Graduate Student Relations

Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Students About Academic Policies and Procedures

If you have additional questions about academic policies or need assistance, please contact Graduate Student Relations.

What is UMUC's approach to academic integrity and plagiarism?

The UMUC Graduate School upholds the highest standard of academic integrity. As a graduate student, we expect you to maintain academic honesty and integrity in all of your class work.

If you have questions about how to maintain academic integrity in your courses, or would like to learn more about what constitutes plagiarism, contact your professor or program chair.

Additional resources about academic integrity are available through:

Incidents of academic dishonesty or plagiarism are handled according to UMUC's Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism policy. Contact your program chair, academic specialist, or Graduate Student Relations with any questions about these procedures.

What should I do if I disagree with a grade?

UMUC graduate faculty assign grades that accurately reflect the quality of the work you have completed in your classes. The grading standards are explained in your course syllabus. However, if you have a concern about a grade you have received, you may request a conference with your professor to discuss it. He or she may be able to resolve the issue with you. If the issue is not resolved through this initial conference, you may then contact your program chair.

For guidance about the policy regarding Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary & Capricious Grading, contact your program chair or Graduate Student Relations.

What is a grade of Incomplete ("I") and can I request it?

A grade of Incomplete ("I") may be temporarily assigned to students who have submitted satisfactory work, but have been unable to complete all course requirements because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control. Receiving an Incomplete grade allows these students to complete the requirements by a later date and earn a new grade.

You may be able to request a grade of "I" if you are unable to complete a course because of extenuating circumstances. To be eligible for consideration for an Incomplete grade, you must currently have a grade of "A" or "B" in the course and have completed at least 60 percent of the course work. You must contact your professor to make the request for an Incomplete grade prior to the end of the semester.

If your professor approves the request, he or she will set a late deadline for completing the remainder of the course work, giving you a chance to earn a new grade upon completion. You will be able to see this deadline and the work requirements by logging into MyUMUC.

For more information about the grade of "I," see the Policy on Grade of Incomplete policy or contact your academic specialist or program chair.

What is a mark of Withdrawal ("W") and how do I withdraw from a class?

Withdrawing from a class may be an option for students who have never attended, have stopped participating in class(es), or are unable to complete the semester, because it prevents them from receiving a failing grade that would negatively affect their cumulative grade point average (GPA).  A grade of Withdrawal ("W") appears on a student's transcript, but is not reflected in his or her GPA.  See the Policy on Course Withdrawal to learn more about the "W" grade.

Graduate students must officially withdraw from the course no later than the 65 percent point of the session.  Specific withdrawal deadlines are listed on the Academic Calendar.  If you are considering withdrawing, please read carefully through our official withdrawal procedures.

If you are a financial aid recipient, be sure to contact your financial aid advisor before withdrawing to determine if, or how, this will affect you.

What should I do if I have a question or concern about the curriculum or instruction in a class?

The UMUC Graduate School aims to offer highly relevant curriculum and instruction for your degree or certificate program and for the profession. However, should you ever have a question or concern about the curriculum or instruction in a class, please do not hesitate to request a conference with your professor to discuss it.

If the concern cannot be resolved through this initial conference, you should contact your program chair.

For guidance on filing a formal grievance, see the Student Grievance Procedures policy or contact Graduate Student Relations.

What is the time limit for completing my graduate program? What if I might be unable to complete the program within that time limit?

To ensure that your program remains relevant and up-to-date, the Graduate School sets time limits for applying course credit (including any transfer credit) to each degree or certificate program.

For more information about all requirements for completing your graduate program, see the Degree Completion Requirements for the Graduate School policy. If you are concerned that you may not complete all requirements within your time limit, contact your graduate advisor. The Graduate School can work with you to help you graduate within the set time limit.

Where can I find more information?

To review UMUC academic policies, see the Academic Policies Web site or the Student Handbook. You may also review the current graduate catalog. This is a PDF document that details your program's specific requirements.

If you have a question or concern, feel free to contact your academic specialist or program chair anytime. You may also contact Graduate Student Relations for guidance on complex situations and help resolving any academic policy issue you may have.