Maintaining Good Standing

Scholastic requirements

Graduate students are required to meet high standards of scholastic performance. A minimum of 75% of all graduate course work must be passed with a grade of “B” or better. A student whose graduate GPA falls below 3.0 shall be placed on Academic Warning. While on warning, the student is not eligible to apply for candidacy for a degree or hold a Graduate Assistantship. Any student on Academic Warning must restore an overall 3.0 GPA upon completion of the next 12 hours of graduate courses following the semester in which the GPA drops below 3.0. Failure to do so will result in Academic Suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School.

Conditionally admitted students who fail to establish a 3.0 GPA in their first attempted 12 hours of graduate course work will receive Academic Suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School. If the 12 hours are completed in a term in which the total credits exceed 12, the evaluation is made on the basis of all graduate-level work completed at the end of that term of enrollment.

These are Graduate School requirements, as specified in Section 4.8 of the Graduate Catalog.

“I” (incomplete) or “N” (no grade submitted) grades

“I” and “N” grades are calculated in the student’s overall grade point average as an “F.” They must be removed within four weeks during the next term of enrollment if the student’s overall grade point average drops below a 3.0 as a result of the “I” or “N” grade(s). Conditionally admitted students in their first year who fail to bring their overall GPA back up to a 3.0 or better by removing the “I” or “N” within the four weeks will earn Academic Suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School.  Graduate students with good academic standing who fail to bring their overall GPA back up to 3.0 or better by removing the “I” or “N” grade(s) within the four weeks will earn Academic Warning. Academic Warning must be removed by raising the overall grade point average to 3.0 or better during the 12 hours of graduate work immediately following the period in which the warning was earned. Failure to do so will result in Academic Suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School.

Graduate School Workshop, Legal Training, and Orientation

The first activity for all new GTAs is the Graduate School’s Workshop for New Graduate Teaching Assistants. New students will be contacted by the Graduate School to schedule participation. All students supported by Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are expected to perform diverse professional duties. Examples include but are not limited to attending laboratory prep meetings, meeting all proctoring assignments, and grading exams in a timely manner. To ensure that all graduate students begin this phase of their career with appropriate instruction in research methodology, practices, and ethics, all first-year students are required to enroll in the Intro to Grad Studies course (BSC695).

Additionally, the College of Arts and Sciences requires that all GTAs receive legal training every other year. At the beginning of each Fall semester, legal training sessions will be conducted by the College. Announcements and invitations to participate will be emailed at this time.

In addition to the departmental orientation that takes place at the beginning of each Fall semester for new graduate students, the University of Alabama Graduate School conducts an annual Graduate Orientation and Welcome (GROW) program the first week of school in both August and January. This orientation process familiarizes students with resources beyond the department and is strongly recommended for all incoming graduate students. Each semester an e-mail invitation will be sent to all new students and more information concerning the scope of GROW on their website.

Seminar courses

All graduate students are required to register for BSC 601 Biological Sciences Seminar every semester during their enrollment in the program when in residence at the Tuscaloosa campus. In addition, students also have the option to attend and participate in literature-based seminar courses (examples are BSC 603 Current Topics in Molecular Biology, BSC 584 Aquatic Biology Seminar). Formal registration for these courses is not mandatory for participation. However, with the approval of his/her graduate committee, a student may register for credit in these courses and apply up to but no more than a total of four credits hours towards the letter grade based coursework required for the completion of an M.S. or Ph.D. degree.


The University’s withdrawal policies can be found on the Student Receivables website. For a medical withdrawal, the student must contact University Health Service. A medical withdrawal cannot be granted if the graduate student has taken any final examinations or equivalents (final papers, final projects, or similar assignments) for the semester for which a withdrawal is being requested. The procedures for a medical withdrawal are available by contacting University Health Service (348-6262) or visiting their website.

Research progress

Students are required to make consistent progress toward research goals as defined by their research proposal and their Graduate Advisory Committee. As detailed in the appropriate sections, yearly progress reviews, committee evaluations and completion of required milestone achievements by prescribed deadlines will serve as indicators of appropriate progress.