Psychology Graduate Program Student Handbook

4. Policies & Procedures

Information concerning most University resources and policies can be found online.  Online information is constantly updated and provides the most recent modifications in rules and procedures.  The student is therefore urged to visit the UNF website first whenever questions of University resources or policy arise.  However, several areas of specific interest are included in this handbook for the student’s convenience.  In addition, many student questions can be answered by the Graduate Secretary, particularly when they pertain to University policy and procedures.


For problems that arise within the MAGP program, the student should proceed as follows:

  • If there is a classroom problem, such as a dispute over a grade or an assignment, the student should first discuss the situation with the instructor.
  • If a problem cannot be resolved between student and instructor, if the student for any reason feels uncomfortable discussing the problem with an instructor, or if the problem is of a more general nature, he/she should bring the problem to the Program Director, who will attempt to resolve it – with the assistance of the MAGP Committee, if needed.
  • Should the problem remain unresolved, the student can then take his or her concern up the “chain of command.”  The usual order is:  (a) Department Chair, (b) Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (or his/her representative), the Graduate School Dean (or his/her representative), and (c) the Office of the Provost (or his/her representative).   

All student concerns will be handled expeditiously and with the greatest confidentiality possible.  The student should document the problem, as well as all communications with faculty and staff.  Bringing a concern forward will never, of itself, adversely affect the student’s standing in the MAGP program.

4.1 Academic Integrity and Professionalism

The Free and Open Pursuit of Knowledge

The University of North Florida encourages the free and open pursuit of knowledge, which it considers 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.


Each student is honor-bound to submit under his or her name or personal 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.

Violations of Academic Integrity

Under this heading the University of North Florida Student Handbook identifies several types of violations, which 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 and so inform the student. Possible action includes but is not limited to failing the person on the work in question, failing the person 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 non-forgivable, regardless of withdrawal status.

4.2 Good Academic Standing

Students are expected to earn an A or B grade in all graduate courses.  The first C grade will be referred to the Program Director, who will meet with the student to discuss his/her progress in the program.  A second C grade, or any grade lower than a C, will lead to immediate suspension.  The student will be allowed to continue in the program only after he/she has retaken and earned an A or B grade in one of the two courses in which C grades were earned – or in any course in which a D or F grade was earned.  The grade must normally be made up within one calendar year.c   A third C grade or lower is considered grounds for dismissal from the program.


c When a course is offered every other year, or only occasionally, the student may in some cases negotiate with the instructor who issued the unsatisfactory grade the possibility of taking an alternative course.

4.3 Probation/Suspension/Removal

Students may be dismissed from the program for:

  • Academic reasons, such as unsatisfactory grades or written/oral communication problems.
  • Violations of the American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, including plagiarism – either verbal or written.
  • Other offenses that are documented in writing by (a) the faculty member initiating the move for dismissal and/or (b) the Program Director.

When the issue of dismissal arises, the Program Director will review the situation and in most cases decide its outcome.  However, at the request of the student, the Program Director, or other involved parties, the matter may be sent to the entire MAGP Committee for further review.  The student may request the opportunity to present his or her case before the MAGP Committee.  The student has the right to appeal the decision of the MAGP Committee through the “chain of command,” as described in the previous section.

4.4 Drop-add, Withdrawals, and Incomplete Grades

A course may be dropped or added during the designated “drop-add” period, usually the first week of the semester.  The drop-add procedure is the same as normal registration, and may be done online.   There are no penalties for dropping a course, nothing appears on the student’s transcript, and there is a 100% tuition refunde.


Withdrawing from a course is done after the drop-add period.  A “W” will appear on the student’s transcript and there is only a partial tuition refundf.


When circumstances preclude the completion of all course requirements by the end of the term, a student may receive a grade of “Incomplete.”  The student must have completed a majority of the course work with a passing grade and must finish the course within the time limit set by the instructor, not to exceed one calendar year.  If the Incomplete is not removed by the end of the time limit, the grade automatically becomes an "F."  It should also be noted that not all instructors allow students to take an Incomplete in their classes.


e If a student does not officially drop or withdraw from a course, an “F” grade will be assigned even though the student may never have attended class.  

f Please note that some of these policies can have a serious effect on a student’s financial aid status.  If his or her schedule is altered after reporting occurs, there may be repayment implications for the student.  


4.5 Transfer Hours

Students may apply no more than nine (9) semester hours from other institutions or ten (10) semester hours of post-baccalaureate credit toward their MAGP degree.  These hours are NOT included in the student’s graduate GPA.  A minimum of twenty-four (24) graduate credit hours must be completed at UNF.

4.6 Course Content

A course may deal with subjects, issues, or perspectives to which some people might object. Such objections will not exempt a graduate student from course requirements. The University of North Florida stands behind the right of its instructors to include material that is challenging in any number of ways. The Graduate Faculty would urge students to discuss any concerns they might have concerning the content of their courses with their instructors.

4.7 Time Limits

Students who do not take classes for three consecutive terms are officially dropped from the program and must reapply for admission through the Graduate School. Any course work completed at UNF or elsewhere between five and ten years prior to graduation must be validated either by the instructor teaching the course or by an instructor teaching in the content area.  If a course is not validated, additional course work will be required, possibly adding to the student’s program of study.  This may include, but is not limited to, taking exams, retaking the course, completing selected assignments, and/or being interviewed and approved by the professor who originally taught the course.  No course completed ten or more years prior to graduation can be included in the program of study.  Students should make every effort to complete their degree within the program’s two year time frame.

4.8 Academic 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 as well as The Florida and U.S. Constitutions and the United Faculty of Florida/Florida Board of Regents Contract. 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 petition grades {See (2) and (4)} 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.


1.  Students may appeal a penalty for academic misconduct {See (3)}. They also may petition {See (4)} for variances from University academic policies with regard to withdrawal, late enrollment, credit hour limits, probation, dismissal, reinstatement, and all other academic policies with exception of admission. Requests not reconciled at lower levels may be appealed to the University Appeals Committee. The Appeals appealed to the University Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee shall confine itself to appeals enumerated in this document and Article V. Section 3 of the UNF Constitution.

2.  As specified in the University's Academic Catalog, student appeals relating to Individual course grades shall be limited to a period of one (1) year from the date of awarding the grade(s) (all grades except "Incomplete") for the course(s) in question. If, however, the student wishes to change a grade, which is more than one year old, the student must FIRST petition to extend the one-year appeals deadline. If approved he or she can the petition to have the grade changed.

3.  Appealing a penalty for academic misconduct: (See Academic Integrity Code, for definitions)

        a.    The student first appeals to the faculty member involved. The student must make the appeal in writing within five (5) school daysg from the time she/he is informed of the penalty.
  b.    A written response from the faculty member involved must be made within ten school days.
  If there is no resolution...
  c.    The student should appeal in writing to the chairperson of the department through which the course is offered within ten (10) school days after receiving a response from the faculty member. A copy of this appeal must be sent to any involved faculty.
  d.    A written response from the chairperson to the student and any involved faculty must be made within twenty (20) school days.
  If there is no resolution...
  e.    The student should appeal in writing to the dean of the college through which the course is offered within ten (10) school days after receiving a response from the chairperson. A copy of this appeal must be sent to any involved faculty member.
  f.    A written response from the dean to the student and any involved faculty must be made within (20) school days
  If this response is viewed as unsatisfactory by any parties involved... 
  g.    A written appeal may be made within ten (10) school days to the University Appeals Committee, the structure of which is defined in the University of North Florida Constitution. All involved parties also must receive a copy of this request for appeal.
                       - The presiding Officer of the University Appeals Committee will promptly review the appeal, determine whether a hearing is warranted and advise all involved parties within five (5) school days of the review.

- In the event a hearing is warranted, the appealing party is entitled to a prompt hearing before the University Appeals Committee.



- The University will mail written notice to affected parties (and in the case of alleged academic misconduct, explanation of the specific charges being brought against the student) at least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the hearing, including date, time and location. This notice will be mailed to University officials involved in the appeal by campus or by personal delivery on campus. The student's notice will be mailed to the official address listed in the UNF Office of Records and Registration.



- In the event the hearing must be rescheduled by request of either party, the hearing shall be rescheduled for a date and time as soon as practicable.



- The complaining party shall be entitled to two (2) school days written notice in advanced of the date, time and place of the reschedule hearing.



- The hearing normally will be closed and confidential. An open hearing may be held, at the discretion of the presiding officer, if requested by the appealing party in her/his correspondence initiating the Appeals Committee hearing.



- The appealing party is entitled to inspect all documentary evidence which will be presented during the hearing.



- If the appealing party should fail to appear at the hearing, the hearing may proceed in her/his absence.



- Each involved party may bring an advisor of her/his choice to be present at the hearing. The advisor only has the right to talk to the advisee and may not question or cross-examine witnesses or members of the panel.



- Each involved party is entitled to hear and question witnesses.



- Each involved party may present physical evidence on her/his own behalf. The burden of proof in these matters rests on the appealing party.



- The decision made by the Appeals Committee shall be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.


  h.    The recommendation made by the Appeals Committee will be forwarded to the Academic Vice President in writing within ten (ten) school days  following the hearing. (Recommendations made by the UNF Appeals Committee may include such actions as: granting the appeal, expulsion. suspension. reprimand. temporary or permanent loss of privilege or use of a University facility, warning, or academic action considered appropriate (including reduction of a grade in a course).
  i.    The decision of the Academic Vice President or designee will be forwarded to all involved parties in writing within twenty (20) school days of the hearing.
  j.    Any parties involved may appeal the decision in writing to the President or his designee within five (5) school days after receipt of the written decision. At the conclusion of the appeals process, the written decision of the President shall be final, and will be forwarded to all involved parties.
4.  All other academic appeals (except those relating to admission to the University) are to be made as follows:
  a.    If a faculty member is involved, the student must first make a written appeal to the involved faculty member within one (1) year from the time she/he is informed of the decision in question. If applicable, the student must also complete a Request for Waiver of University Policy or Extension of Deadline form.
  If there is no resolution – Follow steps outlined in 3 (b) - (g)
  b.    If no faculty member is involved, then the student must complete a Request for Waiver of University Policy or Extension of Deadline form within (1) year from the time s/he is informed of the decision in question.
  c.    A University decision concerning the petition must be made within thirty (30) school days from the time the form is received and the student will be sent notification of that decision within and addition ten (10) school days.
  d.    the student has not received a response within forty-five (45) school days or the response is not acceptable to the student then:
  e.    Follow steps outlined in 3 (g).

g "School days" are defined as days when classes are in session, except Saturdays.  


4.9 Policies that cannot be Waived by Petition

-     A student may not drop a course(s) after the drop/add deadline date. The student is fee liable and must withdraw.


-     A student may not request to withdraw from a course after grades are posted.


-     A student may not add a course(s) beyond 2 weeks after the end of the drop/add deadline.


-     A student may not receive a W after the withdrawal deadline. After the withdrawal deadline, a WP or WF will be assigned.


-     A student may not request to reinstate into classes from which the student has been removed due to non-payment of fees after the third week of classes.


-     A student may not request to change from audit to credit or credit to audit after the drop/add deadline.


-     A student may not request to extend a grade change deadline beyond 90 days from the end of the term the grade was assigned.


-     A student may not request grade forgiveness or term forgiveness be removed or exchanged once applied.


-     A student may not request to apply a previous attempt of a repeated course toward graduation requirements. The students last attempt of a course will be the one used to determine degree completion.


-     A student may not request that original and/or repeated grades be excluded from GPA calculations without using grade forgiveness.


-     A student may not request that calculations for Latin Honors Distinction exclude forgiveness attempts at courses. GPA calculations for Latin Honors are based on all credits earned at UNF.


-     A student may not request to receive a designation of Latin Honors for which the student does not meet the qualifications.


-     A student may not request release from suspension without approval from the appropriate academic officers. Reinstatement procedures vary by college.


-     A student may not request that academic probationary status be removed from an academic record for any given term in which the student was placed in that status.


-     A student may not petition grades and/or grade-related penalties. These are to be appealed under either the University’s policy for Appealing Academic Misconduct Decisions or for Appealing Academic Grades Unrelated to Academic Misconduct. 


4.10 University Appeals Process

All members of the University community are entitled to fair and equitable treatment and have the right to appeal.  A student who believes that a University policy imposes an undue hardship may submit through the Registrar's Office a petition requesting a waiver of the specific policy. The student will beinformed in writing of the results of the appeal. Guidelines for grade appeals are in the Registrar's Office. Members of the community who feel that they have not been accorded rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 may submit inquiries to the director of equal opportunity programs, Room 2515, Daniel Hall, 620-2507.


The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs is committed to promoting a working and learning environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, disability, age, marital status or gender. To this end, the Office is responsible for ensuring the University’s compliance with all applicable federal and state nondiscrimination requirements. This Office provides leadership and support toward developing a comprehensive and institution-wide approach to achieving and sustaining a diverse and pluralistic community of students, faculty and staff.