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South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

— Science and Engineering since 1885 —

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

    South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
   
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 SDSM&T Academic Catalog

Grade Policies


Graduate Grading System:

The grades listed in this section can be assigned to all courses with course numbers of 500 or greater. Plus and minus grades are not used.

1. Coursework Final Grades

A Exceptional
4.00 grade points per semester hour.

B Good
3.00 grade points per semester hour.

C Average
2.00 grade points per semester hour.

D Unsatisfactory
1.00 grade point per semester hour.

F Failure
0.00 grade points per semester hour.

S Satisfactory
Does not calculate into any GPA. This is the grade that will appear on a transcript for a successfully completed course taken with the pass/fail option or for research credits (see below).

U Unsatisfactory
Does not calculate into any GPA.
This is the grade that will appear on a transcript for failing to complete a pass/fail course or research credits (see below).

W Withdrawal
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted.

AU Audit
Does not calculate into any GPA. An audit (AU) grade may be granted only when the student has elected the AU option on, or prior to, the census date of the term.

2. Incomplete Grades

I     Incomplete
Does not calculate into any GPA.  An incomplete (I) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. A student has encountered extenuating circumstances that do not permit him/her to complete the course.
  2. The student must be earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete is requested. Anticipated course failure is not a justification for an incomplete.
  3. The student does not have to repeat the course to meet the requirements.
  4. The instructor must agree to grant an incomplete grade.
  5. The instructor and student must agree on a plan to complete the coursework.
  6. The coursework must be completed within one calendar year of the last date of the semester of the course in question.  Extensions may be granted by the dean of graduate education.
  7. If the student completes the course within the specified time, the grades that may be assigned are A, B, C, D, F, S, or U.
  8. If the student does not complete the course within the specified time the incomplete grade remains on the transcript.

IP  In Progress
Does not calculate into any GPA.  An in progress (IP) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. The requirements for the course (for every student enrolled in the course) extend beyond the current term.
  2. The extension beyond the current term must be defined before the class begins.
  3. The instructor must request permission to award IP grades for a course from his or her department head or program coordinator and from the dean of graduate education.  Then approval must be obtained from the vice president for academic affairs.
  4. A definite date for completion of the course must be established in the course syllabus.

3.  Research Grades

S      Satisfactory
Does not calculate into any GPA.  This is a final grade for a research course (including thesis or dissertation research).

U     Unsatisfactory
Does not calculate into any GPA. This is a final grade for a research course (thesis or dissertation research).

NP  Normal Progress
Does not calculate into any GPA.  A normal progress (NP) grade calculates into attempted credits but does not calculate into completed credits.  Research grades do count toward attempted credits once a final grade of S or U is assigned.  A normal progress (NP) grade may be granted by an instructor when the instructor determines that a graduate student is making normal progress in a graduate Thesis/Dissertation course.  This is intended to be an intermediate grade which should be changed to ‘S’ or ‘U’ upon completion of the course requirements.

4.  Additional Grading Options

NR     Grade not reported by the Instructor
Does not calculate into any GPA.

EX      Credit by Exam
Does not calculate into any GPA.  An examination for credit (EX) grade may be granted only for non-course credit validation obtained through a validation process.  This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

CR     Credit
Does not calculate into any GPA.  A credit (CR) grade may be granted only for non-course credit that is not related to an examination or to equating transfer grades to the Regental grading system.  This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

TR      Transcripted
Does not calculate into any GPA and no credit is granted.

LR      Lab grade linked to Recitation Grade
0 credit course.

Advanced Degree Grade Requirements

To qualify for any advanced degree, the faculty has stipulated that the following requirements must be satisfied:

  1. The student must earn a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA for all 300 through 800 numbered courses taken in all departments which appear on the graduate transcript.  In addition, the student must also have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for courses taken in his/her major department after admission to the graduate program, or taken for graduate credit at the School of Mines as an undergraduate or special student. Note that thesis and dissertation research credit hours and grades will not be counted in the determination of these grade point averages.  Only courses listed on the graduate transcript are used for computing the graduate GPA.
  2. The student must earn a C grade or better in any graduate course (500 through 800 level), which is indicated to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form.
  3. The student must earn a B grade or better in any 300 or 400 level course which is indicated to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form.
  4. The student’s thesis or dissertation research must be of a quality to earn a final grade of S.
  5. A student who fails any course within their discipline as defined by their department/program must repeat the course with a passing grade as defined above. The student may petition through his or her advisor or major professor to the dean of graduate education for an exception to this rule.
  6. The student cannot apply any credit hours or grades for 100 and 200 level courses (which are usually taken to overcome academic deficiencies) toward advanced degree requirements.  If, in the opinion of the student’s major professor and graduate student advisory committee, progress in these courses is unsatisfactory, additional work may be required to demonstrate proficiency.
  7. Of credits counted for an advanced degree, not more than 50 percent of the credit hours in any graduate program can be at the 500 level or below.  Exceptions must be approved by the dean of graduate education.

If a course is repeated for a passing or improved grade, only the grade for the last attempt will be included in the computation of the cumulative grade-point average shown on the graduate student’s transcript.

The final research grades for a completed program will be issued as either U for Unsatisfactory or S for Satisfactory.  These S and U grades will not be used in the computation of grade-point averages. The number of credit hours allowed to be counted toward degree requirements is identified in the relevant sections under Master of Science and doctor of philosophy degree programs.

Course Retake Policy

A student will be allowed a total of 2 registrations for any particular graduate course (course numbers of 500 and above) for which credit is to be counted toward graduation.  The student must petition the dean of graduate education and obtain the dean’s approval to be permitted to take a graduate course more than 2 times.  Only the LAST attempt of the course will count in the grade point average calculations. A student will be allowed multiple registrations for certain graduate courses for which credit toward graduation may be received more than once (e.g., Independent Study, Thesis, Research, etc.).  Grades for such courses, where applicable, will be used for grade point average calculations. Please note that individual departments/programs may limit the number of credits allowed toward graduation in these types of courses.

Pass/Fail Option for Graduate Students

The following policy pertains to the pass/fail option at the graduate level:

  1. 100 and 200 level courses, either within or outside of the department, which cannot be applied for credit toward a graduate degree may (with the consent of the student’s major professor and graduate student advisory committee) be taken on a pass/fail basis under the same rules that apply to undergraduate students.
  2. 300 through 800 level courses outside of the student’s department/program may (with the consent of the student’s major professor and graduate student advisory committee) be taken on a pass/fail basis except that a C grade shall be considered the lowest passing grade.  The maximum number of hours of pass/fail work for which a M.S. degree student may receive credit will be 6 for the thesis option and 9 for the non-thesis option.
  3. No 300 through 800 level courses offered by the student’s major department/program may be taken for credit under the pass/fail option. Beyond the master’s level, the pass/fail option may be exercised at the discretion of the graduate student advisory committee but must still be approved by the dean of graduate education.

Probation and Reinstatement Policy

An applicant who has a large number of deficiencies, or whose undergraduate record is below admissions standards, may be admitted to the graduate program on probationary status.  For a student admitted on probation, a deficiency in grade requirements during the first semester of enrollment may be considered sufficient grounds for terminating the student’s enrollment in the graduate program.  Such a termination decision will be made by the dean of graduate education after consulting with the student’s major professor and the department head or program coordinator.

A current graduate student who does not meet the following requirements (items 1-7 below) during any semester will be placed on probation and will be informed by the dean of graduate education.  A failure to remove the deficiencies during the following semester may be considered sufficient grounds for terminating the student’s enrollment in the graduate program.  Assistantships are not available to students on probation unless an exception is granted by the dean of graduate education.

Probation imposed because of grade deficiencies in specific courses (items 2 and 3 below) will continue each semester until the course has been retaken and an acceptable grade has been received.  Probation imposed because of overall GPA deficiencies (item 1 below) will continue each semester until the GPA reaches the acceptable level.

A student will be placed on probation for a U grade received for research credit(s).  Because a U is a final grade, probation will be maintained until at least one subsequent S credit is awarded.  A student may graduate with “U” grades, but must also accumulate S grades for the required minimum number of research credits in a given advanced degree program.  A student who has transferred from a thesis to a non-thesis program and who has received U grades as the last research grades in the thesis program will be admitted to the new program on a probationary status.  Such probation may be removed by satisfactory progress (according to the usual performance criteria) during the first semester in the new program.

In addition to probation triggered by academic performance, a student may be placed on probation for failing to meet programmatic or institutional requirements.  Probation for such deficiencies will be removed after the requirement has been satisfied.  A student’s probationary status will be reviewed at the close of each semester for appropriate action: removal from probation, continuation of probation, or termination.  A student may petition the dean of graduate education for reconsideration of a termination decision.  (Refer to section on Appeal Procedure.)

  1. A student must maintain a B (3.00) or better grade point average in all 300 through 800 level courses that appear on the graduate transcript at SDSM&T.  Thesis and dissertation research credit hours and grades will not be counted in the determination of this GPA.
  2. A student must earn no less than a C (2.00) grade in any graduate course (500 through 800 level), which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form.
  3. A student must earn no less than a B (3.00) in any 300 or 400 level course taken for graduate credit, and which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form.
  4. A student’s thesis or dissertation research must be of a quality to warrant the issuance of a final grade of S or an interim grade of NP.  A research grade of U will result in the student being placed on probation.
  5. A student must earn no less than a B (3.00) in any deficiency course required by the graduate student advisory committee even though the course cannot be applied toward a graduate degree.
  6. A student must pass all courses taken on the pass-fail basis.  (Refer to section on Pass/Fail Option for Graduate Students.)
  7. A student must remove all other program deficiencies, such as meeting stated deadlines for applicable qualifying, comprehensive, and final examinations; selection of a graduate student advisory committee; and filing of a satisfactory program of study in the Office of Graduate Education.

Appeal Procedure

Procedures for appealing or petitioning for a variance from certain policies, when such variances are permitted in unusual or exceptional circumstances, are set forth in the relevant sections of this document.  Appeals or petitions involving such matters as grade changes from F or I to W must be lodged with the Academic Appeals Committee through the vice president for academic affairs, after review by the dean of graduate education.

Appeals concerning probation, suspension, or potential variances in academic graduate policy should first be lodged with the student’s major department/program.  Before rendering a decision on the appeal, the department head or program coordinator will seek a recommendation from the student’s graduate student advisory committee.  If the student is not satisfied with the decision on the appeal, the student may petition the dean of graduate education for reconsideration of the appeal.  The Council of Graduate Education may be called upon to render a decision in such cases.

For situations not covered above, or if the student is dissatisfied with a prior appeal decision, he/she should seek the advice of the dean of graduate education or the dean of students to determine what recourse is available to assist in seeking a solution.