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Probation, Conduct and Grievances

Academic Probation

Matriculated Students

When a student’s cumulative graduate GPA falls below B (3.0) for grades earned in courses numbered 500 and above taken at Stony Brook, the student shall be placed on probation.

  • If the student’s overall GPA has been raised to B (3.0) by the end of the next semester of enrollment after being first notified of probation, the student will be returned to regular status.
  • Students may be on probation for a maximum of two semesters.
  • A student on academic probation who fails to achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the second semester on probation will usually not be permitted to re-enroll.
  • A student who has changed a registered area of graduate studies may, upon the request of the new program, have their record treated as two separate records. The GPA for the new area of graduate studies may be calculated from the beginning of the semester in which the change became effective.
  • A student enrolled part time who has accumulated six semester credits with a cumulative average below 3.0 will have two semesters, or six additional credits (whichever comes first) to bring their cumulative GPA to 3.0.
  • Temporary grades (I and NR), missing grades and those grades for which no numerical equivalents are defined (P, S, U, and R) are not calculated in determining the eligibility for academic probation.

Programs may have additional requirements as specified in program literature. Failure to meet these requirements may result in academic probation.


Academic Warning

Non-Matriculated Students

  • After completing at least 3 credits, when a student's cumulative graduate GPA falls below 2.5 for grades earned in enrolled courses and above taken at Stony Brook, the student shall be placed on an academic warning.
  • If the student's overall GPA has been raised to 2.5 by the end of the next semester of enrollment after being first notified of the warning, the student will be returned to regular status.
  • A student on an academic warning who fails to achieve a 2.5 cumulative GPA after completing 6 credits will be academically dismissed from the School of Professional Development.
  • A student who changes from non-matriculated status to matriculated status, upon the request of the new program, may have their record treated as two separate records. The GPA for the new area of graduate studies may be calculated from the beginning of the semester in which the change became effective.
  • Temporary grades (I and NR), missing grades and those grades for which no numerical equivalents are defined (P, S, U, and R) are not calculated in determining the eligibility for academic warning.

Academic Dismissal

If/when a student is on academic warning, and the cumulative graduate GPA falls below a 2.5 after completing 6 credits in courses taken at Stony Brook, the student shall be dismissed from the School of Professional Development.

Conditional Reinstatement from Dismissal

Non-matriculated students who have been dismissed may petition for a conditional reinstatement. However, there is no guarantee a petition will be granted. Petitions should be in the form of an email and, 1) address the reason why   the student’s GPA is below a 2.5 and 2) what actions will be taken to ensure the problem(s) will be addressed and not impede success in future classes. If approved, returning students are placed on conditional reinstatement (a $50 administrative fee must be paid for the petition). Conditionally reinstated students are required to earn at least a 2.5 semester GPA after 6 credits.


Standards of Academic Conduct

The University expects all students to cooperate in developing and maintaining high standards of scholarship and conduct. Graduate students come under rules and regulations outlined in the Grievances and Appeals section of the online SPD Bulletin. 

Students are expected to meet academic requirements outlined in this Bulletin and financial obligations as specified in Financial and Residential Information in order to remain in good standing. Certain non-academic rules and regulations must also be observed. The University wishes to emphasize the policy that all students are subject to the rules and regulations of the University currently in effect, or which, from time to time, are put into effect by appropriate authorities. Students, in accepting admission, indicate their willingness to subscribe to, and be governed by, these rules and regulations. They also acknowledge the right of the University to take such disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion, as may be deemed appropriate. University authorities will take action in accordance with due process. For detailed information about the University's Conduct Code and Maintenance of Public Order, visit: http://studentaffairs.stonybrook.edu/stu/policies.html

Academic Honesty and Scholarly Misconduct

Intellectual honesty is the cornerstone of all academic and scholarly work. Therefore, the University views any form of academic or scholarly dishonesty as a serious matter. Instructors are required to report all allegations of academic or scholarly dishonesty to their Graduate Program Director and the School of Professional Development’s Director of Records and Admissions. Additional details on procedures for hearings and other functions at the judiciary processes are available in the Grievances and Appeals section of the Bulletin.

Graduate students must strictly observe professional standards, academic honesty, and proper scholarly conduct in coursework, examinations, research, written reports and in proper professional treatment of laboratory animals, research subjects, clients, students, or patients encountered in the process of graduate education.

For more information, please visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/policy/policies.shtml?ID=210


Grievance and Appeals Procedure

A variety of appeals and grievance procedures are available to School of Professional Development students; however grievances should be considered first with the instructor and/or Graduate Program Director level.

Any appeals of a program’s ruling on a case must be made in writing within two weeks to the Vice Provost of Graduate Education. When warranted, the VP will pass the matter on to the Graduate Council Appeals Committee (GCAC). The VP is responsible for making and implementing a final decision.

Grievances against a person that involve allegations of employment misconduct must be adjudicated by Human Resource Services.

For graduate students in both the Graduate School and School of Professional Development, these appeals and grievance procedures complement other means to address and resolve concerns such as the Graduate Student Organization, Graduate Student Employees Union, the Graduate Student Advocate, and for graduate research assistants the Research Foundation and the RA Union. Students encountering difficulties with programs, SPD policy or procedure, or with faculty or staff, should discuss the problem with their graduate program directors whenever possible.

Grievances for School of Professional Development Students

Students should first communicate with the instructor of the course, if appropriate. If that conversation does not result in a mutually-acceptable agreement, students should communicate with the director of the appropriate program.

Students may appeal academic decisions made by a faculty member or program director by informing SPD's Director for Records and Admission in writing ( spd@stonybrook.edu).   At that time, the Director  will convene an Academic Standing Committee, which will be made up of an equal number of faculty/staff and SPD students (generally two of each); the members of the committee will not be from the program from which the appeal has come. The Academic Standing Committee will review the student’s appeal, ask for input from the relevant instructor and/or program director, and request any additional information required from the student. In cases where academic dishonesty has been alleged, t he standard of evidence used by the hearing board is "clear and convincing." Students may be found responsible on the basis of direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, or a combination of the two. This may include, for example, any of the following: a dramatic change in writing style; possession of accessible notes, devices (i.e. mobile phones, clickers, calculators, translators, etc.), or similarly prohibited material during an exam; observed communication between students during an exam; or unusual similarity among exams, papers, assignments, projects, or other work, including similarity with online resources. When the committee has come to a decision, the Dean or Associate Vice President for Professional Education will alert the student, the relevant faculty member and/or program director as to the result.

Appeals for School of Professional Development Students

If the relevant parties wish to appeal either the process, disposition or the penalties in a case of alleged academic or professional misconduct, a written appeal of the program’s decision must be presented to the Vice Provost of Graduate Education within two weeks. The VP may choose to forward the case to the Graduate Council Appeals Committee (GCAC), who will then advise the VP on the disposition of the case and possible penalties. The Vice Provost of Graduate Education will determine and implement penalties for academic or professional misconduct. The VP’s disposition of the case will be forwarded in writing to the relevant parties and to the program director or department chair.

Graduate Council Appeals Committee (GCAC)

The Graduate Council Appeals Committee (GCAC) will consist of an equal number of graduate students and faculty. Faculty members, including the committee chair, will be appointed by the Graduate Council. Graduate student members will be appointed by the Graduate Student Organization.

The goal of the GCAC is to resolve and/or adjudicate grievances and appeals as fairly and expeditiously as possible. The GCAC may consider appeals either on technical issues of procedure or substantive conclusions of the program’s grievance committee and may suggest other resolutions of the problem. In addition to addressing specific appeals brought to it by the Dean of the Graduate School, the GCAC may recommend changes in policies of the program or University.

The GCAC will consider all appeals addressed to it unless the committee unanimously denies standing. The person who is appealing a program grievance decision is responsible to state clearly and concisely the nature of the grievance and the cause for request of an appeals hearing. Criteria for assessing the initial standing of an appeal include those policies addressed in this Bulletin or in published and approved program handbooks or guidelines.

Cases of academic or professional misconduct that are referred to the GCAC will be adjudicated in the following manner.

  • Upon receiving a written appeal, the chair of the GCAC will convene a meeting of the full committee. This initial full meeting of the GCAC must occur within two weeks of receipt of the appeal, or as soon as the committee can be convened if classes are not in session.
  • All GCAC members will have equal access to all documents and information. The Graduate School will appoint a faculty/staff member to assist the GCAC in obtaining, reproducing and disseminating the relevant information.
  • The proceedings of the GCAC are confidential. Since information concerning an appeal may be of sensitive, highly personal and confidential nature, such information must not be disseminated outside the committee, except as necessary to the Graduate Student Advocate.
  • The person who is filing the appeal must communicate with the GCAC only through its chair, and all such communications must be written. The GCAC will arrange for an interpreter or similar assistance if it deems that such aid would be useful.
  • The GCAC should attempt to reach a consensus on all issues. Upon reaching a decision, the GCAC will issue a single written report to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make recommendations on all points raised in the formal appeal that the committee has agreed to consider. The report should present the rationale for its decision(s). The substance of any dissent must be included in the text of the report.
The Vice Provost of Graduate Education's Decision

The disposition of the Vice Provost of Graduate Education is final.


Academic Dismissal

If/when a student is on academic warning, and the cumulative graduate GPA falls below a 2.5 after completing 6 credits in courses taken at Stony Brook, the student shall be dismissed from the School of Professional Development.

Dismissal from the School of Professional Development can also be requested by Programs in cases where there exist requirements beyond those of the School of Professional Development for the maintenance of good academic standing. In any such case the following requirements are made of the program:

  • All such requirements must be stated clearly in writing and given to each student enrolled in the program. Any requirements not so publicized may not be enforceable.
  • No student may be dismissed for poor academic or research performance by any program unless he or she has been on program probation or has received two consecutive semesters of unsatisfactory performance evaluations from the program immediately preceding the dismissal.
  • Students must be notified in writing when they are placed on program probation.
  • The letter of notification must be received by the student before the first day of classes of the semester in which the probation takes effect, and it must state the reason(s) for the probation, the possible consequences of the probation and the possible remedies for it.
  • Students may be dismissed without having been placed on probation as described above, only in cases where they fail to pass required examinations or milestones as stated in published departmental policy, or in cases of proven academic dishonesty.
  • Notifications of dismissal must be made to the student in writing, explaining the reasons for the dismissal. The School of Professional Development will then send a certified letter to the student informing them of their dismissal from the University. The student will have seven days to respond to this letter before the dismissal is processed and the student is blocked from further registration.
  • Students may be dismissed or placed on probation by programs for reasons of academic or research performance only. All other disciplinary matters must be referred to the appropriate office of the University.

A graduate degree may be revoked in cases of academic or professional misconduct by a student during the course of his or her studies. The results of departmental/program hearings are forwarded to the department chair/program director who will forward this to the Dean of the Graduate School with a recommendation concerning any penalties. The Dean of the Graduate School will consult as needed with the Graduate Council. The Dean will determine and implement penalties and may recommend to the President that the degree be revoked. The Board of Trustees of the State University of New York revokes the degree. If the degree is revoked, the degree notation on the official transcript will be removed and replaced by a statement explaining the reason of the revocation.

Claims of Discrimination

If a graduate student feels that she or he has been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation, that person should refer to the Grievance Procedure for Review of Allegations of Discrimination. Contact the University Affirmative Action Office for information and documentation of these procedures.