Grading Policies

Good academic standing means that a student is making acceptable progress towards a graduate degree or certificate. All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their degree programs.

Academic Standards

An Educational Leadership and Policy Academic Standards Review Board has been established for determining whether or not a student is in good academic standing, the course of action a student should pursue to be considered in good academic standing and evaluating student compliance with the terms of probation. The Review Board is appointed annually by the Chair, subject to ratification by the Department. It consists of the Chair of the Department, two faculty drawn equally from the Department areas, and an advanced doctoral student representative. An academic review takes place when one or more of the following occurs:

  1. A student receives a grade of U, D, or F in any graduate course;
  2. A student's Grade Point Average (GPA) falls below 3.0;
  3. A student fails his/her preliminary exam(s) (SPF) or interface(s) (EDA) two times;
  4. A student fails to produce an acceptable dissertation proposal within two years after taking preliminary exams/research qualifying paper. If a member of the Review Board is the advisor of a student being reviewed for reason #4, then he/she will be replaced for that student's case by another faculty member from the same Department area.
  5. A student studying for a MEd degree fails to satisfy all requirements for the degree within five years of matriculation, or by the date of any approved extension, or a student studying for a PhD or EdD* degree fails to satisfy all requirements for the degree within seven years of matriculation or by the date of an approved extension. (*Effective date for EdD degree is for students admitted Fall semester 1995 and later.)
  6. A student studying for a degree who fails to satisfy all requirements for the degree by the conferral date specified on the Applicant to Candidacy form (MEd & PhD) and the Statement of Program form (EdD).

Monitoring of student progress is the responsibility of the Chair. When a student becomes subject to an academic review, the ELP Academic Review Board confers with the student's advisor. The student and/or his/her representative has the opportunity to discuss his/her case with the Academic Review Board. If it is determined that the student is to be placed on probation, the Review Board will set the terms of academic probation. The Chair will notify the student in writing of the terms of the probation. If a student does not meet the terms of probation within the period stated by the Academic Review Board, the student's degree program will be terminated. Appeal may be taken to the Board solely for purposes of showing extenuating circumstances. When the terms of the probation set out by the Board are met, the student is again considered a student in good standing and is so notified.

Incomplete Grades (I)

A grade of "Incomplete" (I) may be given only in those instances in which the student has not been able to complete all the assigned projects and/or examinations in a course due to illness or other unforeseeable and compelling circumstances. "Incompletes" are not available to students who have not satisfactorily completed the other academic requirements of the course. "Incomplete" should not be used for dissertation guidance, theses, or projects in which continuing registration is required by the University. If an "I" is given, a letter grade must be assigned after no more than two additional semesters plus the intervening summer as established by the academic calendar. If the course requirements are not completed by that date, the "Incomplete" will automatically be changed to an "Unsatisfactory" (U) grade. Individual instructors may set their own conditions for removing an "Incomplete" as long as the time limit is not longer than the time limit specified in Section b above. Each instructor must clearly state his or her policy with respect to "Incompletes" so that all students in the class are fully aware of that policy. If there is a valid reason for waiving the deadline for removing an "Incomplete" grade, the student may submit a petition to The Graduate School prior to the deadline. The petition should include:

  • Reason the grade cannot be removed within the specified time period. Acceptable justifications include: Instructor on sabbatical/left University, student on official leave of absence, computer hardware/software problems, equipment inaccessibility, and unavailability of reading materials. Documentation should be provided where possible.
  • Permission of the instructor who originally gave the "Incomplete" and of the chair of the instructing department.

Once an "Incomplete" is changed to a "U" grade, the course, if offered again, may be repeated for credit.

Academic Dishonesty

The University community depends upon shared academic standards. Academic dishonesty in any form by any member of the University community represents a fundamental impairment of these standards. All alleged cases of academic dishonesty are adjudicated in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedures for Academic Infractions. Copies of the procedure are available from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Room 542 Capen Hall.

A. The following actions constitute major forms, but not exclusively all forms, of academic dishonesty among students:

  1. submission: 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
  2. plagiarism: copying or receiving material from a source or sources and submitting this material as one's own without acknowledging the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic ideas), or otherwise representing the work of another as one's own
  3. cheating: receiving information, or soliciting information, from another student, with the intent to deceive while completing an examination or individual assignment
  4. falsification of academic materials: fabricating laboratory materials, notes, reports, or any forms of computer data; forging an instructor's name or initials; resubmitting for reevaluation an examination or assignment that 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
  5. procurement, distribution or acceptance of examinations, laboratory results, or confidential academic materials without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.

B. Unlawful Sale of Dissertations, Theses and Term Papers:

  1. No person shall, for financial consideration, or the promise of financial consideration, prepare, offer to prepare, cause to be prepared, sell or offer for sale to any person any written material that the seller knows, is informed or has reason to believe is intended for submission as a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment by a student in a university, college, academy, school or other educational institution to such institution or to a course, seminar or degree program held by such institution.
  2. No person shall sell or offer for sale to any person enrolled in the State University of New York at Buffalo any computer assignment, or any assistance in the preparation, research, or writing of a computer assignment intended for submission in fulfillment of any academic requirement.

Grievance Procedures

Matriculated or non-matriculated students in EdM or EdD programs in the Graduate School of Education who believe they have cause for grievance shall follow the grievance procedures of the Graduate School of Education, copies of which are available in the Dean's Office and the Department Office. Students pursuing MA, MS, or PhD degrees should follow the grievance procedures of the Graduate School reported in the Graduate School Polices and Procedures Manual, also available in the Graduate School of Education Dean's Office and the Department Office.

Student Access To Their Own Files

An Educational Leadership and Policy student has the right to peruse his/her file according to the following procedure:

  1. A student wanting to review his/her file should ask the program secretary in the Department Office to give it to his/her advisor. The advisor will be requested to review the file and remove any documents to which the student does not have legal access.
  2. Because student files are an integral part of the academic advisement process and it is important that faculty have continuing access to these data, student files should be used only in the Department Office or his/her advisor's office.
  3. The student file must be returned intact to the advisor or the program secretary who will return it to the Department office.