Academic Policies

CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (SPH)

Approved by Faculty-Student Council on March 4, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Registration and Enrollment

Registration

Maximum Enrollment

Definition of a Credit Hour

Definition of Full Time Students

Levels for Doctoral (DPH) Students

Maintaining Matriculation

Student Leave of Absence

Unapproved Leaves

Limit on Non Degree Student Credits

Auditing Courses

Transfer Credits and e-Permit

Transfer of Credit and Course Residency

Students Matriculated at SPH Taking Courses at Other Institutions

Students Matriculated Outside SPH Wanting to Register for SPH Courses

Degrees

Awarding of Degrees

Time Limits for Degree Completion

Grading and Academic Standing

Grading System

Incomplete Grades

Repeat Courses

Withdrawal from Courses

Academic Standing

Academic Probation and Disbarment

Guidelines on Satisfactory Progress for Doctoral (DPH) Students

Academic Integrity

Appealing Course Grades

Appeals Procedure for Students on Academic Probation

Other Policies

Academic Calendar

Email Communication

Change of Name or Address

CUNY Institutional Policies

Disclaimer

Registration and Enrollment

Registration

Registration instructions are e-mailed to students accepted into or continuing in the graduate programs at SPH. All registration is subject to space availability. For courses that require instructor permission, students must obtain approval from the course instructor prior to registration. Questions regarding course requirements and pre- or co-requisites should be directed to the academic adviser.

Maximum Enrollment

The maximum enrollment during the Fall and Spring semesters is 16 credits each, 4 credits during the Winter term, and 10 credits during the Summer term. Exceptions to the maximum term enrollment must be approved by the School.

Definition of a Credit Hour

In compliance with policy set by the New York State Education Department, one semester hour per week during a 15-week semester (fall and spring) is equivalent to one credit. At least 15 hours of instruction (50 minutes = 1 hour) and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments are required for each credit earned. The semester hour may include traditional in-person contact time, as well as laboratory sessions, tutorials, supervised fieldwork, individual meetings, electronic communication and field trips. The 15 hours of instruction time can be replaced through other activities equivalent in length that meet the learning outcomes, such as is the case in hybrid and online courses. These activities often include reviewing instructional materials, completing worksheets, discussions and group work (with instructor feedback and participation). Summer and winter courses are subject to the same requirements as those offered during the fall and spring semesters, with respect to the total number of classroom hours and expected learning outcomes.

Definition of Full Time Students

Masters level students are defined as full time if they are enrolled in 12 credits during a regular semester. Doctoral students are defined as full time if they are enrolled in 7 credits during a regular semester.

Levels for Doctoral (DPH) Students

DPH students begin the program as Level I. DPH students reach Level II after completion of 48 credits (or all coursework) and passing the First and Second Exams. Tuition and status is automatically changed to full-time. DPH students can request to be advanced to Level III at the completion of all coursework (at least 48 credits) and passing the First and Second Exams and have their dissertation proposal approved.

Maintaining Matriculation

A matriculated graduate student who is not registered for any courses but is completing other degree requirements for graduation must be registered to maintain matriculation. The fee cannot be waived or refunded. Maintenance of matriculation is not proof of attendance.

Student Leave of Absence

A matriculated graduate student in good academic standing is eligible to apply for a leave of absence (LOA). If a student is not in good academic standing or has not completed a semester at CUNY SPH, the student’s application will not be considered until grades are posted for the last semester in attendance so that student’s academic eligibility can be verified.

 

Specific procedures and forms to follow for Leaves of Absence include:

1.) LOA may be approved for a maximum of 4 semesters (2 academic years). Any additional extension of leave will only be with approval of the department chair.

2.) Student must have completed (or complete before commencing the leave) at least one semester in the SPH and must complete the semester immediately before requesting such leave.

3) If the student wishes to begin the leave during the course of the semester, the student must drop all classes, in accordance with the Registrar’s schedule.

4) If a student needs to extend or shorten the LOA, the student must notify the Office of Student Services and the Registrar before registration ends for the semester a student wishes to extend/shorten.

 

The academic LOA is intended to help students in good academic standing who wish to take a planned leave for one semester or an academic year.  This will also accommodate students’ plans and needs to ensure easy return to school.  Students are guaranteed a place in their current program, without reapplication, provided all deadlines and rules are observed.

 

If a student plans to take a course while on academic leave at an institution outside the CUNY system, the course must be evaluated for transferability prior to taking the leave.

 

Any international student with F-1 (student) or J-1 (exchange visitor) status should consult the Office of Student Services before applying for a leave. Any student subject to induction or recall into military service should consult the veteran’s certifying officer before applying for an official leave.

Unapproved Leaves

Students failing to register for a regular semester will be dropped automatically from the active student file. If they wish to return, they must apply for readmission. In all cases of nonattendance, students must still observe the time limitations for degree completion.

Limit on Non Degree Student Credits

Non-Degree students may complete a maximum of 12 credits at the Masters level only. Admission is not guaranteed and registration approval is based on space availability. Those interested in taking more than 12 credits must apply for matriculation.

Auditing Courses

Courses may be audited with instructor’s permission and based on availability. Students must formally register to audit courses in the same manner as for any other course after receiving permission. The grade notation “AUD,” which carries no earned credit, cannot be changed to any other credit-bearing grade. Audited courses will be included in the calculation of total credits to determine full- or part-time status. Audited courses cannot be used towards financial aid eligibility and therefore will not count toward financial aid load.

Transfer Credits and e-Permit

Transfer of Credit and Course Residency

Transfer credits taken prior to admission to the CUNY graduate public health program may be applied toward the degree, provided the courses were completed with a grade of B or higher within five years preceding the time of application and are equivalent to comparable courses at the CUNY SPH. Students are required to take at least 70% of all credits required for the degree in residence at CUNY SPH. See program requirements for details.

Students Matriculated at SPH Taking Courses at Other Institutions

SPH matriculated students in good standing (GPA 3.0) have the option of taking courses at other CUNY colleges on a “ePermit” basis and receiving credit and the grade earned toward their SPH degree. Students who would like to enroll in courses at a non-CUNY college should inquire with their academic advisor. The student registers at a non-CUNY college as a nonmatriculated student and at the end of the semester requests that a transcript be sent to the School Registrar.

 

Students Matriculated Outside SPH Wanting to Register for SPH Courses

Students matriculated in a graduate program at any other CUNY branch who want to register for a course at SPH are required to use the ePermit system. Students must complete the ePermit process for approval in CUNYfirst. Information regarding their epermit request will be e-mailed to their official university e-mail address. Tuition payment for courses is made at the student’s home school.

Degrees

Awarding of Degrees

Degrees are awarded three times per academic year to candidates that are in good academic standing and that have satisfied all academic degree requirements.

Time Limits for Degree Completion

Master’s Degree: All requirements for the degree must be completed within 5 matriculated years.

Doctoral Degree: All requirements for the degree must be completed within 8 matriculated years.

Grading and Academic Standing

Grading System

Grade

Quality Points

Explanation

A+

4

97.5% - 100%

A

4

92.5% - 97.4%

A-

3.7

90.0% - 92.4%

B+

3.3

87.5% - 89.9%

B

3

82.5% - 87.4%

B-

2.7

80.0% - 82.4%

C+

2.3

77.5% - 79.9%

C

2

70.0% - 77.4%

F

0

<70%

P

-

Pass

S

-

Satisfactory

U

0

Unsatisfactory

CR

-

Credit Earned

W

-

Withdrew (student attended at least one class session)

WA

-

Administrative Withdrawal non-punitive grade assigned to students who had registered for classes at the beginning of the term but did not provide proof of immunization by compliance date (student attended at least one class session)

WD

-

Withdrew Drop (dropped after FA cert date during the program adjustment period. Student attended at least one class session)

WF

0

Withdrew Failing (student attended at least one class session)

WN

-

Never Attended

WU

0

Withdrew Unofficially (student attended at least one class session)

NC

-

No Credit Granted (restricted to regular and compensatory courses. This grade can also be used by colleges for other administrative actions such as disciplinary dismissals.)

INC

-

Incomplete

FIN

0

F from Incomplete (to be used when the INC grade lapses to an F grade)

Z

-

No Grade Submitted by Instructor

PEN

-

Grade Pending

NRP

-

No Record of Progress (exclusive to Dissertation Supervision)

SP

-

Satisfactory Progress – restricted to thesis and research courses requiring more than one semester for completion.

AUD

-

Auditor

Incomplete Grades

Instructors may assign the grade INC, meaning that course work (examinations, assignments, classwork, lab work) was not completed. For an INC grade to be changed to a letter grade, all required coursework must be completed no later than one calendar year after the INC grade has been assigned. If not changed to a letter grade, the INC grade will automatically become permanent (FIN) and be treated the same as an ‘F’ for GPA calculation. Penalties for late submission of coursework that were previously established for the course will remain in effect.

Repeat Courses

Graduate and doctoral students shall not be permitted to repeat courses in which they have previously received a grade of B or better. Courses in which a grade of B- or lower is earned may be repeated only with permission by the Registrar. The maximum number of courses that can be repeated is two. Credit will be granted once, but both course grades will be included in the GPA calculation.

Withdrawal from Courses

If for any reason a student can no longer attend the course, the student must officially withdraw from the course online before the term deadline date recorded in the Academic Calendar. After the program adjustment period, a grade of W is posted to the academic record for withdrawn courses. There is no refund of tuition. W grades are not calculated in a student’s GPA; however, W grades may adversely influence a student’s ability to receive financial aid or impede progress toward degree completion. Failure to follow this procedure will result in a grade of “WU” which is equivalent to a failing grade of “F”. All official withdrawals after the official withdrawal period (3rd – 10th week of classes) must have the approval of the School.  Documentation supporting the reason for withdrawing after the official withdrawal date must be provided. Consult with your academic advisor about the necessary documentation.

Academic Standing

Students must remain in good academic standing to continue in the program. Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to remain in good academic standing. In addition, students may not accumulate more than two open grades (e.g., “INC”).

 

Academic Probation and Disbarment

Students not in good academic standing will be placed on academic probation for at least one semester. Students are placed on probation at the end of each fall and spring semester. The student will be dismissed from further study and the program upon two consecutive semesters on academic probation. Non-degree students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will not be approved for further study.

Guidelines on Satisfactory Progress for Doctoral (DPH) Students

In addition to maintaining good academic standing, the following are guidelines for making satisfactory progress in the doctoral program. Students not meeting these guidelines will have a hold placed on their record and be required to meet with their academic advisor to develop a plan to improve progress. Unsatisfactory progress is defined as a student that:

  1. Has not passed all five core Master’s level public health courses prior to enrolling in the second year of coursework (applies only to students that enter the doctoral program without a MPH degree);
  2. Has completed 18 credits and not passed the First Examination;
  3. Has not completed the Second Examination after 45 credits of matriculating;
  4. Has not successfully defended their dissertation proposal by end of the matriculated year six.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty is prohibited at CUNY. Academic dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsifying records and documents. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. The CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity can be found here: CUNY Academic Integrity Procedures. In addition, the Graduate Center has a useful reference about avoiding and detecting plagiarism.

Appealing Course Grades

A student who wishes to challenge an earned final grade for a course shall use the grade appeals process. The grade appeals system affords recourse to a student who has evidence or believes that evidence exists to show that an inappropriate grade has been assigned as a result of prejudice, caprice, or other improper conditions such as mechanical error, or assignment of a grade inconsistent with the published grading method. The procedures for grade appeals are:

1.) Student must communicate with the instructor of record to attempt to resolve the matter within three weeks of posting the grade.

2.) Student must explain the grounds for the grade appeal to the instructor and attempt to reach a mutual resolution with the instructor.

3.) If student is unable to resolve the grade with the instructor, then the student may file a formal written grade appeal within five weeks of posting the grade in accordance with the procedures of SPH.

Appeals Procedure for Students on Academic Probation

Student appeals shall be made in writing to the School’s Chief Academic Officer, who will forward copies to the appropriate academic adviser and department chair. Appeals must be received no later than the first day of classes of the following semester.

 

Upon receipt of this written letter of appeal, the CAO shall convene a probation appeals committee composed of representatives from the graduate program, to include the academic adviser.

 

The specifically constituted probation appeals committee shall meet to review each case and shall produce a written report stating the grounds for its decision. Copies of this report shall be sent to the student and the CAO. The decision of this committee is final. If the appeal is successful, the committee shall send official notification to the registrar.

 

Appeals that are received by the first day of classes shall be handled with dispatch to enable the student to register within the period of late registration and waived of any late registration fee.

Other Policies

Academic Calendar

The CUNY academic calendar provides a unified view of university dates.  The academic calendar alters some course meeting dates to account for holidays. As an example, turning a Tuesday into Friday, to make up for classes missed as a result of a Friday holiday. If an unexpected schedule change occurs, or if students cannot attend the rescheduled meeting date due to another holiday conflict, then instructors will provide an alternative arrangement such as providing an online class session in place of the in-person session to accommodate student needs.

Email Communication

Students should note that the School sends official email only to students’ official university email addresses.

 

Change of Name or Address

Students may change their own address online at their CUNYfirst account. In the case of a change of address, the post office should be notified to forward the mail to their new address. Contact the Office of Student Services to submit a change of name and supporting documentation.

CUNY Institutional Policies

The Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (SPH) adheres to all CUNY Central academic policies.

Disclaimer

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York reserves the right to make changes of any nature in the academic programs and requirements of The City University of New York and its constituent colleges. All programs, requirements, and courses are subject to termination or change without advance notice. Tuition and fees are similarly subject to change by the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. The rules, policies, and curricula are authorized by the Faculty and Student Council. SPH reserves the right to change rules, policies, and curricula without advance notice.