulating reasons why he or she feels unable to deal with the grievance in an unbiased fashion.

Academic Grievance Appendix D

Graduate School Grievance Committee Membership

The Graduate School Grievance Committee shall be comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two graduate students (all from outside the cognizant academic department[s]) or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio. The departmental representatives comprising the Graduate School Grievance Pool shall be selected by the respective faculty and student constituencies in an appropriate democratic fashion and in no case shall these representatives be appointed by the departmental or decanal administration. If deemed appropriate, the Graduate School Grievance Pool may also serve as the Graduate School Academic Integrity Pool.

The members of the Graduate School Grievance Pool and the Graduate School Grievance Committee shall be selected so that no member is involved in a disproportionate number of grievances. Each principal to the dispute shall have the option of requesting, without stipulating a reason, the replacement of one member of the committee appointed to hear the grievance. If any principal finds the replacement member inappropriate, the party shall transmit, within five academic days¹ of the naming of the committee, a written statement of the grounds for this "challenge for cause" to the dean of the Graduate School who shall rule on its merits and either retain or replace the committee member so challenged. Each committee member selected shall have the option of disqualifying him/herself from the committee by stipulating reasons why he or she feels unable to deal with the grievance in an unbiased fashion.

Panel Development

The dean of the Graduate School shall encourage departments to nominate faculty and student representatives for the departmental and decanal pools and to encourage departments to facilitate development of faculty and student representatives in order to ensure a suitable pool of personnel for departmental, decanal and Graduate School grievance hearings.

Amended policies promulgated by President John B. Simpson, 26 June 2008. Effective 25 August 2008.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity Preamble

Academic integrity is a fundamental university value. Through the honest completion of academic work, students sustain the integrity of the university while facilitating the university's imperative for the transmission of knowledge and culture based upon the generation of new and innovative ideas.

When an instance of suspected or alleged academic dishonesty by a student arises, it shall be resolved according to the procedures set forth herein. These procedures assume that many questions of academic dishonesty will be resolved through consultative resolution between the student and the instructor.

It is recommended that the instructor and student each consult with the department chair, school or college dean or the Graduate School if there are any questions regarding these procedures.

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Previously submitted work. Submitting academically required material that has been previously submitted - in whole or in substantial part - in another course, without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.
  • Plagiarism. Copying or receiving material from any source and submitting that material as one's own, without acknowledging and citing the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic ideas) or in any other manner representing the work of another as one's own.
  • Cheating. Soliciting and/or receiving information from, or providing information to, another student or any other unauthorized source (including electronic sources such as cellular phones and PDAs), with the intent to deceive while completing an examination or individual assignment.
  • Falsification of academic materials. Fabricating laboratory materials, notes, reports or any forms of computer data; forging an instructor's name or initials; resubmitting an examination or assignment for reevaluation which has been altered without the instructor's authorization; or submitting a report, paper, materials, computer data or examination (or any considerable part thereof) prepared by any person other than the student responsible for the assignment.
  • Misrepresentation of documents. Forgery, alteration or misuse of any university or official document, record or instrument of identification.
  • Confidential academic materials. Procurement, distribution or acceptance of examinations or laboratory results without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.
  • Selling academic assignments. No person shall sell or offer for sale to any person enrolled at the University at Buffalo any academic assignment, or any inappropriate assistance in the preparation, research or writing of any assignment, which the seller knows, or has reason to believe, is intended for submission in fulfillment of any course or academic program requirement.
  • Purchasing academic assignments. No person shall purchase an academic assignment intended for submission in fulfillment of any course or academic program requirement.

Consultative Resolution for Academic Integrity

Step 1: If an instructor has reason to believe that a student may have committed an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall notify the student suspected of academic dishonesty by email to the student's UB IT address with receipt requested, by certified mail return receipt requested or by written notice delivered in person with a copy countersigned by the student and retained by the instructor within 10 academic days¹ of discovery of the alleged incident.

Once the alleged incident has occurred, the student may not resign from the course without permission of the instructor.

The instructor shall meet and consult with the student within 10 academic days¹ of the date of notification. If the student fails to attend the consultative meeting, the instructor has the authority to reach a decision and to impose a sanction (if appropriate) without the student consultation.

At consultation, the instructor shall inform the student of the allegations relating to the specific infringement and the student shall be given a copy of the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

At the request of either or both parties, the consultation may be recorded. A departmental note-taker (a staff or faculty member, but not a teaching assistant) may record consultation proceedings. The student must agree to the presence of the note-taker and the student may also have a note-taker in attendance.

Step 2: If, after consultation with the student, the instructor believes the student did not commit an act of academic dishonesty, no sanctions may be imposed. The instructor will orally inform the student of that finding and, if the student so requests, will provide the student with a written statement confirming that finding. Procedures end.

If, after consultation with the student, the instructor believes the student did commit an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor has the authority to impose one or more of the following sanctions:

  1. Warning. Written notice to the student that he/she has violated a university academic integrity standard and that the repetition of the wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe sanctions.
  2. Revision of work. Requiring the student to replace or revise the work in which dishonesty occurred. (The instructor may choose to assign a grade of I [Incomplete] pending replacement or revision of the work.)
  3. Reduction in grade. With respect to the particular assignment/exam or final grade in the course.
  4. Failure in the course. To be indicated on the transcript by a grade of F without comment.
  5. Such other reasonable and appropriate sanction(s) as may be determined by the instructor (or committee at later levels of review) with the exception of those subsequently described under number six.
  6. Recommendation of any of the following university sanctions (these require approval at the department, college/school and Graduate School levels).
    1. Failure in the course with citation of academic dishonesty: To be indicated by an F on the transcript with the notation that the grade of F was assigned for reason of academic dishonesty. Only the dean of the Graduate School or his or her designee may impose this sanction.
    2. Suspension from the university: For a definite term upon stated conditions. Only the university president or his/her designee may suspend a student from the university.
    3. Expulsion from the university: With comment on the transcript. Only the university president or his/her designee may expel a student from the university.

Step 3: The instructor shall provide the student with a copy of the decision, sanction(s) imposed and the student's right to appeal that decision. The instructor's decision letter shall be sent to the student (via certified, return receipt mail), the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School within 10 academic days¹ of the date of the consultation meeting. This statement of decision shall be included in the student's confidential file maintained in the Graduate School. The student shall have access to this file.

University Sanctions

If the sanctions imposed at the instructor level include recommendation of university sanctions (as listed in step 2.6), departmental level procedures are required and shall be initiated within 10 academic days¹ of the department chair's receipt of the statement of decision.

Right to Appeal

The student may appeal the instructor's findings. The student's request for an appeal, including specification of the grounds for appeal, must be submitted in writing to the instructor and to the department chair no later than 10 academic days¹ after the instructor has notified the student of his or her decision.

Departmental Level Procedures

Step 1: The instructor and student have no more than 10 academic days¹ following the filing of the request for the initiation of departmental proceedings to deliver evidentiary materials to the department chair. The instructor and student shall each provide the department chair with a written statement of evidence supporting his or her position, any relevant documentation and the names of potential witnesses.

If the department chair is the faculty member who has brought the academic dishonesty charge against the student, or if a department is unable to assemble a committee because of a limited number of faculty or students, direct consideration at the college or school level may be requested.

Pending resolution, the instructor shall temporarily assign a grade of I (incomplete). This I grade can only be adjusted by resolution of the case.

Step 2: Upon review of relevant materials (including all evidence and statements communicated during consultation), if the department chair does not deem it necessary to consider further the circumstances of the case, the department chair will notify the student (via certified, return receipt mail), the instructor, the cognizant academic dean and the dean of the Graduate School of his or her decision within 20 academic days¹ of receipt of the student's appeal or instructor's recommendation. If the sanctions imposed at this stage include recommendation of university sanctions (as listed in Consultative Resolution Step 2.6), decanal level procedures are required (see "Decanal Level Procedures").

Alternatively, if the department chair deems it necessary to consider further the circumstances of the case, he or she shall convene the Departmental Adjudication Committee within 20 academic days¹ of the date the department office received the request for initiation of departmental proceedings (see Appendix A).

The department office shall convey all evidentiary materials to the Departmental Adjudication Committee, the student and the instructor at the time the notice of the hearing is delivered. The student and the instructor shall be given at least 72 hours' notice of the hearing.

At hearing(s), the Departmental Adjudication Committee shall provide sufficient opportunity for both principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of those who contribute information to the committee.

The hearing(s) shall be conducted in a fair and expeditious manner, but shall not be subject to the rules governing a legal proceeding. Each principal shall have the right to be present (under unusual circumstances, if either party is considered to pose a physical threat to the other or to the committee, the chair of the committee may request that either the student or instructor participate by phone) and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case will the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty who is not acting in a legal capacity on behalf of a principal. An advisor may not speak on behalf of or advocate for a principal or otherwise address members of the hearing committee.

The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling and the committee may hear all relevant and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The Departmental Adjudication Committee shall only consider evidence presented at hearing(s). Discussion of a student's formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct shall not be admissible as evidence to determine whether the student is responsible for breaching the university's academic integrity code in the current case, although such history may be introduced and considered during the sanctioning phase. Hearings shall be confidential (see Appendix B).

The Departmental Adjudication Committee shall provide the department chair with a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations within 10 academic days¹ after the final meeting of the committee. Recommendations may include:

  1. Findings overturned. Finding that no academic dishonesty took place and that no sanctions should be imposed.
  2. Findings sustained. Finding that academic dishonesty occurred and the committee is in agreement with the sanction(s) previously imposed or recommended.
  3. Finding of different sanction. Finding that academic dishonesty occurred, but that the sanction(s) previously imposed or recommended are inappropriate and that greater or lesser sanction(s) should be imposed.

Step 3: The department chair considers the committee's findings and recommendations and renders a final decision. The department chair's decision and the student's right to appeal that decision shall be submitted in writing from the department chair to the student (via certified, return receipt mail), the instructor, the cognizant academic dean and the dean of the Graduate School, within 10 academic days¹ from receiving the Departmental Adjudication Committee's statement of recommendations.

The department chair shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audiotape or other record of the hearing and its statement of recommendations to the dean of the Graduate School, where a confidential file will be maintained. The student shall have access to this file.

University Sanctions

If the sanction(s) imposed at the departmental level include recommendation of university sanctions (as listed in Consultative Resolution Step 2.6), decanal level procedures are required and shall be initiated within 10 academic days¹ of the dean's receipt of the statement of decision.

Right to Appeal

The student or the instructor may appeal the department chair's findings. The request for an appeal, including specification of the grounds for appeal, must be submitted in writing to the department chair and to the cognizant academic dean no later than 10 academic days¹ after the department chair has notified the student of his or her decision.

Decanal Level Procedures

Step 1: The instructor and student have no more than 10 academic days¹ following the filing of the request for the initiation of decanal level proceedings to deliver evidentiary materials to the cognizant academic dean. The instructor and student shall each provide the academic dean with a written statement of evidence supporting his or her position, any relevant documentation and the names of potential witnesses.

Pending resolution, the temporarily assigned grade of I (incomplete) will continue in place. This I grade can only be adjusted by final resolution of the pending case.

Step 2: Upon review of relevant materials (including all evidence and statements communicated during consultation), if the academic dean does not deem it necessary to consider further the circumstances of the case, the academic dean will notify the student (via certified, return receipt mail), the instructor, the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School of his or her decision within 20 academic days¹ of receipt of the student's appeal or instructor's recommendation. If the sanctions imposed at this stage include recommendation of university sanctions (as listed in Consultative Resolution Step 2.6), a hearing at the decanal level is required and procedures below shall be initiated within 20 academic days¹ of the academic dean's receipt of the department chair's statement of decision.

Alternatively, if the academic dean deems it necessary to consider further the circumstances of the case, he or she shall convene the Decanal Adjudication Committee within 20 academic days¹ of the date which the academic dean received the request for initiation of decanal level proceedings (see Appendix C).

The academic dean's office shall convey all evidentiary materials to the Decanal Adjudication Committee, the student and the instructor at the time the notice of the hearing is delivered. The student and the instructor shall be given at least 72 hours' notice of the hearing.

At hearing(s), the Decanal Adjudication Committee shall provide sufficient opportunity for both principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of those who contribute information to the committee.

The hearing(s) shall be conducted in a fair and expeditious manner, but shall not be subject to the rules governing a legal proceeding. Each principal shall have the right to be present (under unusual circumstances, if either party is considered to pose a physical threat to the other or to the committee, the chair of the committee may request that either the student or instructor participate by phone) and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty who is not acting in a legal capacity on behalf of a principal. An advisor may not speak on behalf of or advocate for a principal or otherwise address members of the hearing committee.

The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling and the committee may hear all relevant and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The Decanal Adjudication Committee shall only consider evidence presented at hearing(s). Discussion of a student's formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct shall not be admissible as evidence to determine whether the student is responsible for breaching the university's academic integrity code in the current case, although such history may be introduced and considered during the sanctioning phase. Hearings shall be confidential (see Appendix B).

The Decanal Adjudication Committee shall provide the academic dean with a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations within 10 academic days¹ after the final meeting of the committee. Recommendations may include:

  1. Findings overturned. Finding that no academic dishonesty took place and that no sanctions should be imposed.
  2. Findings sustained. Finding that academic dishonesty occurred and the committee is in agreement with the sanction(s) previously imposed or recommended.
  3. Finding of different sanction. Finding that academic dishonesty occurred, but that the sanction(s) previously imposed or recommended are inappropriate and that greater or lesser sanction(s) should be imposed.

Step 3: The academic dean considers the committee's findings and recommendations and renders a final decision. The academic dean's decision and the student's right to appeal that decision shall be submitted in writing from the academic dean to the student (via certified, return receipt mail), the instructor, the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School within 10 academic days¹ from receiving the Decanal Adjudication Committee's statement of recommendations.

The academic dean shall forward the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audiotape or other record of the hearing and its statement of recommendations to the dean of the Graduate School, where a confidential file will be maintained. The student shall have access to this file.

University Sanctions

If the sanction(s) imposed at the decanal level include recommendation of university sanctions (as listed in Consultative Resolution Step 2.6), Graduate School level procedures are required and shall be initiated within 10 academic days¹ of the dean of the Graduate School's receipt of the statement of decision.

Right to Appeal

The student or the instructor may appeal the academic dean's findings, but only based on claims of limitations on, or violations of, applicable due process. Any such appeal request must describe the specific due process violation(s) claimed and must be submitted in writing to the academic dean and to the dean of the Graduate School no later than 10 academic days¹ after the academic dean has notified the student of his or her decision.

Graduate School Level Procedures

Step 1: The instructor and student have no more than 10 academic days¹ following the filing of the request for the initiation of Graduate School level proceedings to deliver evidentiary materials to the dean of the Graduate School. The instructor and student shall each provide the dean of the Graduate School with a written statement of evidence supporting his or her position, any relevant documentation and the names of potential witnesses.

Pending resolution, the temporarily assigned grade of I (Incomplete) will continue in place. This I grade can only be adjusted by final resolution of the pending case.

Step 2: Upon review of relevant materials (including all evidence and statements communicated during consultation), if the dean of the Graduate School does not deem it necessary to consider further the circumstances of the case, the dean of the Graduate School will notify the student (via certified, return receipt mail), the instructor, the department chair and the cognizant academic dean of his or her decision within 20 academic days¹ of receipt of the student's appeal or instructor's recommendation. If the sanctions imposed at this stage include recommendation of university sanctions (as listed in Consultative Resolution Step 2.6), the dean of the Graduate School will pursue appropriate steps to implement or seek implementation of such sanction(s).

Alternatively, if the dean of the Graduate School deems it necessary to consider further the circumstances of the case, he or she shall convene the Graduate School Adjudication Committee within 20 academic days¹ of the date on which the dean of the Graduate School received the request for initiation of Graduate School level proceedings (see Appendix D).

The Graduate School shall convey all evidentiary materials to the Graduate School Adjudication Committee, the student and the instructor at the time the notice of the hearing is delivered. The student and the instructor shall be given at least 72 hours' notice of the hearing.

At hearing(s), the Graduate School Adjudication Committee shall provide sufficient opportunity for both principals to present their positions and shall allow each principal the right to question the presentation(s), written or verbal, of those who contribute information to the committee.

The hearing(s) shall be conducted in a fair and expeditious manner, but shall not be subject to the rules governing a legal proceeding. Each principal shall have the right to be present (under unusual circumstances, if either party is considered to pose a physical threat to the other or to the committee, the chair of the committee may request that either the student or instructor participate by phone) and to have one advisor present at all hearings. In no such case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty who is not acting in a legal capacity on behalf of a principal. An advisor may not speak on behalf of or advocate for a principal or otherwise address members of the hearing committee.

The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling and the committee may hear all relevant and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The Graduate School Adjudication Committee shall only consider evidence presented at hearing(s). Discussion of a student's formerly alleged or documented academic misconduct shall not be admissible as evidence to determine whether the student is responsible for breaching the university's academic integrity code in the current case, although such history may be introduced and considered during the sanctioning phase. Hearings shall be confidential (see Appendix B).

The Graduate School Adjudication Committee shall provide the dean of the Graduate School with a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations within 10 academic days¹ after the final meeting of the committee. Recommendations may include:

  • Findings overturned. Finding that no academic dishonesty took place and that no sanctions should be imposed.
  • Findings sustained. Finding that academic dishonesty occurred and the committee is in agreement with the sanction(s) previously imposed or recommended.
  • Finding of different sanction. Finding that academic dishonesty occurred, but that the sanction(s) previously imposed or recommended are inappropriate and that greater or lesser sanction(s) should be imposed.

Step 3: The dean of the Graduate School considers the committee's findings and recommendations and renders a final decision. The dean of the Graduate School's decision shall be submitted in writing to the student (via certified, return receipt mail), the instructor, the department chair and the cognizant academic dean within 10 academic days¹ from receiving the Graduate School Adjudication Committee's statement of recommendations.

The dean of the Graduate School shall file the record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audiotape or other record of the hearing and statements of recommendations to the dean of the Graduate School, in the confidential file located in and maintained by the Graduate School. The student shall have access to this file.

University Sanctions

If the sanction(s) imposed at the Graduate School level include implementation or recommended implementation of university sanctions (as listed in Consultative Resolution Step 2.6), implementation or recommended implementation of those sanctions shall be initiated within 10 academic days¹ following the dean of the Graduate School's decision in the matter.

No Further Right to Appeal

The decision of the dean of the Graduate School is final and no further appeal is available.

Note:

¹Academic days are defined as weekdays when classes are in session, not including the summer or winter sessions.

Academic Integrity Appendix A

Departmental Adjudication Committee Membership

The department chair or the chair of the departmental adjudication committee shall assemble, from a pool of individuals comprising the departmental Academic Integrity Pool, a Departmental Adjudication Committee comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two graduate students or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio. The departmental Academic Integrity Pool shall be selected by the respective faculty and student constituencies in an appropriate democratic fashion and in no case shall these representatives be appointed by the departmental or decanal administration. If deemed appropriate, the Departmental Academic Integrity Pool may also serve as the Departmental Grievance Pool.

The members of the Academic Integrity Pool and the Adjudication Committee shall be selected so that no member is involved in a disproportionate number of cases. Each principal to the dispute shall have the option of requesting, without stipulating a reason, the replacement of one member of the committee appointed to hear the case. If any principal finds the replacement member inappropriate, the party shall transmit, within five academic days¹ of the naming of the committee, a written statement of the grounds for this "challenge for cause" to the cognizant department chair who shall rule on the merits and either retain or replace the committee member so challenged. Each committee member selected shall have the option of disqualifying him/herself from the committee by stipulating reasons why he or she feels unable to deal with the case in an unbiased fashion.

Academic Integrity Appendix B

Confidentiality of Proceedings

Once the department chair, college or school dean or the dean of the Graduate School initiates an academic integrity hearing, principals and committee members shall have the obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings and of all materials or testimony presented in hearing proceedings, until a decision is formally transmitted to the principals involved in the case.

If a breach of confidentiality by either principal (as defined above) is formally brought to the attention of the Adjudication Committee, upon a majority vote of the committee, it may choose to consider this breach a case of possible misconduct. If a committee member is charged with a possible misconduct, such charge will be heard at the next highest level Adjudication Committee. Such consideration shall take precedence over the pending case and a misconduct hearing shall be conducted and findings shall be transmitted, in writing, to the principals and committee members and shall be placed in a supplemental file of the case proceedings. Such findings may then be considered in the subsequent review of the case.

Academic Integrity Appendix C

The cognizant college or school dean, or the chair of the school or college Adjudication Committee, shall assemble, from a pool of individuals comprising the college or school Academic Integrity Pool, a Decanal Adjudication Committee comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two graduate students or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio. In those college/schools comprised of multiple academic departments, the Decanal Adjudication Committee shall not include representatives from the department(s) involved in the case. The college or school Academic Integrity Pool shall include two representatives, as appropriate, from each department: one faculty member and one graduate student. The departmental representatives in the Academic Integrity Pool shall be selected by the respective faculty and student constituencies in an appropriate democratic fashion and in no case shall these representatives be appointed by the departmental or decanal administration. If deemed appropriate, the Decanal Academic Integrity Pool may also serve as the Decanal Grievance Pool.

The members of the Academic Integrity Pool and the Adjudication Committee shall be selected so that no member is involved in a disproportionate number of cases. Each principal to the dispute shall have the option of requesting, without stipulating a reason, the replacement of one member of the committee appointed to hear the case. If any principal finds the replacement member inappropriate, the party shall transmit, within five academic days¹ of the naming of the committee, a written statement of the grounds for this "challenge for cause" to the cognizant academic dean who shall rule on its merits and either retain or replace the committee member so challenged. Each committee member selected shall have the option of disqualifying him/herself from the committee by stipulating reasons why he or she feels unable to deal with the case in an unbiased fashion.

Academic Integrity Appendix D

Graduate School Adjudication Committee Membership

The Graduate School Adjudication Committee shall be comprised of no fewer than two faculty members and two graduate students (all from outside the cognizant academic department[s]) or a larger number of participants maintaining this same ratio. The departmental representatives comprising the Graduate School Academic Integrity Pool shall be selected by the respective faculty and student constituencies in an appropriate democratic fashion and in no case shall these representatives be appointed by the departmental or decanal administration. If deemed appropriate, the Graduate School Academic Integrity Pool may also serve as the Graduate School Grievance Pool.

The members of the Graduate School Academic Integrity Pool and the Graduate School Adjudication Committee shall be selected so that no member is involved in a disproportionate number of cases. Each principal to the dispute shall have the option of requesting, without stipulating a reason, the replacement of one member of the committee appointed to hear the case. If any principal finds the replacement member inappropriate, the party shall transmit, within five academic days¹ of the naming of the committee, a written statement of the grounds for this "challenge for cause" to the dean of the Graduate School who shall rule on its merits and either retain or replace the committee member so challenged. Each committee member selected shall have the option of disqualifying him/herself from the committee by stipulating reasons why he or she feels unable to deal with the case in an unbiased fashion.

Panel Development

The dean of the Graduate School shall encourage departments to nominate faculty and student representatives for the departmental and decanal pools and to encourage departments to facilitate development of faculty and student representatives in order to ensure a suitable pool of personnel for departmental, decanal and Graduate School academic integrity hearings.

Amended Policies promulgated by President John B. Simpson, 26 June 2008. Effective, 25 August 2008.

Academic Integrity and Grievance Policies: Other Related University Policies

Other University at Buffalo policies may apply to situations to which the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures for Undergraduates, the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures for Graduates, the Academic Grievance Policy and Procedures for Undergraduates or the Academic Grievance Policy and Procedures for Graduates apply. Among these are UB's Responsible Conduct in Research and Creative Activity and Student Conduct Policies, as well as professional school or program policies and procedures. Priorities and relations among these are addressed by these specifications:

1. Responsible Conduct in Research and Creative Activity

The Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures (AIPP) and the Academic Grievance Policies and Procedures (AGPP) are secondary to UB's Responsible Conduct in Research and Creative Activity (RCRCA) policies and procedures. The RCRCA addresses misconduct that may include violations of the AIPP or AGPP. If proceedings initiated pursuant to the RCRCA include possible violation of the AIPP or AGPP, formal actions pursuant to the AIPP or AGPP shall be postponed until the RCRCA proceedings are completed. If the RCRCA proceedings result in recommendation of formal AIPP or AGPP proceedings, these shall be initiated promptly. If the RCRCA proceedings result in findings that a student has violated the AIPP, penalties that may be imposed include dismissal from the program in addition to any and all specified in the AIPP. If the RCRCA proceedings result in findings that a student has not violated the AIPP, the student may not be charged again with the same offenses under the AIPP. RCRCA proceedings, findings and penalties shall be neither challenged nor appealed through the AIPP or AGPP.

2. Other University Policies and Procedures

The Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures (AIPP) and the Academic Grievance Policies and Procedures (AGPP) are independent of UB's other policies and procedures. Many of these provide for investigation and recommendation of actions regarding alleged misconduct, but neither provide for nor may result in findings that a student has violated the AIPP. If other proceedings include possible violation of the AIPP, formal actions pursuant to the AIPP shall be postponed until the other proceedings are completed. Should findings or recommendations of these other proceedings provide bases for charges pursuant to the AIPP, formal proceedings under the AIPP shall be promptly initiated. Except as here provided, proceedings, findings and recommendations resulting from other proceedings shall be neither challenged nor appealed through the AIPP or AGPP.

3. Professional School and Program Policies

UB professional school or program student conduct policies and procedures are subject to the provisions governing relations of the Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures (AIPP) and Academic Grievance Policies and Procedures (AGPP) to UB's Responsible Conduct in Research and Creative Activity and other policies and procedures. Professional school or program student conduct policies and procedures shall be congruent with the provisions of the AIPP for Undergraduates for baccalaureate programs and to the AIPP for Graduates for all other programs. Any appeal of procedures or actions taken pursuant to a professional school or program's student conduct policies and procedures shall follow the provisions of the AIPP or AGPP applicable to the degree level of the program. Charges of misconduct by a student in a professional school or program that does not set its own student conduct policies and procedures shall be considered pursuant to the provisions of the AIPP applicable to the degree level of the program. Penalties that may be imposed upon findings of misconduct by a student in a professional school or program include dismissal from the program in addition to any and all other penalties specified in the AIPP.

Promulgated by President John B. Simpson, 16 December 2005. Effective, 28 August 2006.

Academic Programs Subject to Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School of the State University of New York at Buffalo is authorized to offer programs and recommend the granting of degrees at levels beyond the baccalaureate. The college, schools and divisions of the university with graduate programs conducted under the aegis of the Graduate School are listed below:

  • School of Architecture and Planning (MArch, MUP, PhD)
  • College of Arts and Sciences (Advanced Certificate, AUD, MA, MFA, MM, MS, PhD)
  • School of Dental Medicine (MS, PhD)
  • Graduate School of Education (Advanced Certificate, MA, MS, PhD)
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Advanced Certificate, ME, MS, PhD)
  • School of Public Health and Health Professions (MA, MPH, MS, PhD)
  • School of Management (Advanced Certificate, MS, PhD)
  • Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (MA, MS, PhD)
  • School of Nursing (Advanced Certificate, DNP, MS, PhD)
  • School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (MS, PhD)
  • Roswell Park Graduate Division (MS, PhD)
  • School of Social Work (PhD)

Academic Standards for International Applicants

In order to be compliant with federal regulations pertaining to the admission and enrollment of international students, the Office of International Admissions (OIA) must review all international applicants the department wishes to accept. OIA checks and verifies all academic documents, test scores and financial documentation, as well as the offer letter from the department. After reviewing submitted dossiers, OIA enters a decision in GrAdMIT ("Accept Provisional" or "Accept Final"). This action triggers an automatic email confirmation of acceptance to the student from the dean of the Graduate School.

Academic Standing

The Graduate School defines "good academic standing" as a student who is making acceptable progress toward a graduate degree and who is eligible to register for and pursue academic coursework at this university for the current semester. All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their study.

The minimum academic requirements for good academic standing established by the Graduate School are as follows (individual college/schools may establish stricter academic standards):

  1. Exclusive of S or L grades, grades earned in credits counted toward the student's master's or doctoral program must average a B (3.00) grade point average or better.
  2. The S grade is awarded only in those instances where a student's letter grade would have been equivalent to a B or better.

Academic requirements other than those imposed by the Graduate School are determined by the program faculty and approved by the appropriate decanal unit. All graduate students are expected to demonstrate competence in teaching and research with respect to their educational needs and career objectives.

Academic Withdrawal

Under extraordinary circumstances, graduate students may petition for total academic withdrawal from a given term. The Graduate School will only consider cases where the student or department (on the student's behalf) can document:

  • Lengthy medical incapacitation of the student or a member of the student's immediate family or
  • death of a student's immediate family member or
  • military orders issued to a student or
  • other similarly extraordinary measures as petitioned by the student.

Academic withdrawal is for the entirety of a student's registration in that term (i.e., these cases are considered on an all or nothing basis). The deadline for graduate students to submit petitions for total academic withdrawal is the end of the subsequent academic term. The Graduate School reserves the right to consult members of the faculty and others as appropriate when reviewing total academic withdrawal cases.

Academic withdrawal from the term will be indicated on the transcript by the symbol W (withdrawal) next to each registered class. For the purposes of determining good academic standing/satisfactory academic progress, courses given W grades are considered to be attempted credit hours but are not considered to be successfully completed.

Admissions Integrity

On this page:

When an instance of a suspected or alleged admissions integrity breach by a student arises, it shall be resolved according to the procedures set forth herein.

Introduction to Admissions Integrity

According to the UB Student Rights and Responsibilities Code, Article 12, Item 45: "Falsifying University Credentials," the following is noted:

Students found to have knowingly falsified application information may be subject to suspension from the university, expulsion from the university, dismissal from an academic program or other administrative penalties.

Falsified application information may include but is not limited to: making inaccurate statements on the application, withholding information requested on the application, giving false information or submitting fraudulent or falsified documents in support of a graduate admissions application.

When falsification of application information is suspected, the Office of International Admissions (OIA), the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) or the academic unit may bring forward allegations of a breach of graduate admissions integrity standards to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE).

Admissions Integrity Informal Procedures

Step 1: If the OIA, GEMS or the academic unit believes the student committed an act in violation of admissions integrity standards, OIA, GEMS, or the chair or director of graduate study in the academic unit shall provide a written statement of notification to that effect to the VPGE within 20 academic days after discovery of the alleged incident. In the case where the OIA or GEMS provide a written statement of notification, a copy of such notification will be sent to the academic unit.

Step 2: The Graduate School will temporarily assign the student a "GRD" service indicator and will inform the academic unit of this action. The "GRD" service indicator can only be removed by resolution of the pending case.

Step 3: In a case involving a suspected admissions integrity breach on the part of a domestic applicant, GEMS will notify the student of the specific allegation and will request a written explanation. In a case involving a suspected breach on the part of an international applicant, OIA will notify the student of the specific allegation and will request a written explanation. The academic unit shall receive copies of this communication.

Step 4: If the explanation is deemed reasonable by either OIA or GEMS and adequately addresses the concern, the case will be considered resolved and the service indicator will be removed. The academic unit will be informed of this resolution and of the removal of the student's service indicator.

Every effort shall be made by OIA or GEMS to resolve such cases through the informal procedures outlined above. However, if the explanation provided by the student is deemed unreasonable, inadequate or inconclusive, formal proceedings shall be invoked in accordance with the following formal procedures.

Admissions Integrity Formal Procedures

Step 1: The OIA, GEMS or the academic unit will submit a written request to the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education to initiate formal proceedings.

Step 2: The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education will officially notify the student (via certified return-receipt mail) of the allegation of admissions dishonesty and the initiation of these formal proceedings.

Step 3: If not already in place, the Graduate School will temporarily assign the student a "GRD" service indicator. The "GRD" service indicator can only be removed by resolution of the pending case.

Step 4: The Vice Provost for Graduate Education will convene an Admissions Integrity Committee to consider the case. The committee will consist of at least three representatives. In all cases the VPGE will select at least one representative from GEMS, the academic unit and the Office of Judicial Affairs. In cases where international admissions integrity is in question, the OIA must also have representation on the committee.

The committee shall convene a hearing within 20 academic days from the date the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education received written notification from the academic unit or the OIA requesting the initiation of these formal proceedings.
The Admissions Integrity Committee shall give the student at least 72 hours prior notice of date, time and place of the hearing. Prior to the hearing, the student shall provide the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education with a written statement including evidence to support his/her position.

Step 5: At the hearing, the Admissions Integrity Committee shall provide the student sufficient opportunity to present his/her position. The student shall have the right to be present and have one advisor present at the hearing. (In no case shall the advisor be an attorney, unless he or she is a member of the UB faculty not acting in a legal capacity.) These hearings are conducted in confidence. The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling and the Admissions Integrity Hearing may receive and consider all relevant material and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. The chair of the committee may exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence.

Step 6: Once the hearing has adjourned, the committee will review all applicable evidence and submit a written statement of recommendations and reasons for recommendations to the VPGE. The written statement of recommendations shall be submitted to the VPGE within 10 academic days after the final meeting of the committee.


Recommendations may include:

  • a) Dismissal of case: Insufficient evidence shall be grounds for dismissal of a case. No file shall be kept.
  • b) Not responsible for breaching admissions integrity standards: No sanctions shall be imposed and no file shall be kept.
  • c) Responsible for breaching admissions integrity standards/sanctions imposed: If a majority of the Admissions Integrity Committee is convinced that the student committed a violation, the committee has the right to recommend to the VPGE one or more of the following sanctions:
    • I) Admonition: An oral statement to the student that he or she has violated a university standard of integrity.
    • II) Warning: Written notice to the student that subsequent repetition of the wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe sanctions including dismissal from a graduate program, suspension from the university, expulsion from the university, or other appropriate sanctions.
    • III) Dismissal from the graduate program to which the student was admitted: Without written comment on the transcript.
    • IV) Dismissal from the graduate program to which the student was admitted: With written comment on the transcript.
    • V) Suspension from the university: With written comment on the transcript. (Note: only the university president or his/her designee may suspend a student from the university.)
    • VI) Expulsion from the university: With written comment on the transcript. (Note: only the university president or his/her designee may expel a student from the university.)
    • VII) Other sanctions as appropriate to each individual situation.

Step 7: Upon thorough consideration of the committee's findings and recommendations, if the VPGE finds the student is responsible for breaching admissions integrity standards, he/she shall create and maintain, in the Office of the VPGE, a file on the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence and audiotape or other records of the hearing, and the letter communicating the VPGE's decision in the matter. If the VPGE finds the student is not responsible for breaching admissions integrity standards, he/she shall expunge the student's record regarding this matter.

Step 8: The final decision and sanction(s) to be imposed shall be submitted in writing from the VPGE to the student within 20 academic days of receiving the Admissions Integrity Committee's statement of recommendations in the matter. The decision of the vice provost for graduate education is final.

Academic unit is defined as either a university department or a graduate program where there exists no departmental affiliation.

Admissions Procedures

Prospective students who wish to pursue graduate study apply directly to a department or graduate program for admission. The individual schools, departments and programs establish their own requirements for admission. In all cases, a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited or recognized undergraduate institution is required. Application materials should be requested from the individual school, department or program in which the student wishes to undertake graduate study. A non-refundable application fee, payable in U.S. funds, is required of all applicants for graduate admission.

Advanced Certificate Conferral Requirements

Depending on the particular advanced certificate program in question and its admission/eligibility requirements, a graduate student may be authorized to pursue that advanced certificate program on a "stand-alone" basis or in conjunction with an existing graduate level degree program. When a graduate student who is pursuing an advanced certificate program has completed or nearly completed the requirements for the advanced certificate in question (i.e., is currently enrolled in the last needed requisites), the student is responsible for filing the appropriate Advanced Certificate Program of Study Approval form with his/her department to enable timely review of the student's record. Each Advanced Certificate Program of Study Approval form must be approved by the faculty member in charge of that certificate program and must be forwarded to the Graduate School by the relevant application to candidacy deadline as published on the Graduate School website.

On rare occasion, when clerical error causes delay in submission of the Advance Certificate Program of Study Approval form from a department to the Graduate School, that department must file the approval form within 12 months of the student's last date of attendance at UB. Such a request must specifically state the reason for the delay in processing the request. Requests received after the 12-month period will not be processed.

Annual Academic Review of PhD Students

Each PhD student’s academic progress must be evaluated annually by the director of graduate studies (DGS) and, if appropriate, the student’s dissertation advisor. The most appropriate time for annual review is mid-May, thereby permitting appropriate academic planning for the following semester and allowing for timely responses to inquiries about students in jeopardy of losing federal financial aid. Alternatively, though not ideal, review can take place in mid-October.

Additionally, each PhD student’s academic progress must be reviewed after his/her first semester of enrollment, in order to identify any academic problems early in the program. Directors of graduate study are required to communicate the annual academic evaluation to the student in writing.

Each graduate program is encouraged to develop its own process for student evaluation and advisement. However certain elements must be included in PhD student annual evaluation:

  1. Review of the student’s academic record including:
    • Checking the overall grade point average.
    • Addressing any incomplete and/or resigned courses.
    • Monitoring overall progress toward completing the coursework phase of the program.
  2. Checking on progress in completing or preparing for the preliminary or qualifying exam(s) or paper(s).
  3. Planning for a timely defense of the dissertation research proposal or prospectus.
  4. Monitoring adequate progress in research including timeliness of degree completion.

A sample review form is available to facilitate the academic review process.

Application Fee Waivers and Deferrals

In general, waivers of graduate application fees are not granted. Categorical exceptions are made only for those applicants who provide sufficient documentation of their participation as an undergraduate student in an EOP, HEOP or SEEK program, or as an undergraduate participant in the CSTEP, MARC, PREP, RISE, LSAMP or McNair Scholars programs on any campus, or as an applicant through Project 1000.

An appeal for a deferral (not a waiver) of the application fee can be made by applicants who provide documentation of their receipt of a GRE Fee Waiver. In all other cases, a deferral (not a waiver) will be considered by the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services only for cases of extreme financial hardship and then only with clear documentation from an appropriate official at an institution of higher education certifying the financial need. Please note that self-declaration of need by an applicant or mere eligibility for student financial aid (loans) is not adequate justification. For more information, applicants should consult the department in which they are applying to graduate study.

Application to Candidacy

The Application to Candidacy (ATC) is filed with the Graduate School and indicates that the student is entering the final stages of degree completion. Normally students should expect to file an Application to Candidacy after two or three semesters of full-time enrollment toward the master's degree or after six semesters of full-time enrollment toward the doctoral degree.

Review and approval of the ATC is the responsibility of the student's department and dean, in that order. Some units also require divisional or area committee review prior to submission to the Graduate School. Once admitted to candidacy, a student may not need to enroll for 12 credits (nine credits for graduate, teaching and research assistants) to be certified as a full-time student.

Primary responsibility for evaluation of each student's application to candidacy rests with the student's department or program and major advisor.

The department or program is responsible for ensuring that each ATC is complete prior to submission to the academic dean. The academic dean then forwards the ATC to the appropriate divisional or area committee or directly to the Graduate School if committee review is not required. Where committee review is required, the chair of the appropriate committee will approve or disapprove ATCs. If subsequently approved, the application is then forwarded to the Graduate School for final review.

A candidate must file the ATC by the specified deadline for their expected conferral date. Committees cannot receive ATCs immediately prior to the expected graduation date. Once the Graduate School approves the ATC, written notification of approval will be sent to the student.

Minor amendments to the ATC which become necessary through changes in registration (e.g., adding or deleting anticipated courses or credits) must be formalized through the Change of Expected Conferral Date/Amend ATC petition. This form must be endorsed by the director of graduate studies or chair of the student's department. These amendments are then reviewed by the Graduate School.

Application to Candidacy/Degree Completion Timetable

For degree conferral on:

February 1, 2018 June 1, 2018
September 1, 2018

Application to candidacy due:

October 1, 2017
March 1, 2018 July 1, 2018

All required conferral materials due:

January 19, 2018
May 18, 2018 August 10, 2018

Each student is advised to check with the appropriate office one semester prior to the deadline date listed for up-to-date information. It is the student's responsibility to check with the Graduate School at 716-645-2939 prior to the deadline dates to be sure all the requirements and paperwork for your degree have been completed. Each department has the appropriate forms and additional instructions.

Attendance on Religious Holy Days

On those religious holy days when members of a faith observe the expectation of their religion that they be absent from school or work, individual students will be excused from class without penalty if expressly requested. If such a requested absence results in a student’s inability to fulfill the academic requirement of a course scheduled on that particular day, the instructor must provide an opportunity for the student to make up the requirement without penalty. Students shall not be charged any fees or experience any adverse or prejudicial effects due to absence from coursework due to religious observance. 

In the event that a student absence situation cannot be resolved between the student and the class instructor, or either party is aggrieved by the process, appeal shall proceed to the Graduate School.

C

Calendar (Official)

The official university calendar is issued by the Office of the Registrar. Graduate students may obtain a class schedule from the Registrar's website.

Canadian Citizens With Native American Status

Students who are Canadian citizens with Native American status do not need immigration documents and may be eligible to pay in-state tuition rates if they meet certain domicile requirements. However Canadian Native American status does not change a student's citizenship nor the manner UB is required to enter that student into university computer systems. Admission records indicate these students as Canadian citizens. Because the Office of International Admissions is not authorized to show a non-U.S. citizen as having in-state status, the student should visit 1Capen (ground floor of Capen Hall) to take the next steps for approval of in-state residency status. Details about in-state tuition, domicile requirements for New York State residency and deadlines can be found on the UB Student Accounts website.

Change of Name or Address

As soon as possible (i.e., within one week) following any change of name or address, a student must complete a Student Name Change form or an Address Change/Add Request form located on the Office of the Registrar website. Students may also change their address online using the HUB Student Center through the MyUB portal.

Changes in Major Advisor and Committee Membership When Graduate Faculty Leave UB

When a graduate faculty member retires from UB with no intention of assuming a faculty appointment at another institution, that faculty member is eligible to continue serving as the major advisor or as a committee member for a current student. The actual decision whether or not that person may continue to serve in such a capacity with a current student rests with the director of graduate studies and the chair of the department. However, subsequent to their retirement, graduate faculty members should not accept major advisor or committee membership assignments for any new student.

When a graduate faculty member leaves UB for an appointment at another institution and the student is at the final stages of completing the thesis or project (generally with one year or less needed to finish), the Graduate School will allow the departed faculty member, if he/she is willing, to retain their role on that student’s committee, providing the department chair and the director of graduate studies concur. The primary consideration in retaining a departed faculty member on a committee should be to avoid delaying completion of the degree and unwittingly penalizing the student. However, if the student is more than a year from degree completion, the Graduate School does not recommend allowing a departed faculty member to remain on that student’s committee since, after that time, the faculty member will become immersed in responsibilities at his or her new place of employment, often leaving little time to devote to our student.

Class Attendance

Since the university desires to promote student responsibility, there is no general rule concerning absences from class. Instructors may, however, take account of such absences in determining final grades.

Combined Degree Programs

Combined degree programs offer UB students the opportunity to pursue multiple degree objectives at an accelerated pace and are designed for students who have demonstrated exceptional promise. Combined degree programs pair the curricula of two degree programs from two different levels (e.g., bachelor’s and master’s), resulting in a condensed format where students may complete the combined degree in less time (and often less cost) than is normally required to complete the two degree programs separately. By reducing some courses within the undergraduate major (normally taken near the end of the undergraduate degree) and substituting equivalent graduate-level courses customarily taken during the initial stages of a graduate degree, students are able to shorten the time needed to gain competence in all required curricular content of both degree programs. When completed, students’ records will indicate two degrees individually awarded as part of a combined degree program.

Combined degrees have a two-tier tuition structure. Over the course of a combined degree program, the student is charged the tuition rate each semester that corresponds to the appropriate program rate for that semester. While the student is completing the undergraduate portion, tuition is charged at the undergraduate rate. When the student is admitted at the graduate level, tuition charges change to the appropriate graduate or professional rate. For example, a student pursuing the combined BS/MBA in business administration program is typically required to complete three years of undergraduate coursework and two years of graduate coursework. Thus, the student is classified as undergraduate and is billed at the undergraduate rate for three years. Thereafter, through acceptance to the MBA component in UB’s graduate admissions application system (GrAdMIT), the student matriculates to the graduate level and the student’s bill reflects the appropriate graduate tuition rate until the student completes the combined degree program.

Domestic undergraduate students pursuing combined degree programs may be eligible for New York State sponsored grants and scholarships and federal financial aid, which is comprised of Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Perkins Loans while completing the undergraduate portion of their program. However, once admitted to the graduate portion of their program and charged graduate tuition, domestic students may no longer be eligible for one or more of these awards. Instead, domestic graduate students are eligible to apply for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans as well as a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. For more information regarding student aid and how to apply, please visit UB’s Financial Aid website.

Any student who receives a UB-sponsored undergraduate award (such as an Acker, Provost or Presidential scholarship) and who later pursues a combined degree program, will continue to remain eligible for their undergraduate award through its normal duration (typically four years total) even after matriculating into the graduate portion of their combined degree program. The award amount will continue to be at the undergraduate level.

Any student choosing to leave the combined degree program prior to its completion will have his/her bill altered in the following manner. A student pursuing the undergraduate portion of the combined program when s/he chooses not to pursue the combined degree program will continue with undergraduate coursework and will be billed accordingly. However, such a student is no longer permitted to pursue a graduate program until s/he completes the baccalaureate degree in full and is admitted formally to a regular graduate degree program. A student pursuing the graduate portion of the combined degree program when s/he chooses to abandon that combined program of study will continue to be charged at the graduate rate until formally re-matriculated into the undergraduate career for the following semester.

The minimum undergraduate residency requirement for the undergraduate portion of any combined degree program is 18 credit hours. The minimum graduate residency requirement for the graduate portion of any combined degree program varies by program. However, in no case is the graduate residency requirement for any combined degree program ever less than 24 credit hours.

In certain circumstances, a combined degree program may not qualify the student for professional licensure if such licensure requires the completion of a full (non-abbreviated) undergraduate degree program. Students in licensure-eligible programs should discuss these requirements with an advisor to confirm any such limitations.

Conditional Admission With TOEFL iBT Scores

Graduate students with TOEFL scores below the standard cut-off scores may be admitted to UB under the following condition: The student must enroll in and successfully complete one of two full-time intensive English programs in the UB English Language Institute (ELI), depending on score received, as detailed below:

  • Students accepted to a fall semester with an iBT score of 75 - 78 must complete a six-week summer ELI program at UB.
  • Students accepted to a spring semester with an iBT score of 70 - 78 must complete a 15-week fall semester ELI program at UB.

Conditional admission cannot be granted retroactively. University admission cannot be offered if the TOEFL score is below the minimum scores indicated above. Upon successfully completing the required ELI program, the student is free to begin the academic program of study with no further English as a Second Language (ESL) requirements (with the exception of international teaching, research and graduate assistants, who may be required to register for ESL 512). "Successful completion" is defined as passing the ELI program (with an overall grade of C or higher) and meeting the ELI minimum attendance policy or having the endorsement of ELI teachers and the director of the ESL Program.

In addition, new SEVIS regulations (2016) no longer permit a "combined" I-20 issued for both the ELI language study and the degree program study. Students admitted with conditional admission will be issued an I-20 for the ELI study only. Upon successfully completing the ELI study, a "continuing" I-20 will be issued for the degree study.

Confidentiality of Records

Student records are confidential and are released only to appropriate faculty and administrative offices. Release of such records to any other college, prospective employer or agency occurs only with the written permission of the student or upon subpoena.

In compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the State University of New York at Buffalo releases the following directory information upon request: student's name, current address, telephone number, email address, major field of study, dates of attendance and degrees received. The university will routinely release such information unless a student indicates on the Request for Directory & Information Release/Non-Release form that he or she wishes not to be listed in the student directory.

The law requires that students be given reasonable time to request that this information not be released. Students who have previously indicated that they DO wish to have their directory information released should notify 1Capen (ground floor of Capen Hall,) if they wish to rescind that permission to release directory information. The law also affords students the right to inspect and review their educational records and to request a hearing to question the contents of those records.

Inquires or complaints may be filed with the Family Policy and Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, DC 20202-5920. Phone: 1-800-872-5327

Continuous Registration Requirement

As part of the registration process, students select a program of courses with the advice of their advisors or committee and with the approval of their program director. Students must then officially register every semester for the appropriate courses according to established registration procedures and within the deadline dates announced by the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate students must register for a minimum of one credit hour each fall and spring term until all requirements for the degree are completed. If continuous registration is impossible at any time, the student must secure a leave of absence from the Graduate School. Failure to secure a leave of absence by the end of the first week of the semester in which the leave is to begin will result in a $350 reactivation fee being assessed to the student's account when the student subsequently registers for classes. Students may not be on a leave of absence in the semester immediately preceding degree conferral. Under some circumstances, the continuous registration requirement may be waived for the semester immediately prior to degree conferral if the student has an approved Application to Candidacy on file in the Graduate School, will not be using any university services or faculty time and has submitted all required conferral materials to the Graduate School prior to the first day of the semester. Students may request a waiver of continuous registration by filing the Graduate Student Petition for Waiver of Continuous Registration with the Graduate School.

Course Sharing Limits

In cases where a student wishes to utilize selected graduate level courses to satisfy the degree requirements of more than one post-baccalaureate (graduate and/or professional) degree program, the following limitations apply:

  1. The integrity of each master's level degree program must be observed by the student's completion of a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit at UB. Individual degree programs may establish minimum credit hour requirements that exceed that level.
  2. No more than 10 percent of the total credit hours required to complete two UB master's degree programs may be comprised of "shared courses" (i.e., courses applied to both programs). For example, in the case of two MS degree programs each of which requires 30-credits (i.e., a total of 60), no more than six credit hours (10 percent) of the 60 may be comprised of courses applied to both programs. Similarly, in the case of two degree programs that, in total, require 90 credit hours between them, no more than nine credit hours (10 percent) of the 90 may be comprised of courses applied to both programs.
  3. In cases where one or more specific courses are explicitly required by both programs (i.e., not merely as acceptable electives), such course(s) are considered "shared courses" under policy definitions and will be the first course(s) counted toward the 10 percent limit. If those specific courses explicitly required by both programs exceed the normal 10 percent "shared courses" limit, the 10 percent limit is waived and all such courses may be counted toward both degrees.
  4. Up to 50 percent of a student's PhD program may be comprised of courses used to complete another degree program at UB or at another institution. A minimum of 50 percent of the PhD program must consist of courses completed at UB that have not been applied toward any other degree program.

Course Syllabi Requirements

UB’s institution-wide course syllabi requirements policy can be found in the online undergraduate catalog. While this policy was written specific to the needs of undergraduate education at UB, its principles define the content expectations for graduate level course syllabi as well. Please note the following: where this institution-wide policy refers to reviewing the undergraduate policy for incomplete grades, please refer instead to the graduate incomplete grade (IU) policy. Where the policy refers to the undergraduate academic integrity policy, please refer instead to the graduate academic integrity policies and procedures; and finally, the section of the policy regarding “controlled enrollment courses” is not applicable to graduate level courses.

Cross-Divisional Registration

Graduate Student Taking Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate courses may be taken by graduate students as appropriate prerequisites to their chosen field of study but may not be used to satisfy graduate program requirements or carry graduate credit. However, some 400-level courses may be suitable graduate credit under the following circumstances and subject to approval in advance by the Graduate School. In order to obtain approval, the student must file a Petition for Course Credit Outside Your Primary Career that must include:

  • Justification for taking an undergraduate course for graduate credit. (For example: that the course curriculum is important to the student's program and not offered as a graduate course.)
  • The approval and signature of the course instructor who must be a UB faculty member.
  • A description of the nature and extent of the extra work to be assigned to the graduate student.
  • The approval and signature of the department chair or director of graduate studies of the student's graduate program.

If approved, a graduate student may receive up to a maximum of eight credit hours of this nature while pursuing a graduate degree. All such petitions must be filed prior to the end of the official add/drop period of the semester of registration.

Undergraduate Students Taking Graduate Courses

Within certain academic limitations, undergraduate students can be allowed to take graduate level courses with permission of the course instructor and director of graduate study or department chair. Graduate credit will be awarded for the course unless the student specifically petitions to use the course for undergraduate credit. A graduate course that is awarded undergraduate credit cannot also be awarded graduate credit.

Prior to receipt of the baccalaureate degree, a UB undergraduate student may take up to nine credits at the graduate level which may later be applied to a graduate, professional or advanced certificate program at UB. In order to exercise this option, the student must file a Petition for Course Credit Outside Primary Academic Career, have the permission of the department offering the graduate course(s) and possess a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 at the time of graduate course enrollment.

Note that the nine credit hour limit described above does not apply to students formally admitted to, and currently enrolled in, an SED-registered combined undergraduate/graduate degree program at UB, provided that the graduate courses taken are part of that student's specific combined degree program.

Any graduate level courses successfully petitioned for use at the undergraduate level are not included in the nine credit limit. However, an undergraduate course that is awarded graduate credit cannot also be awarded undergraduate credit.

Cross-Registration With Other SUNY Schools

The SUNY institutions approved for graduate cross-registration are the University at Buffalo, State University College at Buffalo and the State University College at Fredonia. Students must abide by the rules and regulations established by the visiting institution where they intend to cross-register. Students in the cross-registration program may take only those courses where space is available, that are approved by the student's home department and that are also not available at their home institution.

The UB Graduate Student Cross-Registration form is obtained from the University Registrar's Office. In order to be enrolled in a cross-registered course, a UB student must get the Graduate Cross-Registration form approved by both their home department and the visiting institution and then return it to 1Capen (ground floor of Capen Hall) by the publicized deadline date. Students who do not meet these deadlines will not be enrolled into a cross-registration course and therefore will not receive credits or grades. Also, a UB student must be registered at UB for a minimum of nine credit hours while participating in a cross-registration program. Each participating institution may establish its own registration procedures and materials. Tuition and fees are paid at the student's home campus. Grades are forwarded to the home institution after the close of the semester. Contact the Office of the Registrar for information at 716-645-5698.

D

Diplomas

Diplomas will be mailed directly from the Office of the Registrar to the graduate's diploma mailing address on file in that office. When no diploma mailing address is given, the diploma will be mailed to the graduate's permanent mailing address.

Dissertation

The dissertation should be an original contribution to the field as determined by the PhD candidate's department or program. Doctoral dissertations, except those in the department of romance languages and literatures, are normally written in English.

There are several style manuals available in the UB Libraries, including Strunk and White, Turabian and the University of Chicago Press, that answer a host of questions regarding the technical aspects of a properly prepared dissertation. A bibliography is also available which provides further examples that are more specific to various disciplines (e.g., the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). Students should consult the appropriate professional journals and their major professors to determine the most appropriate style within their area of research.

It is the prerogative and responsibility of the candidate and the sponsoring department to ensure that the canons of organization, presentation and documentation usually prescribed for publication in their discipline are observed. Likewise, the dissertation must be certified as substantially free of errors and ready for publication before it is submitted to the Graduate School.

Dissertation Committee

A doctoral dissertation committee, selected by the student with the approval of his or her home department, oversees the doctoral student’s work in preparing the PhD dissertation. The doctoral dissertation committee must be comprised of at least three core members: a major professor and at least two additional core committee members. Each core committee member must be a member of the UB Graduate Faculty. Associate members of the UB Graduate Faculty may not serve on doctoral dissertation committees as core members, but may serve as additional committee members. On occasion, individuals who are neither members nor associate members of the UB Graduate Faculty may serve as additional dissertation committee members if their expertise would be of significant value to the student and the core members of the committee. Questions concerning the composition of doctoral dissertation committees should be referred to the Graduate School.

Dissertation Copyrighting

The student's copyright is established as soon as the dissertation is fixed in a tangible medium, i.e., saved on a computer hard drive. However, it is the student's choice whether or not to then register that copyright. Registering the copyright will allow the student to file suit against anyone who infringes upon this copyright in the future. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required in order to establish copyright. The rights of a copyright owner include the ability to make copies of the work, make derivative works, distribute copies of the work, perform the work publicly and display the work publicly. Whether or not a student chooses to register his or her copyright, that student retains the rights to his or her dissertation and may authorize others (i.e., a publisher or another researcher) to exercise them. The student retains these rights unless he or she relinquishes them, as is the case with some publisher contracts. It is the student's responsibility to guarantee that the work is original and that he or she has followed accepted standards for documenting the use of references and citations of other works. Attribution of one's sources, however, has nothing to do with copyright and does not protect a student from copyright infringement when using other copyrighted works in his or her dissertation. Students should discuss the option to register the copyright of their work with their major professor before reaching a decision. Once the decision has been made to register one's copyright, the appropriate symbol, the date, and the author's name must be included on the page immediately following the title page. Regardless of registration, the student's copyright will run for the life of the author plus 70 years. Students may request this service to be provided through the Graduate School's online submission system as an option under the ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing Agreement they sign when submitting the final dissertation.

Dissertation Formatting Requirements

The Graduate School will accept any self-consistent format that follows conventions of a recognized discipline, but some general formatting standards are also expected as outlined in the Graduate School's booklet entitled Guidelines for Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Submission.

Dual and Cross-Listed Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

A graduate course may be dual or cross-listed with an undergraduate course only when the undergraduate course is a 4xx level offering. In such a case, a clear explanation of the additional work that graduate students are expected to undertake for the graduate level offering (i.e., extra recitation sections, extra projects, additional papers, etc.) must be explained in the course syllabus.

E

Embargo Option for Thesis and Dissertation

A thesis or dissertation submitted to the Graduate School as a requirement of the student’s degree program must be submitted in digital format and comply with the Graduate School’s Guidelines for Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Submission.

Soon after degree conferral, theses and dissertations are submitted to ProQuest/UMI for cataloging and publishing. Approximately 12 to 14 weeks after degree conferral, submissions are available to the academic community (via authentication) through the UB libraries system and the ProQuest thesis/dissertation database. When a thesis or dissertation is based wholly, or in part, on research from which an invention or discovery has resulted or may result, the thesis or dissertation may require special handling to prevent unwanted disclosure which could damage or eliminate U.S. or international patent rights or both. These special procedures will in no way impede progress toward the degree, affect acceptance of the thesis/dissertation or delay conferral of the degree. They are aimed solely at protecting the rights of the university and the inventor. The student must provide both timely disclosure of the invention itself through the Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR) or Roswell Park’s Office of Technology Transfer, as well as timely notification to the Graduate School of the requirement for special handling of the thesis or dissertation.

When a thesis or dissertation contains potentially patentable material, the student and the major advisor may request, with written approval of the major professor, a three-month/six-month/nine-month or 12-month hold (an “embargo”) on the release of the document. Requests must be made in writing to the Graduate School using the Thesis/Dissertation Embargo Request form. Approved requests will result in the thesis/dissertation being held by ProQuest for the approved embargo period. The thesis/dissertation will then be released for publishing and cataloging after the embargo period ends. Extensions beyond the 12-month hold will be reviewed by the Graduate School on a case-by-case basis with all parties involved.

Acceptable reasons to embargo/restrict dissemination:

  • Patentable rights in the work or other issues in which disclosure may be detrimental to the rights or interests of the author.
  • The ethical need to prevent disclosure of sensitive or classified information regarding persons, institutions, technologies, etc.
  • The interest of an academic or commercial press in acquiring the rights to publish the author’s dissertation or thesis as a book.
  • Extensive content within the dissertation or thesis that is likely to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

Review ProQuest's Embargoes and Restrictions guide for more information about when an embargo may be warranted.

English Language Institute (ELI)

International applicants who desire or need to improve their English language proficiency may do so through the university's English Language Institute, which offers Intensive English Programs during the fall, spring and summer semesters. For further information, contact the English Language Institute, 320 Baldy Hall, North Campus, 716-645-2077.

English Language Proficiency

All international applicants (unless exempted) must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students may demonstrate proficiency by submitting official test scores from either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English - Academic), CPE (Cambridge English Proficiency Exam) or the CAE (Cambridge English Advanced Exam).

English Language Proficiency Waivers

The following categories of students are automatically exempt from the English language proficiency requirement.

  1. Students who are citizens of, and who claim to be native speakers of English and who were educated in the English medium from Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
  2. Citizens of Singapore who completed their education in an English medium environment and who obtained a grade of D or better on the Singapore O-level examination.
  3. Non-matriculated students attending UB under reciprocal exchange agreements with international institutions of higher education.
  4. Students who were enrolled at UB and are moving from one degree-level to another or one program to another with a break in their studies up to one calendar year at the time the application file is reviewed by the Office of International Admissions. For example, if a student graduated from UB on June 1, 2011 and applies for admission to a UB graduate program in fall 2012 and as long as the file is reviewed and approved by International Admissions before June 1, 2012, the English language proficiency requirement will be automatically waived.
  5. International students transferring from another U.S. institution to UB, with a break in their studies up to one calendar year at the time the application file is reviewed by the Office of International Admissions, who would have met UB's minimum requirements and who had a valid TOEFL/IELTS at the time they commenced study at the other institution. Departments must submit a photocopy of the applicant's TOEFL/IELTS score result that was used for admission at the other U.S. institution. Institutional TOEFL score reports are not valid at UB and cannot be used for admission purposes.

F

Financial Documentation

All international applicants must document their ability to meet all educational and personal expenses for the duration of their programs. Applicants will receive more detailed information regarding this requirement with their application. Funds must be documented with liquid assets in the form of bank statements, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, stocks, etc. Documentation must be original and dated within one year of the date the student will enroll at UB.

International applicants are eligible for departmental assistantships and some Graduate School fellowships. International students are not eligible for any New York State or federal scholarships or loans. No other financial assistance is available for international students.

A Certificate of Visa Eligibility may only be issued after the applicant has satisfied both the English proficiency and financial requirements and after department recommendation for admission is made and academic documentation reviewed by the Office of International Admissions.

Full-Time Status Certification

All graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours during each fall and spring semester or a minimum of nine hours if the student holds a graduate, teaching or research assistantship, to be considered full-time by certain outside agencies/organizations such as lending institutions, health insurance carriers, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, etc.

Under certain circumstances, students can be certified full-time even though they are registered for fewer than 12 credits (or fewer than nine credits if they concurrently hold an assistantship). A student must have on file an Application to Candidacy approved through departmental level, must be registered for between one and 11 credits and must be working on his/her thesis, final project or dissertation, or preparing for a comprehensive exam or participating in a university-approved foreign exchange program extensively enough according to the following schedule:

Semester Credits Registered:

Number of Weekly Hours Required (in addition to in-class hours) for Certified Full-Time Status:

12

0

11

3

10

6

9

9

8

12

7

15

6

18

5

21

4

24

3

27

2

30

1

33

If a student meets the conditions described above, certification must be formally requested through use of a Certification of Full-Time Status form.

G

Grade Changes After Degree Conferral

Grades shall not be changed any later than one year following a student's receipt of a degree or permanent departure from UB.

Grade Changes: Incomplete (IU) Change

Changing an existing incomplete (IU) grade before the default date does not require an explanation nor approval of the Graduate School. Once an IU grade has defaulted to a U, it cannot be changed. However, if an instructor makes an error, a correction can be made to that final grade if it was assigned before the default date. Such a correction must be requested before the end of the term following the default date listed on the incomplete (IU) default date chart.

Once an incomplete IU is changed to an unsatisfactory U grade, the course, if offered again, may be repeated for credit.

The incomplete IU should not be used for dissertation guidance, thesis, project or portfolio credits in which continual registration is required by the university.

Grade Changes: Weighted

Changes to previously recorded grades must be submitted within 12 months following the end of the term during which the student was registered for the class. Changes from one weighted grade to another (see the “Grades: Weighted” section) are made using the Universal Grade Change form and must include a justification. The form must be signed by the instructor, the department chair and then submitted to the Graduate School for formal review.

A weighted grade may be changed at the instructor’s discretion only to correct a calculation or data-entry error. Any such change must include justification by the instructor and be approved by the department chair and the Graduate School. A request to change a weighted grade is not permitted under any other circumstance.

Faculty are to maintain student exams, reports and other assignments submitted to the course instructor but not returned to the student that are determinants of a student’s course grade for six months following the term in which the course is offered. Faculty are to maintain records of all graded assignments and other student assessments that are determinants of a student’s course grade for 12 months following the end of the term in which the course is offered. Such retention is to ensure availability of grade determinant materials and records to address requests for grade correction (should a calculation or data-entry error be detected) or student grievances.

After one year, grades are considered final. Any request to change any grade after one year requires documentation describing why the Universal Grade Change form was not filed during the appropriate period.

The director of graduate studies or chair of any department/program may request a change of grade on behalf of any department/program faculty member who is no longer associated with UB and who is not available to address his/her own grading errors. However such requests must include an explanation.

Grade Reports

Grades are available through the HUB Student Center within the MyUB web portal.

Grade Submission Dates

Faculty shall submit grades for all courses by the due date scheduled for each term, which shall be no less than seven days (including weekends and holidays) after the last day of the term's final examination sessions or the last day of classes of a term not having separately scheduled final examination sessions. Courses offered in a non-standard term, e.g., a non-standard summer session, may have a shorter time for grade submission. Grades may be obtained by students and advisors through the HUB Student Center available through the "MyUB" portal the day after they are submitted.

Grades: Audit (N)

An audited course carries no weight and does not count as attempted or accumulated hours. A student desiring an "audit" grade in a course must officially register for the course. The student must also submit a written request to the instructor by the fourth week of class indicating the desire to receive an "audit" grade. The instructor's decision is final and must be communicated to the student in writing in a timely manner. A student may repeat a previously audited course and receive a weighted grade and academic credit.

Grades: Blank/Missing

The appearance of a space " " next to a class on the transcript denotes that no grade has been recorded for that class. All UB students are responsible for checking their transcripts at the end of each term. Should a student discover a "missing grade" he/she should consult immediately with the instructor or the staff in the associated department, to validate their grade. At the end of the following term an F grade will be recorded on the student’s record if an alternative grade is not recorded by that time. A student's Application to Candidacy cannot be approved with any class listed on his/her transcript that does not have a grade.

Grades for Dissertation, Research, Thesis, Project or Portfolio Work (L Grades)

Load (L) grades may be assigned to signify adequate progress in dissertations, research, theses, projects and portfolios since continuous registration is required. All L grades will be changed to S grades by the Office of the Registrar upon final acceptance of the dissertation, thesis, project or portfolio and completion of all degree requirements. If the instructor wishes to have a default grade other than S recorded, a Universal Grade Change form must be submitted. For master's degree students, if all degree requirements are satisfied by means other than the thesis, research, project or portfolio (e.g., comprehensive exam), any L grades received will permanently remain on the transcript.

Faculty are encouraged to assign satisfactory S or unsatisfactory U or weighted grades to any term of dissertation, research, thesis, project or portfolio work, since these grades do not imply final approval of the dissertation, thesis, project or portfolio itself.

Grades: Incomplete (IU)

For all graduate-level courses, an interim grade of incomplete (I) may be assigned if the student has not completed all requirements for the course. An interim grade of I shall not be assigned to a student who did not attend the course. For all graduate courses the default grade accompanying an interim grade of I shall be U and will be displayed on the UB record as IU. The default unsatisfactory (U) grade shall become the permanent course grade of record if the IU is not changed through formal notice by the instructor upon the student's completion of the course.

Assignment of an interim IU is at the discretion of the instructor. A grade of IU can be assigned only if successful completion of unfulfilled course requirements can result in a final grade better than the default U grade. The student should have a passing average in the requirements already completed. The instructor shall provide the student specification, in writing, of the requirements to be fulfilled. The default U grade shall become the grade of record if the IU is not replaced by a permanent grade within 12 months after the close of the term for which the IU is assigned according to the following chart.

Courses Taken in Any Given Year During:

Deadline for Change of Grade or Petition for Extension of Deadline:

Summer semester

Aug. 31st of the following year

Fall semester

Dec. 31st of the following year

Spring semester

May 31st of the following year

The instructor may set an earlier deadline for completion of the course requirements. If an earlier date for completion is set, the instructor shall inform the student thereof in writing. A student may not re-register for any course in which the student has an interim IU grade.

Grades: Resign (R)

Graduate Students have the prerogative to resign any course for which they have registered without GPA penalty through the end of the 11 week of the fall or spring term. All course resignations processed during the permissible dates (as published in the class schedule available through the Office of the Registrar) will be indicated as officially resigned courses by the notation R on all grade reports, transcripts and other official university documents. Resignation from all courses should be done through the HUB Student Center, which students may access through the MyUB portal. There are no quality points attached to an R designation.

Grades: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) and Written Evaluation

The instructor shall announce the grading procedures for the course at the first meeting of the semester. This announcement should include the specification of an S/U option or a letter grade only system.

Students who wish to be graded on a basis different from the one announced by the instructor must submit a written request to the instructor by the fourth week of class. The instructor's decision will be final and will be transmitted to the student in writing.

An S indicates credit earned and U indicates no credit earned. The S grade should be awarded only in those instances where a student's weighted grade would have been equivalent to a B or better. No more than 25 percent of required formal course credits in a student's graduate program (not including courses taken as research, thesis, project, portfolio or dissertation guidance) shall be graded on an S/U basis. Satisfactory (written) SW grades shall not be construed as S grades for this purpose. An academic unit may establish a lower percentage limit.

Exclusive of S grades, courses to be included as satisfying degree program requirements must average B or better. The U grade indicates unsatisfactory performance, but is not computed in the overall grade point average reflected on the official transcript.

Grades: Weighted

The Graduate School's weighted grades are as follows:

Letter Grade
Quality Points
A 4.0
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.0
B-
2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.0
C- 1.67
D 1.0
F 0
FX (never attended) 0

Instructors are required to indicate the bases for determining course grades in each course syllabus. Similarly, any deviation from standard grading practice must be made known to all students within a course, in writing, in order to ensure that the standard of equality of opportunity for all students is met.

I

Informal Courses

Definition: Informal courses include registration in independent study; project, thesis or dissertation guidance; directed or supervised reading; and directed research coursework.

A formal Independent Study Agreement (see section below regarding Independent Study Agreements) must be established in writing between the instructor and the student for each registered independent study course by the end of the first week of classes. It is the responsibility of the student and the instructor to see that all Independent Study Agreements are maintained in the student’s file within the student’s home department. Independent Study Agreements are to become part of the student's permanent academic record.

Informal courses associated with final project, portfolio, thesis, research or dissertation completion do not require the establishment of formal Independent Study Agreements.

With the exception of Introductory Language Courses, use of undergraduate courses below the 400 level, as the criteria for creating an informal graduate course, is strictly prohibited.

Independent Study Agreements
Independent Study coursework agreements should contain the following components:
• The student and the instructor’s names and signature.*
• Name and number of the course.
• Number of credits for the independent study.
• Description of work required to complete the course.
• Tentative schedule for when/how often the student and instructor will meet during the given term.
• Course objectives.
• Intended learning outcomes.
• Method of assessment.
• Cearly delineated grading type (e.g., pass/fail, letter grade).


*If the Independent Study Agreement is filed electronically, some indication of acceptance of the agreement from both the instructor and the student.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The required minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score is 6.5 overall with no individual sub-score below 6.0. The IELTS score must be dated within two years of the time the application is reviewed by International Admissions in GrAdMIT. Scores must be sent directly to UB by the testing agency. Conditional admission is not permitted based on low IELTS scores.

International Student Admissions Procedures

The University at Buffalo welcomes applications from qualified international students. Application information regarding specific programs may be obtained by contacting the academic department in which enrollment is desired. Applicants presenting international educational credentials must possess a university degree that is recognized as equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree prior to beginning graduate study. International applicants must meet the following requirements imposed by university policy and by U.S. Immigration Service regulations.

International Teaching, Research and Graduate Assistants

In addition to the English language proficiency requirement (demonstrated with a valid TOEFL or IELTS score), all international students who have been awarded graduate, research or teaching assistantships (including Presidential fellowships) must take the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test upon arrival on campus. Registration for classes is only possible after taking the SPEAK test. International graduate students in certain programs are also required to take the SPEAK test as a policy of the program, regardless of whether or not they receive an assistantship. Applicants who take and submit a score of at least 55 from a Test of Spoken English (TSE) are exempt from the SPEAK test.

The SPEAK test is given at the beginning of each fall and spring semester during International Student Orientation. Students required to take the SPEAK test at that time must pick up a SPEAK Test Admission Form at the International Student Orientation site or at the English Language Institute, 320 Baldy Hall, North Campus. The SPEAK test can also be administered by appointment during the semester to students who are applying for assistantships. Individual students are allowed to take a SPEAK test a maximum of two times during a semester.

L

Language Classes

Graduate students are sometimes encouraged to conduct research or utilize reference sources in languages other than English. In addition, graduate students enrolled in certain UB degree programs may be required to demonstrate basic competence in at least one language other than English.

UB graduate students may start their study of languages, or increase their proficiency, by enrolling in coursework at UB in any of the following ways:

  • Register directly for an undergraduate language course (levels 1xx-4xx) for undergraduate credit. To facilitate this registration, students complete the Petition for Course Credit Outside Your Primary Academic Career. The form requires the signatures of the director of undergraduate studies of the department offering the course, the course instructor and your academic advisor, and should be submitted as early as possible to ensure timely enrollment in the class. 
A graduate student cannot earn graduate credit for these undergraduate courses, nor can they be applied toward a graduate degree. Exceptions may be possible for some 400-level language courses, subject to prior approval by the director of graduate studies (or the director of the language program) of the department offering the course and the Graduate School. 
Note that all courses registered for in a given term (graduate and undergraduate) count toward the minimum of nine credit hours (for TA/GA/RAs) or 12 credit hours (non-TA/GA/RAs) required for full-time enrollment status.
 
  • Sit-in (as a non-registered attendee) and fully participate in an undergraduate language course at the 1xx through 4xx levels while concurrently registered for an appropriate graduate level tutorial course. While a graduate student does not need to file the Petition for Course Credit Outside Your Primary Academic Career, approval is still required from the director of undergraduate studies (or the director of the language program) of the department offering the language course, the undergraduate course instructor and the student’s academic advisor. The graduate student’s advisor or another suitable faculty member serves as the instructor of the graduate course and will ensure that the graduate student completes sufficient extra work and performs at a more advanced (graduate) level than is required of undergraduate students in the lower-level language course the graduate student attends. A graduate student must fulfill all requirements of the undergraduate language course, as well as fulfill the requirements outlined in the associated graduate level tutorial course.
  • Register for a 500-level or higher graduate language course designed for graduate students. Currently, such courses are routinely offered in a limited number of language areas and can be offered upon request in other language areas.

Language Requirement

Although the Graduate School does not have a language requirement for master's or doctoral degrees, some departments have established a language or skill requirement for their programs.

Leaves of Absence

A request for a leave of absence must be negotiated through the chair or director of graduate studies of the student's major department using a Graduate Student Petition for a Leave of Absence form. The form must then be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar by the last day of classes of the semester in which the leave is to begin.

Normally, leaves are granted for a maximum of one year, but may be extended for up to one additional year if circumstances warrant. Each department may establish its own policies within the limits of these guidelines. All leave requests must be supported by adequate documentation.

Students approved for a leave of absence remain liable for any outstanding tuition and fee charges.

International students are advised to consult with International Student and Scholar Services, 210 Talbert Hall, North Campus, 716-645-2258, prior to applying for a leave of absence.

Failure to register for classes or secure a leave of absence by the last day of classes of the semester in which the leave is to begin, will result in the student losing his/her access to register for classes in a future semester. To regain registration access within a subsequent five-year period, the student's home academic department must file a semester record activation request on behalf of the student (see the "Returning Student Semester Record Activation and Associated Fee" section for more details).

M

Master's Final Project

The focus of the research for a master's project is generally more applied than that for a thesis, with the student often defining a problem and developing a solution for it. The project may be a scholarly undertaking that results in a tangible outcome (a photo exhibit, a performance piece, a business plan, a technical report, a computer program) that does not fit neatly within the framework of a traditional scholarly thesis paper. However, the final project should be accompanied by a paper written by the student that introduces, analyzes and contextualizes the project and demonstrates the student's familiarity with the relevant literature of the field. A master's project/paper receives final approval at the department level.

Master's Graduation Checklist

For candidates completing a project, portfolio or a comprehensive examination, the following must be on file in the Graduate School by prescribed deadlines prior to degree conferral:

In addition, the Graduate School must verify satisfactory completion of all courses to be applied toward the degree.

For candidates completing a thesis: An oral defense of the thesis must be authorized and held. To graduate, the following must be on file in the Graduate School by the prescribed deadlines:

In addition, the Graduate School will verify satisfactory completion of all courses to be applied toward the degree.

Master's Portfolio Option

A small number of master's degree programs at UB offer the portfolio as a culminating capstone option. A student who completes the master's portfolio option is required to compile a set of materials that summarizes and displays the student's knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities within their discipline as well as his/her ability to design, manage, operate and report on topics typically required for professional employment. While the project option requires the student to research one specific topic, the portfolio option emphasizes the student's competence across several areas within his/her discipline. The materials in the portfolio must be assembled and presented in a professional manner. All elements of the portfolio must be organized cohesively and be self-explanatory.

The portfolio cannot be solely comprised of a student's previous work/coursework (e.g., course projects/papers). While such materials could comprise elements of the portfolio, the portfolio must also contain new and additional substantive work that would satisfy the expectations of another capstone option (e.g., thesis, project).

Master's Program Supervision

Initial supervision of a student's program is exercised by a faculty member appointed as an advisor by the major department. This advisor assists the student in planning his/her program until the student chooses a major professor under whose supervision he/she will work on the final thesis, project or portfolio. The major professor must be either a full member or an associate member of the UB Graduate Faculty.

The Graduate School requires only one Graduate Faculty member, the major professor, to supervise and approve a master's thesis, project or portfolio. Individual academic departments or programs may permit or require additional committee members to supervise the final master's capstone.

Master's Requirements Overview

Before degree conferral is possible, all master's candidates must:

  1. Maintain continuous registration each spring and fall semester until all requirements for the degree have been completed.
  2. Complete a minimum of 30 credits (or more depending on program) of graduate study.
  3. Fulfill the minimum residency requirement of 24 UB credits of registration.
  4. Apply to graduation or submit an Application to Candidacy within the proper deadline dates for approval at the department, decanal (divisional committee where required) and Graduate School levels.
  5. Pass a comprehensive examination, complete an appropriate special project, prepare a portfolio or finish a thesis based on independent research. Students who select the project or portfolio option must submit to the Graduate School a short summary of the work that was completed (150 words or less) to be included with the M-form.
  6. Complete additional requirements as the department/program might specify.

Master's Thesis

Students who complete the thesis option for the master's degree should generally undertake the following steps in its preparation:

  • Design an appropriate research or other scholarly study with the help of his/her faculty advisor(s).
  • Conduct and document the necessary background literature review.
  • Investigate a specific aim or focused question(s).
  • Analyze the results.
  • Write their findings according to guidelines outlined in the Graduate School's Guidelines for Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Submission.

Master's Thesis Copyrighting Option

It is the student's choice whether to copyright his or her thesis. Copyrighting formally protects the student's rights as an author. These rights include the ability to make copies of the work, to distribute them, to make derivative works, or to perform or display the work. By copyrighting a thesis, a student can control the rights to it or may authorize others (i.e., a publisher) to exercise them. It is the student's responsibility to guarantee that the work is original and that he or she has followed accepted standards for documenting the use of references and citations of other works. Students should discuss the option to copyright their work with their major professor before reaching a decision. Once the decision has been made to copyright, the appropriate symbol, the date and the author's name needs to be included on the page immediately following the title page. The copyright will run for the life of the author plus 50 years. The law requires that two copies of the work be submitted to the appropriate federal agency. Students may request this service to be provided through the Graduate School's online submission system available on the Graduate School website as an option under the ProQuest/UMI Thesis Publishing Agreement they sign when submitting the final master's thesis.

Master's Thesis Formatting Requirements

The Graduate School will accept any self-consistent format that follows conventions of a recognized discipline, but some general formatting standards are also expected as outlined in the Guidelines for Thesis and Dissertation Preparation and Submission booklet.

Master's Thesis Option Requirements

Where the thesis option is completed, electronic submission of the resulting master's thesis is mandatory.

Master's theses, except those in the department of romance languages and literatures and those associated with the Caribbean studies specialization within the humanities interdisciplinary program, should be written in English.

Maximum Credit Hour Overrides

Graduate students may register for no more than 19 credit hours per semester. The chair or director of graduate studies interested in allowing students to exceed this maximum credit hour limit must submit a letter of justification to the Graduate School for review. In considering such requests, the Graduate School will not grant the 19-credit override to any student who has less than a 3.0 overall average or who carries two or more incomplete (I) and/or resign (R) grades.

Minimum Undergraduate GPA for Admission to Master's and PhD Programs

The minimum cumulative undergraduate grade-point-average (GPA) for admission to master's and PhD programs is 3.0. Departments interested in admitting any applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA below 3.0 must petition the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services and provide necessary documentation (transcripts, standardized test scores, etc.) supporting their case.

N

New York State Residency

U.S. citizens and permanent residents enrolled at the University at Buffalo may be considered New York State residents when they are determined to have had a New York State domicile (i.e., a permanent and principal home in New York) for a 12-month period prior to registration. Note: Shorter time limits may apply to supported graduate students. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who do not meet these criteria are presumed to be out-of-state residents and must pay out-of-state tuition rates unless they can present satisfactory proof that domicile in New York State has in fact been established, notwithstanding the durational requirement. Such proof should confirm that it is the student's intention to make New York State his or her permanent home. International students are not eligible for New York State residency.

In determining domicile, all surrounding circumstances, in addition to the student's expressed intention, will be considered. Factors relevant to the determination of domicile include:

  • Federal and state income tax returns.
  • Utility bills.
  • Rent receipts or lease agreements.
  • Status of motor vehicle or other personal property registration.
  • Place of voter registration.
  • Residence of parents or spouse.
  • Military orders requiring transfer to New York State.
  • Address listed on bank statements.
  • Any other documents that tie a student to New York State.

Applications for Residency are available in 1Capen, on the ground floor of Capen Hall, on the North Campus. Completed applications and supporting materials should be returned to 1Capen.

Non-Degree Graduate Student Attendance

Students who hold a bachelor's degree are permitted to register for graduate coursework as non-degree students for a maximum of 12 credit hours. Information concerning this opportunity may be obtained from the individual department. Once registration reaches 12 hours, a service indicator will be placed on the student's academic record by the Graduate School prohibiting further registration until the student matriculates into a graduate degree program.

O

Oral Defense of a Doctoral Dissertation

The oral defense is a public event scheduled by the department and must be attended by the candidate's PhD dissertation committee and if required, the outside reader. At the discretion of the department, the defense-of-dissertation examination may take the form of a seminar with a more varied selection of participants. Examination questions will always include questions arising from the dissertation itself. In many cases, particularly ones in which departments have not required extensive examinations during the course of the student's tenure, questions will be more general and the examination longer.

Oral Defense of a Master's Thesis

A public oral-defense-of-thesis examination, scheduled by the student's department is required for all students who complete a master's thesis. The oral-defense-of-thesis is attended by the candidate's major professor (and graduate committee, if applicable), members of the faculty from the major department and the outside reader if one is required by the academic department or program. The department has the prerogative to open the "oral-defense-of-thesis" to a larger audience if that is desired.

P

PhD Candidacy Qualification

Qualifying to become a PhD candidate is a significant milestone along the path to program completion and is a gateway to the dissertation-preparation phase of the PhD program. Candidacy qualification may be accomplished through discipline-specific/program-defined assessment measures such as an oral and/or written comprehensive or preliminary qualifying exam; or a dissertation prospectus; or a preliminary paper or prospectus. Oversight and assessment of the candidacy qualification process is limited to members of the UB Graduate Faculty. Only students who successfully pass or complete the qualifying milestone may refer to themselves as a "doctoral candidate."

PhD Graduation Checklist

In order to graduate, the following must be on file in the Graduate School:

  • An approved Application to Candidacy (with all necessary attachments).
  • An M-form for PhD degrees - As the name implies, the M-form is used for several purposes. The form is submitted to the Graduate School by the department to certify that the defense of the dissertation was satisfactorily completed and that all academic requirements for the degree have been satisfied. This form must be signed by the major professor, the committee members and the director of graduate studies or chair of the department and must be submitted to the Graduate School by the deadlines established for each conferral date. Students should check with their departments to be sure this form is submitted on time.
  • Electronic submission of dissertation through the Graduate School's website.
  • Doctoral degree recipient survey requirement - Each doctoral student is required to complete two exit surveys before his or her degree may be conferred: The Doctoral Degree Recipients Survey (conducted by the University at Buffalo to collect data on a student’s experience in his or her degree program) and the Survey of Earned Doctorates (conducted by various agencies of the United States government to collect information from all doctoral candidates in the U.S.). The National Research Council publishes summaries of data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates annually. The surveys are available on the Graduate School website.

In addition, the Graduate School will verify satisfactory completion of all courses and minimum number of credits to be applied toward the degree.

PhD Requirements Overview

Before degree conferral is possible, all PhD candidates must:

  1. Maintain continuous registration until the PhD degree is conferred.
  2. Complete a minimum of 72 credit hours of graduate study. A minimum of 50 percent of the PhD program must consist of courses completed at UB and uniquely applied to that degree program (see the policy on course sharing).
  3. Complete UB's Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirement.
  4. Successfully complete an oral and/or written comprehensive or preliminary qualifying exam; or a dissertation prospectus; or a preliminary paper or prospectus.
  5. Submit an Application to Candidacy within the proper deadline dates for approval at the department, decanal, divisional committee (where required) and Graduate School levels.
  6. Complete and defend an acceptable doctoral dissertation.
  7. Complete additional requirements as the department or program might duly specify.

Posthumous Award of a Graduate Degree

In limited instances when certain conditions are satisfied, a posthumous degree may be awarded when a student dies prior to completing all of his/her graduate degree requirements. UB faculty (in consultation with the student's family) may request the posthumous conferral of the graduate degree in recognition of the work completed toward that degree at the time of the student's death.

The request for consideration of the posthumous award of the degree in question may emanate from either a member of the student's family or a UB faculty member. If the request originates from a family member, they should communicate those wishes to the department within which the student was pursuing the graduate degree. If the request originates from a faculty member, it is incumbent upon that faculty member to first seek the family’s concurrence that the degree be awarded posthumously to the student. The faculty member then directs a written request to the chair of the student’s department. The chair, in turn, submits a formal request for the awarding of the posthumous degree to the vice provost for graduate education/dean of the Graduate School (VPGE).

The posthumous award of a graduate degree will be considered providing that the student:

  • Had formally advanced to candidacy.
  • Was considered in good academic standing possessing a minimum graduate degree program grade point average of 3.0.
  • Had been actively pursuing the degree in an appropriate and timely manner at the time of death and had completed virtually all requirements of the degree program in question.
  • Was making satisfactory academic progress and was nearing completion of the final master's degree project or thesis or the doctoral dissertation.

The following documentation is required when filing the formal request:

  1. Departmental evidence of the extent to which the degree program was actually completed and a brief summary of any program requirements that had not been completed. This may include a copy of the application to candidacy, thesis/dissertation prospectus approval forms, evidence of passing qualifying exams or any other documentation deemed appropriate.
  2. A written letter of recommendation from the department chair supporting the conferral, together with correspondence from the instructors of any courses in which the student was enrolled at the time of death (including courses outside the department). Each such instructor should indicate the grade (if any) of the student's work in that course up to the time of death.

If the VPGE reaches a favorable decision in support of granting the degree, he/she will issue a letter authorizing the university registrar to confer the degree posthumously and issue a transcript and a diploma to the appropriate family member's current mailing address. In all such cases the degree will be awarded reflecting the next regular institutional conferral date (February 1, June 15 or September 1) following the date of the student's death.

If the VPGE determines that the degree will not be awarded posthumously, he/she will provide a letter to the chair of the student's department explaining the reason(s) for the denial. It shall be the responsibility of the Graduate School to advise the student's family if the request for posthumous degree conferral is denied.

Probation

Any graduate student who receives a grade of U, F or D in any course, or who indicates a lack of ability as determined by the director of graduate studies or student's academic advisor, will receive an immediate academic review. Upon completion of the academic review, the director of graduate studies may place the student on academic probation.

Students determined to be making unsatisfactory academic progress must be placed on academic probation. A probationary letter is issued to the student (with a copy to the advisor, if applicable) indicating the conditions that must be met and outlining an appropriate time frame in which to regain good academic standing in the graduate program. The outcome that will result if the conditions are not met must also be included in the probationary letter. Probationary letters will be made in writing by the director of graduate studies or department chair or designee at the end of the semester (mid-December or mid-May) and will indicate the terms of the probation and its removal. After the specified time frame outlined in the probation letter, the student must be sent a letter removing the probationary status or a dismissal letter or a second probationary letter with a new set of conditions for regaining good academic standing.

Project vs. Thesis

The difference between a master's thesis and a master's project is generally related to the extent and focus of the research, the formatting of the finished written product, the requirement to give an oral defense of the work and the final approval of the finished product.

A thesis is typically longer than a project and is a well-organized, thoroughly documented scholarly paper, detailing research purpose, methods, results, analysis and conclusions. Research for a thesis maybe more extensive than research for a project in terms of the amount required, but this varies with the individual and the discipline. While a thesis must be defended orally in a public forum, a project need not be so defended unless the department requires such a defense. Whereas a master's project only needs approval at the department level, a master's thesis must receive final approval from the Graduate School and will be kept in perpetuity in the university's thesis/dissertation database within the library.

R

Registration Prior to Degree Conferral

Students must be registered for at least one credit in the term immediately prior to degree conferral as indicated below:

  • Fall term registration is required if a student intends to finish degree requirements in time for the February 1 degree conferral.
  • Spring term registration is required if a student intends to finish degree requirements in time for the June 1 or September 1 degree conferral.

Registration Service Indicators

The Graduate School is responsible for processing registration service indicators (to prevent a student from registering) upon receipt of appropriate information from the academic department. Students who have been dismissed from a graduate program due to unsatisfactory academic progress will find a "GRD" service indicator on their record if they attempt to register. Such students may contact the chair of the department from which they were dismissed to seek advice regarding potential removal of this service indicator.

Students who have been registered as non-degree seeking students or who have not complied with departmental or Graduate School policies and procedures may also encounter a "GRD" service indicator when they attempt to register. These students should contact the Graduate School or the department through which they were previously enrolled to determine what is necessary to have the service indicator removed.

Departments wishing to have a "GRD" service indicator issued or removed should forward a letter or email to the Graduate School containing the following information:

  • Name of department.
  • Name of student.
  • Student's person number.
  • Semester or date for which service indicator action is effective.
  • Reason for service indicator action with documentation.
  • Name of the person requesting the service indicator action.

Reinstatement

A graduate student who has been officially dismissed and who seeks reinstatement shall submit a formal request for reinstatement, along with a supporting statement of explanation, to the chair of the academic department. The request shall be acted upon by the established procedure or review group appropriate to the particular graduate program. If a student is subsequently reinstated to the program from which he/she was dismissed or is admitted into another graduate program, the "GRD" service indicator will be removed from the student record by written request from the academic department to the Graduate School.

Repeating Courses

If a graduate student repeats a course that is not normally "repeatable" ("repeatable" courses include dissertation, research, thesis, project or portfolio guidance; independent study; directed readings, etc.), only the highest grade earned in the course will be counted toward the degree and used to calculate the grade point average associated with the graduate degree program requirements. However, the student's official graduate transcript will record all courses attempted (including repeated courses). All resulting grades earned are calculated in the cumulative GPA reflected on the students' final official transcript.

Research Involving Human Subjects

The State University of New York at Buffalo has established an Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations governing research involving human subjects. Since research comprises a vital part of graduate education and research may involve human subjects, graduate students must be aware of their responsibilities.

It is the policy of the university that all research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by a University Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) prior to initiation of the research. A student’s dean or director of graduate studies can direct him or her to the appropriate board.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training Requirement

All students admitted to a PhD program for the fall 2009 semester or thereafter are required to document successful completion of "Responsible Conduct of Research" (RCR) training when they submit their Application to Candidacy (ATC) for their PhD degree. This training requirement may be fulfilled by either (1.) enrolling in and passing with a grade of B (3.00) or better SSI 640 Graduate Research Ethics, LAI 648 Research Ethics or RPN 541 Ethics and Conduct of Research or (2.) completing the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) online Responsible Conduct of Research course with an average score of 80 percent or higher. Students opting to complete the CITI online course must supply documentation of its successful completion with their Application to Candidacy.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Online Program in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

The University at Buffalo has an institutional membership in the CITI online RCR program. That online program can be accessed through the CITI Program website.

Initially, the student needs to register and choose a password, which allows the program to be entered and re-entered as many time as needed. Also, the student is asked, at the time of initial registration, to enter his/her name, mailing address, phone number, email address and UB person number. A database of UB participants is created using that information.

There are four versions of the CITI online RCR course from which the student should choose the version most appropriate for his/her area of doctoral study: biomedical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, physical sciences or humanities. The RCR program is comprised of a series of modules, each of which consists of readings and case studies and ends with a quiz covering the material. The program allows the student to enter and exit at any point and to re-take the quiz associated with each section. A minimum total score of 80 percent is required to pass the online course. Assistance is available online at the CITI website if any technical difficulties are encountered.

Once the student has successfully completed the appropriate version of the CITI RCR program with a passing grade of 80 percent or higher, he/she must print the "Completion Report" from within the CITI program as documentation of successful completion and submit it with the PhD degree Application to Candidacy.

Returning Student Semester Record Activation and Associated Fee

Academic departments may file a semester record activation request for graduate students who were previously admitted into an academic program through GrAdMIT and had a break in attendance of no more than five years and had neglected to secure an approved leave of absence from the Graduate School. Once reviewed and approved by the vice provost for graduate education, a new semester record will be created with exactly the same academic career, program and plan as recorded for the last semester in which the student attended UB. At the time of semester record activation, the student will be assessed a non-refundable record activation fee (currently $350).

It is the prerogative of the academic department to decide whether or not to process/endorse a former student’s request for semester record activation and return to graduate study as described in the previous paragraph. The department also determines how much of the previously completed work may be applied toward the graduate degree program, within established Graduate School guidelines.

Any graduate student who has had an enrollment lapse of more than five years must reapply through the graduate program’s regular application process.

Review of the Dissertation

The dissertation must be examined and approved by the candidate's PhD dissertation committee and if required by the student’s home department, by an outside reader.

S

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Criteria for Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

For financial aid purposes, a graduate student must:

  • Maintain a 2.75 overall graduate grade-point-average (GPA), and
  • complete 75 percent of all credits attempted per term.

in order to be considered making satisfactory academic progress for purposes of continued federal aid eligibility. Any student whose graduate GPA falls below a 2.75, or who completes less than 75 percent of all attempted credits per term, will be considered making unsatisfactory academic progress.

For more information about UB's graduate SAP criteria for federal aid eligibility please refer to the Office of Financial Aid website.

SPEAK Test

The SPEAK test is used for all international students who have been offered assistantships as well as for departments that currently require the SPEAK test as part of their own admission process. The speaking section of the TOEFL iBT cannot be used to replace the SPEAK test.

Standardized Test Requirement for PhD Level

Submission of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other appropriate standardized national exam (e.g., Miller Analogies Test [MAT]) is required for admission to all PhD programs at UB, within five years of application to a UB doctoral level program. However, there is no specified minimum test score for admission consideration or actual admission. Departments interested in admitting PhD applicants without a GRE or other approved standardized test score must petition the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services and provide necessary documentation (transcripts, essays, recommendation letters, etc.) supporting their case.

Summer Session Attendance

Currently enrolled UB graduate students need only to register in order to attend summer sessions. Students enrolled in graduate programs at other universities or students who have completed a baccalaureate degree may register as non-degree students for the summer session. Non-degree students must first secure the approval of the appropriate department or faculty member for each graduate level course to be taken.

T

Teaching and Grading of Graduate Level Courses

Instruction of graduate students is not limited to members of UB’s Graduate Faculty. Academic departments are free to use their judgment in determining those individuals who are deemed suitably qualified, by virtue of their academic training and professional experience, to provide high quality and relevant instruction at the graduate level. Consult the Graduate School for more information regarding the suitability of individuals to instruct at the graduate level at UB.

Graduate level courses should normally be taught by members or associate members of the UB Graduate Faculty. On occasion, other suitably qualified UB faculty (not graduate students) who have adjunct, visiting or other qualified rank appointments may also teach graduate level courses. Due to conflict of interest and other risks, regardless of appointment type (e.g., teaching assistant, graduate assistant, research assistant, lecturer, instructor, etc.), graduate students may not be the primary instructor or the determiner of final grades for any graduate level course. Exceptions to this restriction can only be made on a case-by-case basis by the dean of the Graduate School and will be considered only under extraordinary circumstances.

Teaching Responsibilities for International Graduate Students

International students expected to have teaching duties and who achieve a score of 55 or 60 on the SPEAK (from a total of 60 scored in five-point increments) are automatically certified to teach lecture, seminar, recitation and lab classes. Those students with a score of 50 are given opportunity to demonstrate their communication skills by means of a teaching demonstration before representatives from the ELI Program and their own department, in order to determine eligibility to teach. A teaching demonstration is only at the request of the student's department and can be requested even for a student with a SPEAK score below 50, if the department feels that the test results do not completely reflect the student's true abilities.

Students whose scores are below 55 on the SPEAK test are advised or even required to take Communication Skills for International Teaching Assistants (ESL 512) before being allowed to take on any teaching duties, regardless of the TOEFL score used for admission purposes. This is a graduate-level training course, offered each fall and spring, that provides instruction and practice in oral communication skills and fundamental teaching techniques. Participants in this course prepare a series of microteaching presentations, which are videotaped. The students and instructor review these presentations. Upon completion of this course, teaching assistants take the SPEAK test again and are re-evaluated to determine competence for assuming teaching responsibilities.

Students expected to have teaching responsibilities, but whose SPEAK scores are 35 or less are advised to take Advanced Spoken English (ESL 411/412) as a precursor to ESL 512. The English Language Institute also offers a pronunciation course in the evening, to assist students who desire to reduce their accent. It is recommended that these students be assigned reduced duties and responsibilities until they have satisfactorily completed ESL 512.

Students who cannot pass ESL 512 within two semesters (fall and spring) after entering the university will not be permitted to teach or supervise undergraduate students. The English Language Institute communicates such failures to the academic department and works with them to help the student. Directors of graduate study should work with international students to integrate them into the department and encourage them to speak the English language during the time they are registered for ESL 512.

Thesis/Dissertation in a Foreign Language

Students who wish to write their dissertation or thesis in a language other than English (except those in the department of romance languages and literatures) must obtain prior approval from the Executive Committee of the Graduate School. A petition for such approval must include reasons why the work cannot be written as effectively in English as in the other language. In addition, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Students must demonstrate an adequate command of the language prior to undertaking their projects.
  2. The topic of the thesis or dissertation must be extensively represented (i.e., include primary and/or secondary sources) in the foreign language in which the thesis or dissertation is to be written.
  3. The members of the thesis or dissertation committee must all read the language fluently (i.e., with sufficient ease and accuracy to enable them to determine the quality of work).
  4. A lengthy and detailed summary or translation in English of the thesis or dissertation must be supplied by the candidate to the department for the oral defense.
  5. The topical examination and oral defense must be conducted in English.

Time Limits for Degree Conferral

Master's degrees must be completed within four years from the student's first registration date in that master's degree program. Doctoral degrees must be completed within seven years from the student's initial formal matriculation in that doctoral program. Requests for extensions of time limits must be petitioned using the Extension of Time Limit to Complete a Degree Program form. Each divisional or area committee may establish its own stricter policies within the constraints of these overarching institutional policies.

TOEFL Exam on Arrival/Deferral

Departments can petition the Graduate School for a TOEFL deferral. A granted deferral results in the student being examined upon arrival at UB. Examine-on-arrival means the student sits for an institutional paper-and-pencil TOEFL test offered through UB's English Language Institute (ELI). Examine-on-arrival tests are offered on specific dates/times during the International Student Orientation prior to each semester. When a student is granted a TOEFL deferral, the department's acceptance letter must clearly state:

  • Examine-on-arrival is being offered.
  • A specific minimum score must be met in order to matriculate into the degree program (see cut-off scores below).
  • Not meeting the minimum score requirement means the student cannot begin matriculated study and must enroll in UB English Language Institute classes (and no degree/academic subjects may be taken without permission from the director of the English as a Second Language [ESL] Programs, the director of ELI and the chair or director of graduate studies of the academic unit).
  • Costs for the ELI programs are in addition to the regular university costs and are borne by the student.

Based on the deferred examine-on-arrival TOEFL score, students may or may not be permitted to begin their academic program of study depending on the "arrival score" they earn.

Students who achieve an examine-on-arrival TOEFL score of at least 550 are exempt from further English language course requirements (with the exception of foreign teaching, research and graduate assistants, who may be required to register for ESL 512).

Students who achieve an examine-on-arrival TOEFL score between 537 and 547 may matriculate into their graduate program; these students will be required to register for one ESL course during their first semester of academic study and no more than a total of four courses, including supervised teaching and ESL courses, until they complete their ESL course requirement.

Students who achieve an examine-on-arrival TOEFL score between 523 and 533 may matriculate into their graduate program; these students will be required to register for two ESL courses during their first semester of academic study and no more than a total of four courses, including supervised teaching and ESL courses, until they complete their ESL course requirement.

Students who score below 523 may not matriculate into their graduate program. These students must enroll in an intensive language ELI program. Students required to complete an intensive English program may not register for any academic courses while they are enrolled in the Intensive English Program.

TOEFL Minimum Requirements

Although departments may require higher scores, the university's official minimum score for the TOEFL is 79 for the internet-based test (iBT) or 550 for the paper-based test (PBT). UB does not currently require minimum cut-off scores for the four individual subsections. However graduate admission committees are advised to examine and consider section scores as they are relevant to the linguistic needs and expectations of their departments. Although there is no required minimum section score, most accepted students are expected to achieve the following section scores:

Reading: 19/30
Listening: 15/30
Speaking: 19/30
Writing: 19/30

TOEFL scores must be dated within two years of the time the application is reviewed by International Admissions in GrAdMIT. Scores must be sent directly to UB by the testing agency.

Transcripts

Official transcripts of record are sent from the Office of the Registrar at the student's request or may also be given to students in a sealed envelope. Students may use the HUB Student Center through the MyUB portal to print unofficial copies at any time while they are enrolled at UB. Official transcripts can be sent directly to a college, institution or company upon student request. Transcripts cannot be issued for any student whose financial obligations to the university have not been met.

Transfer Credits

The Graduate School will consider for transfer credit graduate-level coursework from nationally accredited institutions of higher education, as well as graduate-level coursework from any international institution that UB recognizes as equivalent to a nationally accredited institution.

Only those graduate courses completed at accredited or recognized international institutions and with grades of full B or better are eligible for transfer credit. Courses with grades of S or P are eligible for transfer except when the transfer institution’s grading policy equates S or P with lower than a full B grade.

Transfer Credit Limits

Advanced Certificates

A minimum of 90 percent of all credits applied to a UB advanced certificate credential must be comprised of UB credit. The advanced certificate is an official post-baccalaureate credential in New York State. However, it is not considered a degree program. Therefore, all credits satisfactorily completed for a UB advanced certificate, may also count toward a relevant UB graduate degree. Academic programs may have stricter transfer limits.

Master’s Degrees

No more than 20 percent of a master's program may be comprised of credits from another graduate degree program. For example, students pursuing a 30-credit UB master's degree may transfer up to six graduate credits either from UB, or other accredited institutions, into their program. Students pursuing a 45-credit master's degree program may transfer up to nine graduate credits.

Doctoral Degrees

Transfer credits for the doctoral degree may not constitute more than 50 percent of the total credits of that specific degree program.

Courses transferred from another institution into the graduate division will be transferred with full semester credit value. Conversion of credits from trimester, quarterly and other calendar systems will be completed based on nationally accepted standards: i.e., trimester hours are equivalent to semester credits, however quarterly hours are equivalent to two-thirds semester credits.

Transfer Credit Process

The director of graduate studies or chair of the student's home department must first formally evaluate any transfer coursework for its applicability toward any particular graduate program of study. Once transfer credits are deemed appropriate and applicable by the department, the student files a Graduate Student Petition for Transfer Credit form during the student's first year of matriculation to UB. Upon receipt of the transfer credit petition, the Graduate School will evaluate credit and grade equivalences, and verify the courses were completed at an accredited or recognized institution. UB must receive a final official transcript from the transfer institution before the transfer credits may be formally approved and recorded on the student's UB record.

U

Undergraduate Student Access to Graduate Courses

Prior to receipt of the baccalaureate degree, a UB undergraduate student may register for up to nine credits at the graduate level which may later be applied to a graduate, professional or advanced certificate program at UB. In order to exercise this option, the student must have the permission of the department offering the graduate course(s) and possess a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 at the time of graduate course enrollment. Note that the graduate credit hour limit described above does not apply to students formally admitted to, and currently enrolled in, an SED-registered combined undergraduate/graduate degree program at UB, provided that the graduate courses taken are part of that student's specific combined degree program.

Any graduate level courses successfully petitioned for use at the undergraduate level are not included in the nine credit limit. However, a graduate level course applied toward an undergraduate degree cannot also be applied toward a graduate degree.

Use of Dual-Listed Courses Toward Both an Undergraduate and a Graduate Degree Program

Dual-listed courses that are taken at the undergraduate level and applied toward an undergraduate degree cannot be taken later at the graduate level and applied toward a post-baccalaureate degree or advanced certificate if the student received a B grade or higher in the undergraduate level offering.

Use of Historical Coursework Toward a Current Graduate Degree Program

Coursework more than 10 years old, whether from another institution or from UB, that is to be included in a current graduate degree program must be petitioned at the time of the student’s matriculation to the program. The student should submit a Use of Historical Coursework Petition upon admission to the graduate program to determine whether such courses and associated graduate credits can be applied toward the current degree program requirements. The director of graduate studies reviews the coursework to determine whether the content of those courses is still relevant and applicable and the student must demonstrate his/her continued knowledge of the course content.

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