Academic Standards

Student status:

In Good Standing

To carry the designation “in good standing,” the student must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.000 (based on 4.00) in his or her graduate study. Students whose GPA drops below a 3.00 while in the program will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation

Graduate students must have a 3.00 cumulative GPA to be eligible to graduate. Graduate students whose cumulative GPA falls below a 3.000 will be placed on academic probation and will receive written notification of this status. At this point it is the student’s responsibility to meet with his or her advisor. In order to be removed from academic probation, the student will need to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.00 within his or her next term of study. Failure to do so may subject the student to immediate dismissal from the program at the discretion of the Program Director.

Grading

The Physician Assistant Institute letter grade system for courses is as follows:

Grade Quality Points
A 4.00
B + 3.5
B 3.00
C + 2.5
C 2.00
D 1.00 Considered Failing
F 0.00
S/U Courses in this grading category are not calculated in the GPA
I For Incomplete coursework
W Withdrawal from Course

Grading and Clerkship policy for the Clinical Year is as follows:

  • Clerkship grades will use the same scale as the didactic courses
  • It is the policy of the Institute that students are not allowed to arrange clinical sites for Required Clerkships. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Academic Integrity Policy

Students have the responsibility to be honest and to conduct themselves in an ethical manner while pursuing academic studies. Students have the right to be treated by faculty in a fair and conscientious manner in accordance with the ethical standards generally recognized within the academic community (as well as those recognized within the profession). Should a student be accused of a breach of academic integrity or have questions regarding faculty responsibilities, procedural safeguards including provisions of due process have been designed to protect student rights. It is the student’s responsibility to familiarize himself or herself with and adhere to the standards set forth in the policies on cheating and plagiarism in chapters 2 and 5 of the Key to UB (PDF)

Student Obligations

A student has an obligation to exhibit honesty and to respect the ethical standards of the profession in carrying out his or her academic assignments. Without limiting the application of this principle, a student may be found to have violated this obligation if he or she:

  • Refers during an academic evaluation to materials or sources, or employs devices, not authorized by the faculty member.
  • Provides assistance during an academic evaluation to another person in a manner not authorized by the faculty member.
  • Receives assistance during an academic evaluation from another person in a manner not authorized by the faculty member.
  • Engages in unauthorized possession, buying, selling, obtaining, or use of a copy of any materials intended to be used as an instrument of academic evaluation in advance of its administration.
  • Acts as a substitute for another person in any academic evaluation process.
  • Utilizes a substitute in any academic evaluation proceeding.
  • Practices any form of deceit in an academic evaluation proceeding.
  • Depends on the aid of others in a manner expressly prohibited by the faculty member, in the research, preparation, creation, writing, performing, or publication of work to be submitted for academic credit or evaluation.
  • Provides aid to another person, knowing such aid is expressly prohibited by the faculty member, in the research, preparation, creation, writing, performing, or publication of work to be submitted for academic credit or evaluation.
  • Presents as one’s own, for academic evaluation, the ideas, representations, or words of another person or persons without customary and proper acknowledgment of sources.
  • Submits the work of another person in a manner which represents the work to be one’s own.
  • Knowingly permits one’s work to be submitted by another person without the faculty member’s authorization.
  • Attempts to influence or change one’s academic evaluation or record for reasons other than achievement or merit.
  • Indulges, during a class (or examination) session in which one is a student, in conduct which is so disruptive as to infringe upon the rights of the faculty member or fellow students.
  • Fails to cooperate, if called upon, in the investigation or disposition of any allegation of dishonesty pertaining to a fellow student.
  • Violates the canons of ethics of the student’s professional discipline.

Academic Advising

Students will be assigned an academic advisor upon admission to the program. Students will meet with their advisor at least once per term to discuss progress and any problems they may be experiencing.

Remediation

Student progress will be monitored with enough frequency to ensure that deficiencies in students’ knowledge, skills and professionalism are identified in a timely fashion. Once identified, students with deficiencies will be required to enter the program’s remediation process. Students will meet with course directors and their faculty advisors to identify the nature and underlying causes of the problems. Opportunities for remediation will be identified and the program will work with students to their fullest ability. Remedial actions may include referral for tutoring, time management, study skills enhancement, test taking strategies, and/or personal counseling. Faculty advisors will meet regularly with students for documentation and follow-up. For further details please refer to the full policy in Appendix A of the student handbook..

Didactic Appeals Process

A student may appeal a grade, first to the instructor and then to the Director of Academic Affairs and finally the Director. If after appeal to the Director, a student remains unsatisfied, then an appeal may be presented to the Progress and Promotions committee. In this latter instance, the appeal must be based on substantive academic grounds.

Clinical Clerkship Appeals Process

A student may appeal a grade, first to the Director of Clinical Education and finally the Director. Students may not contact the preceptor to change an evaluation. All appeals are handled through the Institute office. If after appeal to the Director, a student remains unsatisfied, then an appeal may be presented to the Progress and Promotions committee. In this latter instance, the appeal must be based on substantive academic grounds.

Progress and Promotions

Each student will be presented by the faculty to the progress and promotions committee. The committee meets toward the end of the didactic period and once again prior to graduation. The committee is charged with the responsibility to assure that students are maintaining progress. If a student is not progressing as expected the committee may make recommendations for remediation or dismissal. The committee may also address grade appeals that are have not been resolved.

Student Grievance Policy:

Students have the right to grievance procedure established by the university. It is expected that a student who wishes to implement this process will first present the issue to the Program Director in confidence. If this option is not viable, a student should follow the process as outlined in the university policy.

Program Withdrawal

Any student wishing to withdraw from the PA program must submit this in writing to the Program Director detailing reason for withdraw and expected plans if any, to return. Student who withdraw in “good standing” academically, will be allowed to reapply to the program after an interview with program administration without going through the full admissions process. An exit interview with the Program Director will be required. A student in this category will be required to interview once again with program administration before readmit is approved.

Students who are withdrawing due to issues of an academic nature will be required to exit interview with Program Director and the Director of Academic Affairs to delineate a plan, detailing requirements for readmission. A student in this category will be required to interview once again with program administration before readmit is approved.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for the degree of Master of Science from the Division of Health Sciences must, in addition to completing all course and other degree requirements, have a minimum GPA of 3.00 and receive a C or higher in all courses. No student will be graduated who has not resolved all financial obligations with the University.

Dismissal

At any time a student can be dismissed from the program for academic or professional /behavioral reasons. Any student in jeopardy of dismissal from the program will be notified in writing and have the option to respond. At the discretion of the Program Director, an AD HOC Progress and Promotions committee may be convened and the issue presented. All recommendations of the committee will be presented to the Program Director for final action.