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Policies and Procedures

Click on a link below to find out information on academic policies and procedures. 

Academic Standing & Probation

Good Academic Standing

Good academic standing is determined by meeting departmental and graduate studies standards; a GPA of 3.0 or above, in upper-division, graduate and professional course work; satisfactory spring evaluation; and having no more than a total of eight units of "F" and/or "U" grades. Some departments specify more stringent grade requirements.

Good Academic Standing is a requirement for:

  1. Holding academic and staff appointments.
  2. Receiving fellowship, scholarship, or traineeship appointments.
  3. Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree.
  4. Going on a leave of absence.
  5. Obtaining a graduate degree from UC San Diego. 

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or disqualification from further graduate study.

Probation Process

Graduate students who do not meet the requirements for good academic standing are notified of their poor academic standing by a letter from the Dean of the Graduate Division. Letters are available to students via the Graduate Division’s Student Portal and to staff via the Student Database.  

If it is a student's first instance of academic difficulty and the GPA is above 2.0, the letter serves as a warning and advises the student of the academic situation,  its consequences, and the next steps.

In subsequent quarters if the student:

  • Raises the GPA above a 3.0, no further action is taken
  • Raises the GPA but not to a 3.0, student may have probation extended either by Graduate Division decision or by request of the program faculty with a plan for improvement
  • Shows no change, then student may have probation extended either by Graduate Division decision or by request of the program faculty with a plan for improvement; however, this is dependent on the overall GPA
  • Lowers the GPA further, a hold is placed on the student's registration
Depending on the student's academic progress during the quarter following an academic probation notice, the Dean of the Graduate Division will advise the student of any further academic action via letter posted to the Graduate Division’s Student Portal. Staff access is through the Student Database .

Any student with more than 8 units of "U" and/or "F" grades or a GPA less than a 2.0 will have a hold placed on his/her registration for the next available quarter.

Note: due to the processing of grades after the next quarter has begun, registration holds are usually placed on the 2nd quarter after the problem arises (i.e. Fall quarter problem, registration hold placed on Spring registration. During the Summer, however, registration holds may be placed on students for Fall quarter.

Regardless of the severity of the problem, students are advised to maintain communication with the department. It is the department and student's responsibility to monitor the student's quarterly academic progress.

Change of Department, Major, or Degree Aim

  • A student must be registered for the quarter in which change is requested.
  • A request to change department/program requires the signatures of both the current program Chair and the proposed program Chair.

Change Major or Degree Aim

Duplication of Degree

Normally, duplication of advanced academic degrees—MA, MS, PhD—is not permitted. A duplicate academic degree is one at the same level (e.g., a second master’s degree or second PhD), regardless of the discipline or the specialization awarding the degree. A professional degree at the master’s or doctoral level(e.g., AuD, DMA, EdD, MAS, MBA, MCEPA, MEd, MEng, MF, MFA, MIA, MPAc, MPP, MD, PharmD) is not regarded as a duplicate of an academic degree.

Students who already hold an advanced academic degree may be admitted to UC San Diego to pursue a second advanced academic degree at the same level only under limited circumstances, and only with the consent of the Graduate Council. Recognizing that there are circumstances in which it is appropriate for a student to pursue a second degree, the Graduate Council will consider the following criteria when reviewing requests for permission to do so at UC San Diego:

  1. The degree already held by the student must be in a fundamentally different disciplinary field from the department or program to which the student is applying. A request for permission to be admitted to a degree program at UC San Diego should document this clearly, and should indicate the differences both in intellectual training and in qualification for future employment that the second degree would confer.
  2. The department or program considering the applicant must make a clear case that there is no other way at UC San Diego for the student to obtain the same outcome for future employment prospects (e.g., by pursuing a master’s program or postdoctoral study rather than a second PhD).

If the decision of the Graduate Council is that the student should be admitted to a particular department or program for a master’s degree alone, the student is barred from requesting permission to continue for a PhD in that department or program.

Departments and programs that award an MA or MS in the course of progress toward the PhD may confer the master’s degree on any enrolled PhD student who has met the departmental and university requirements for the degree, unless the student already holds an MA or MS in the same or related field. In particular, departments and programs may confer the MA or MS on a PhD student who holds a master’s degree in a different discipline without the need for a petition to the Graduate Council or the dean of the Graduate Division.

Departments and programs are encouraged to consider waiving precandidacy requirements for students who already hold a master’s degree in the same or related field in order to decrease the time to degree.

Academic Senate policy reference.

Grade Changes

Please work with your graduate coordinator if you experience any of the issues below. 

Clerical Errors

Grade changes due to clerical errors may be corrected by the instructor of record via eGrades (for a course taken within one calendar year).  This includes such errors as the incorrect grade was assigned or no grade was assigned and the course has lapsed to a U or F.  In these cases nothing is submitted to the Graduate Division.

Incomplete that has lapsed to a U or F

If the deadline to replace an “I” with a grade is missed (the last day of the quarter), the “I” will lapse to a U or F; the program chair and instructor must petition the Dean of the Graduate Division and the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) to retroactively assign the grade. The following items must be submitted to the Graduate Division for the Dean’s review. If approval is recommended, the Graduate Division will forward the request to EPC for their final decision.

  1. General Petition with the “other” section filled out with ALLcourse information (grade to be assigned, course number, section, section id, number of units, and quarter the course was taken). Petition must be signed by the instructor and the Chair of the student’s home department.
  2. Official supporting documentation explaining circumstances that prevented the grade from being assigned prior to the deadline.

After the Dean’s review, the Graduate Division will submit the request to the EPC for their final decision.

Extension of an Incomplete Grade

Extensions are not granted due to a leave of absence. Senate policy requires that an incomplete be completed by the end of immediately subsequent quarter, regardless of the student's registration status in that quarter. Extensions are considered ONLY in extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control; health reasons require verification from the health care provider. Request must be filed before the incomplete lapses to an F or U.

  1. General Petition with the “other” section filled out with ALL course information (course number, section, section id, number of units, and quarter the course was taken). Petition must be signed by the instructor and the Chair of the student’s home department.
  2. Official supporting documentation addressing the student’s inability to complete the pending work by the deadline.

After the Dean’s review, the Graduate Division will submit the request to the EPC for their final decision.

** Grade changes beyond one calendar year require the following:

  1. General Petition with the “other” section filled out with ALLcourse information (grade to be assigned, course number, section, section id, number of units, and quarter the course was taken). Petition must be signed by the instructor and the Chair of the student’s home department.
  2. A Clerical Error form recording the grade for the course and signed by the instructor.
  3. Official supporting documentation explaining circumstances that resulted in the assignment of an incorrect grade.

After the Dean’s review, the Graduate Division will submit the request to the EPC for their final decision.

 

Academic Senate: Procedures for Requesting Exceptions to Senate Regulations 

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

Information on Leave of Absence and withdrawal can be found at the link below.

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

Readmission

Information on being readmitted to UC San Diego can be found below.

Readmission

Repetition of Courses

Time to Doctorate Policy

Read about the time limits for completing a doctoral degree at the link below.

Time to Doctorate Policy

Transferring Credit

  • No more than one-half the total units required for a master's degree may be transferred.
  • A student may petition to transfer courses completed while in Graduate Standing at another UC campus (including UC San Diego Extension) for up to one half the total master's degree unit requirement, a maximum of eight quarter units of work completed while in graduate standing at an institution other than UC may be transferred. In any case, no more than a total of one half of the units required for the master's degree may be transfer units.
  • Eligible course work may not have been used to fulfill the requirements of any other degree, and must have been completed with a B- or better grade and must have been taken prior to enrollment as a graduate student at UC San Diego.
  • A Student must submit proof that the course work to be transferred was not used to satisfy requirements for any other degree program. Degree checks or a letter from the institution from which the courses are being transferred will be required stating the courses were not used toward another degree.
  • Official transcripts of transfer course work must accompany the petition OR be on file at Graduate Division.
  • Under no circumstances will transferred work be included in calculating a student's GPA nor will it appear by class on the transcript.

Waiving Academic Residency

  • Residence requirements between advancement to candidacy and completion of the degree may be waived under special circumstances.
  • A General Petition must be submitted to the Graduate Division providing justification. A letter from the faculty advisor, endorsed by the department chair may also be required along with the Petition.
  • The Academic Senate's Educational Policy Committee reviews all Petitions to waive academic residency.

Residence requirements are:

M.A., M.S. - Minimum of 3 academic quarters, at least one of which must follow advancement to candidacy.

M.A.S., M.Ed., M.Eng.
 - Minimum of 3 academic quarters.

M.P.I.A.
 - Minimum of 8 academic quarters.

M.F.A. - Minimum of 6 quarters for Visual Arts and 8 quarters for Theatre, at least one of which must follow advancement to candidacy.

Au.D
 - Minimum of 6 quarters, at least three quarters of which must follow advancement to candidacy.

D.M.A.
 - Minimum of 6 quarters, at least three quarters of which must follow advancement to candidacy.

Ed.D
 - Minimum of 6 quarters, at least three quarters of which must follow advancement to candidacy.

Ph.D
. - minimum 6 quarters, at least three quarters of which must follow advancement to candidacy.

UC San Diego General Catalog

Campus-wide policies and procedures are found here.

Catalog