Graduate School Student Handbook Chapter 5: Policies & Procedures

Please refer to the Graduate School Policies & Regulations website for a complete list.

5.1 Academic Integrity

The University of North Florida encourages the free and open pursuit of knowledge; we consider this to be a fundamental principle and strength of a democratic people. To this end, the University of North Florida expects its students, its faculty, its administrators, and its staff to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. The University of North Florida expects all members of the University community to both honor and protect one another’s individual and collective rights. 


Claiming One's Own Work

Each student is honor-bound to submit under his or her name or signature only his or her own work; to fully acknowledge his or her use of any information, ideas, or other matter belonging to someone else, and to properly document the source in question; and to offer for credit only that work which he or she has completed in relation to the current course. 


Qualify of Work

A central goal of the Graduate School’s mission is to support and promote graduate education at the University of North Florida by developing, maintaining, and enhancing strong graduate programs that cultivate students’ advanced knowledge and skills in their chosen fields, encourage their proficiency with research and other forms of scholarship, and are relevant to our students and to the communities we serve.  As such, graduate students are expected to maintain an appropriately sophisticated level of work that is current in their academic content. 


Violations of Academic Integrity

Under this heading the University of North Florida Student Handbook identifies several types of violations; these include but are not limited to: cheating; fabricating and falsifying information or citations; submitting the same work for credit in more than one course; plagiarizing; providing another student with access to one’s own work to submit under this person’s name or signature; destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material; and helping or attempting to help another person commit an act of academic dishonesty. The University of North Florida authorizes any instructor who finds evidence of cheating, plagiarism, or other wrongful behavior that violates the University of North Florida Academic Integrity Code to take appropriate action. Possible action includes, but is not limited to, failing the student on the work in question, failing the student for the course, notifying the appropriate academic dean or Vice President for Student Affairs, and requesting additional action be taken. 


The consequences of a breach of academic integrity may result in an F, which is unforgivable, regardless of withdrawal status.


For more information, please refer to the online Student Handbook.

5.2 Academic Probation

A graduate student who fails to maintain a cumulative UNF Graduate GPA of at least 3.0 will be considered not in good academic standing and will be placed on academic probation. Probation shall be noted on the academic transcript for each term in which the cumulative UNF Graduate GPA is below 3.0.

5.3 Academic Suspension and Dismissal

Graduate students who succumb to the following criteria will be eligible for suspension or dismissal from their program:

  • If, while a graduate student is on probation, the cumulative UNF Graduate GPA does not reach 3.0 in the next academic term, the student is eligible for suspension or dismissal from the program.
  • If, while a graduate student is on probation, he or she earns a D or F in a graduate course in his or her program of study, the student is eligible for suspension or dismissal from the program.

Academic Suspension

The decision concerning whether the student is actually placed on academic suspension rests with the particular program's Graduate Program Director and/or the program's Graduate Program Committee (should the program have one). 


Academic suspension is noted on the academic transcript. A graduate student may not register for courses while on academic suspension. The decision to release the student from academic suspension rests with the particular program's Graduate Program Director and/or Graduate Program Committee.


Decisions made by Graduate Program Directors and/or Graduate Program Committees may be appealed by graduate students; such appeals are made through the normal academic appeals process as specified in the Graduate Catalog and Student Handbook.


Academic Dismissal

When a student is being considered for dismissal from his/her graduate program, either at the end of a term or during a term, the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Program Committee (should there be one) will follow proceedings identified on the Graduate School’s policy webpage. 


If the student is dismissed from his/her graduate program, the student's transcript will bear an appropriate notation, and the student will receive no refund of tuition or fees.


Many programs have program-specific policies further defining good academic standing and related matters. These program-specific policies, if inclusive of higher standards than those of the university, supersede university policy. Please refer to individual program requirements for more information.

5.4 Advising/Mentoring

All graduate students are advised either by their Graduate Program Director or, in some cases by the college’s academic advising office. Your advisor can and should assist you in developing a course of study and selecting courses to fit your academic goals.

5.5 Grade Point Average

The graduate GPA includes all graduate credits taken once the student has been accepted as a degree-seeking graduate student. This includes all graduate credits, even before official admission to a graduate program, when those credits are used to fulfill degree requirements.


Graduate credits taken as a post-baccalaureate student, when those hours are not counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements, are not counted in the construction of the Graduate GPA. Undergraduate credits, no matter when they are taken, are not counted. Transfer credits are not counted, with the exception of joint international degree programs.

5.6 Graduate Degree Completion Time Limits

All coursework for a graduate or post-baccalaureate professional degree must be completed within six years of a master's degree-seeking student being admitted to a graduate program. All coursework for a doctoral degree must be completed within eight years. All exceptions must be approved in writing by the student's Graduate Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate School.

5.7 Graduate Degree Course Level Requirement

At minimum, eighteen (18) hours of any UNF graduate degree must be successfully completed at the 6000 level. All graduate and post-baccalaureate professional degree programs at the University of North Florida shall include only courses at the 5000 level and above. This does not include pre-requisites, graduate certificates, teacher certification add-on programs, or field-based coursework connected to teacher certification programs.

5.8 Graduate Program Independent Learning

All graduate and post-baccalaureate professional degree programs at the University of North Florida include opportunities for students to participate in independent scholarly/research engagement and/or appropriate professional preparation experiences. These opportunities may be offered through traditional thesis or dissertation experiences, through culminating-experience projects, or through assignments embedded in particular courses in a program.

5.9 Graduate Transfer of Credit

The residency requirement to receive a graduate degree at UNF is 18 credit hours. No more than 12 credit hours previously earned at another institution may be used to satisfy the requirements of a UNF graduate degree. Only graduate-level courses that are no more than seven years old from a regionally accredited institution or recognized international institution may be accepted as previously earned transfer credits.

5.10 Grievances/Appeals

The University of North Florida operates on the commitment that all members of its community should be treated fairly in regard to their rights and responsibilities and in accordance with the UNF constitution, the Florida and U.S. Constitutions, and the United Faculty of Florida. These documents uphold a faculty member's right to control the content of the syllabus and reading material, to determine the content of examinations, and right to free speech. These rights constitute the faculty member's guarantee of academic freedom.


Therefore, the following procedures have been developed to provide an impartial arena for resolution of conflicts that cannot be resolved successfully between the primary parties involved. Students may appeal grades they believe have been assigned (a) arbitrarily or capriciously; (b) contrary to the criteria announced in the course; or (c) for constitutionally and/or legally impermissible reasons.


For additional information, please refer to the Appealing an Academic Decision website.

5.11 Program of Study Contract

Every degree-seeking student at UNF must have a signed program of study developed in consultation with the program’s Graduate Program Director or departmental advisor. Graduation requirements published in the catalog at the time the student enters UNF are those which must be satisfied.

5.12 Registration Procedures

Your registration information will be posted on MyWings. Once you enter the portal, please read the Registration Guide. This will direct you on how to search the class schedule, register for classes, drop classes, and view and print your detailed schedule.  All active students are given a registration time ticket well in advance of Registration Week. That time ticket specifies when you will be eligible to register for courses.

5.13 Satisfactory Academic Progress and Performance

All graduate students are expected to maintain “good standing”. This phrase means that you are making satisfactory progress towards your degree, are fulfilling teaching responsibilities (if appropriate), and are a productive member of the department and university communities. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress could lead to probation or suspension.  


Good Academic Standing

A graduate student must maintain a cumulative UNF Graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible to graduate and be awarded a graduate degree. Please note, good academic standing averages calculate as a B not a B-. 


Students must also be in good academic standing to be eligible for fellowships, scholarships, or graduate assistantships. 


Graduate Program Director Meetings

All students are required meet with the graduate coordinator at the end of each semester in order to assess progress. During these meetings, the graduate coordinator will review in-class evaluations from Lead Lecture Professors and students (if on a GTA), class work completed that semester and progress towards degree. Thus, it is recommended that students keep careful track of their accomplishments and begin construction of a CV as soon as possible.