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Degree Standards

Graduate School Policies

B.000 - Degree Standards
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B1.000- Defining Degree Standards

The University of Montana bestows substantial freedom on departments and schools to define their own degree structures; current information about particular programs may best be obtained by contacting the chair or dean of the program directly. University regulations, curricula, and fee schedules are subject to change without notice, and students in degree programs are responsible for meeting degree requirements and procedural deadlines.


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B2.000- Grades


Students must maintain a B average in courses taken for graduate credit at The University of Montana; no grade below C will be accepted toward any degree requirement. The student is automatically on academic probation if the cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, and the program or the Graduate School may place limits on the time for the student to remediate the academic problem.

B2.100 - Pass grades are not included in grade point calculations, but may apply toward degree requirements when earned in courses offered only on a Pass/Not Pass basis.

B2.200 - Credit grades are not included in grade point calculations, but may apply toward degree requirements when earned in courses offered only on a Credit/No Credit basis.

B2.300 - Only N (Continuation), NCR (no credit received) and CR (credit) grades are awarded for research, thesis and dissertation work. The grades of CR and NCR are not defined in terms of their relationship to traditional grades for graduate courses, but rather if the student completed the required work or not. Grades of I (Incomplete) not removed within one year revert to the alternate grade, usually F, or a grade assigned by the instructor when the incomplete is submitted.

B2.400 - The process for challenging courses provided in the UM General Catalog is not applicable for graduate credit.

B2.500 - In UG (undergraduate or graduate) designated 400-level courses, graduate students will be evaluated in a manner different from that of undergraduate students, and will complete an additional increment of graduate-level work as assigned by the instructor.  Beginning Fall Semester 2011, 300-level courses will not be applied toward a Master's or Doctoral degree.

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B3.000- Continuous Registration


Graduate students in degree programs must register for credits each Fall and Spring Semester (with exceptions including some distance learning programs or the School of Education where students may be registering primarily in the Summer).

B3.100 - To ensure that costs for services are covered for continuing graduate students, a continuous registration requirement of three credits per semester is mandatory, except in documented and approved instances such as the following and for which registration of at least one credit is required. This policy applies to the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters) and to those students whose academic year may be an exception such as spring-summer or summer-fall). It does not apply to on-line, off-campus only programs.

1.)     International assignment with an NGO, Peace Corps, etc. as a program requirement (program registration documentation)
2.)     Parental leave or major illness (documented by physician, psychologist, etc.)
3.)     Extended family-leave due to illness (documented by physician, psychologist, etc.)
4.)     Significant off-campus field assignment (documented by department chair and dean).
5.)     Post-defense periods in which there is thesis, dissertation, or professional paper clean up only (no registration is required for one month); after one month, one-credit registration is requiredfor one semester; beyond one semester, three-credits continuous registration is required

 
Application for exception to the three credit mandatory continuous registration policy should occur using the following procedures:

1.)     All exceptions must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
2.)     All requests for exception should be submitted to the Graduate Dean before the first day of classes for the semester for which an exception is requested.
3.)     Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis, except for programmatic exceptions (e.g. ICD program in Resource Conservation, IYFD program in Education) which can be requested by a programmatic memorandum from the program director to the Graduate Dean. The memorandum from the program director will constitute suitable documentation.
4.)     Parental or major illness and extended family leave exception requests should be in the form of a memorandum from the major professor (adviser) to the Graduate Dean, and suitable documentation (from physician, psychologist, other medical professional, etc.) should be included as an attachment.
5.)     Significant off-campus field assignment (domestic or foreign) exception requests for each student should be in the form of a memorandum to the Graduate Dean from the major professor (adviser) and endorsed by the department chair and dean. This memorandum will constitute suitable documentation.
6.)     Exception request memoranda need not be lengthy, but should include the specific request including the student's name and student identification number, the reason for the request, and any supporting documentation.

Additional Note (not part of the continuous registration policy):
 
In addition to this continuous registration policy, the Graduate School allows a one-semester leave of absence with no penalty (See Policy B3.200), with approval by the Dean of the Graduate School. The form for requesting a leave of absence is available on the Graduate School web site. Since a leave of absence presumes the student is off-campus and not engaged in university activities, no university resources (except those available to the general public) are available during the leave of absence.

B3.200 - Students who step out of their graduate programs and who do not maintain continuous registration will be dropped from their program's roster and will need to petition their program and the Graduate School for readmission. The petition for readmission will require an evaluation of the student's progress and a plan with time-table for completing the degree. Not all students will be readmitted.

In an attempt to discourage students from stepping out of their programs without a leave of absence, the Graduate Council established a policy that readmitted students may be required to register for up to four credits not taken under continuous registration or additional terminal credits in their final term.


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B4.000 - Leave of Absence

The Graduate School allows a one-year leave-of-absence with no penalty with approval of the Graduate School (e.g., for parental, major illness, or personal need). The form for requesting a leave-of-absence is available on the Graduate School web site. Because a leave-of-absence presumes the student is off-campus and not engaged in university activities, no university resources (except those available to the general public) are available during the leave-of-absence.

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B5.000 - Dropping Out

Students who leave their graduate programs without prior permission from their program and the Graduate School, and who do not maintain continuous registration, will be dropped from their program's roster.  They will need to petition their program and the Graduate School for readmission. The petition for readmission will require an evaluation of the student's progress and a plan with timetable for completing the degree. Not all students will be readmitted.

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B6.000- Plagiarism Warning


Plagiarism is the appropriation or imitation of the language, ideas, and thoughts of another author and representing them as one's original work. It is a particularly intolerable offense in the academic community and is strictly forbidden. Students who plagiarize may fail the course and may be remanded to Academic Court for possible suspension or expulsion.

Students must always be very careful to acknowledge any kind of borrowing that is included in their work. This means not only borrowed wording but also ideas. Acknowledgement of whatever is not one's own original work is the proper and honest use of sources. Failure to acknowledge whatever is not one's own original work is plagiarism.


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B7.000- Student Conduct Code

To the extent a particular graduate program subjects its students to specific professional ethics, professional conduct or honor code, violation of any such code may subject a student to academic misconduct charges, general misconduct charges or both pursuant to The University of Montana Student Conduct Code. Refer to the general catalog or contact the Vice President for Student Affairs for information about the Student Conduct Code.


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