To The Top

Academic and Departmental Probation, Termination, and Appeals


In addition to dismissal for failure to meet the usual examination and grade requirements, departments and graduate-degree-granting area programs have the right to place a student on departmental probation.

After at least 30 days of probation, the degree-granting program can dismiss any graduate student who is deemed to be making insufficient academic progress or whose work is not of the quality required from the program. The faculty advisor or academic program chair must inform the Graduate School as soon as the student has been notified and the probationary period has begun.

When a department/program determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress, the Director of Graduate School (DGS) in the program and/or faculty advisor will recommend a face-to-face meeting between the student and the faculty advisor. If after this meeting the department/program and the student can agree on a plan to remedy the situation, the faculty advisor (or DGS) and the student will jointly sign a document enumerating steps to take. If, on the other hand, the department/program and the student disagree on issues of progress, the DGS or chair may send the student a letter placing the student on probation.

The letter placing a student on probation must include an explicit statement of what must be accomplished and by what date in order for the student to be removed from probation and returned to good standing in the department/program.


If the student does not comply with the conditions of probation, a letter (signed by the DGS) will be sent to the student with notification of dismissal from the degree program.

Termination letters must inform the student of the right to appeal, first, to the department/program, and second, to the Graduate Faculty Senate. A copy of a termination letter must be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School at the same time it is sent to the student.


Students have the right to appeal dismissal from their degree programs.

A student’s first appeal of dismissal must be made to the department/program. If the student does not appeal, the Graduate School will send the student an official notice of dismissal from the program.

Students should notify their DGS in writing that they are appealing dismissal. A copy of the appeal letter addressed to the DGS should be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School. Departments and programs organize their own appeals processes and all students must be made aware of those processes as they start their graduate program. If the department/program does not reverse its decision, the DGS will notify the Graduate School that the student has completed the probationary period and the appeal process and has been dismissed.

As long as a student is in an appeal process, the student should maintain enrollment and continue working on degree program requirements. If there are reasons why maintaining enrollment is a hardship, the student should immediately contact the Dean of the Graduate School.

Process of Appeals to the Graduate Faculty Senate

Students may appeal dismissal from a graduate degree program to the Graduate Faculty Senate.

An appeal to the Graduate Faculty Senate can be made only after all internal appeals to a student’s program/department have failed. The appeal must be based upon the program/department’s failure to adhere to its or the Graduate School’ published rules and regulations. A student wishing to appeal dismissal must send a letter addressed to the Dean of the Graduate School within two weeks of dismissal. Once the intent to appeal is received by the Dean of the Graduate School, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. The Dean of the Graduate School or a representative will meet with the student to discuss the situation. If, after this meeting, the student wishes to make an appeal to the Graduate Faculty Senate, he or she will submit a statement to the Graduate School describing the basis of the appeal and containing any correspondence or other documentation relevant to the appeal. The associate vice chancellor will notify the Graduate Faculty Senate, which will appoint an ad-hoc Appeal Committee consisting of five senators who are not members of the academic program involved in the appeal.
  2. The Graduate School will provide information to the student, the department/program and members of the ad-hoc GFS Appeal Committee regarding the content, process and regulations/policies pertaining to the appeal.Upon compilation of the appeal file, the associate vice chancellor for graduate school will send a copy of file materials to the members of the Appeal Committee and to the department/program. If the program/department wishes to respond in writing, its statement will be distributed to the Appeal Committee, the student and representatives from the Graduate School.
  3. A hearing will be scheduled as soon as all parties can meet: the student (and an advisor from the University community, if desired), representatives from the department/program, the Appeal Committee and the Graduate School. At this hearing, the department or program will first invite the student making the appeal to present the case discussed in the written statement. The Appeal Committee may ask questions at this point, and once its questions have been answered, will give the program/department the opportunity to defend its dismissal of the student. Following further questions from the Appeal Committee, the hearing will be adjourned.
  4. The Appeal Committee will meet to make a decision. This decision will be conveyed in writing to the student, the director of graduate studies and chairperson of the department or program, the associate vice chancellor for graduate school, the Graduate Faculty Senate president and any other appropriate party named in the appeal.