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The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Graduate College Bulletin

2 - The OUHSC Graduate College

2.1 - Administrative Officers

  • H. Anne Pereira, PhD, Dean, Graduate College; Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Associate Dean of Research, College of Pharmacy
  • Gillian M. Air, PhD, Associate Dean, Graduate College; George Lynn Cross Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Michelle R. Staudt, PhD, Assistant Dean for Graduate Education and Research, Graduate College; Assistant Professor, Health Sciences Library and Information Management
  • Dimitrios Karamichos, PhD, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Program Development in the Graduate College
  • W. Michael McShan, PhD, Director of Summer Research Programs; Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Eric Howard, PhD, Assistant Dean for Biomedical Graduate Programs; Director, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS); Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology
  • M. Caleb Marlin, PhD, Assistant Director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS) 

2.2 - Graduate College Staff

  • Catina Jordan, Assistant to the Dean
  • Elaine D. Masters, Business Manager
  • Jennifer Schlegel, Special Programs Coordinator, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS)
  • Karolyn Ruffin, Special Programs Coordinator
  • Carla Shackelford, Student Program Coordinator

2.3 - Graduate Liaisons and Program Directors 2018-2019

  • Carol Dionne, PhD, Allied Health Sciences (Masters)
  • Susan Sisson, PhD, Allied Health Sciences
  • Karla Rodgers, PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Julie Stoner, PhD, Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Jody Summers, PhD, Cell Biology
  • Julie Stoner, PhD, Clinical and Translational Science
  • Andrew John, PhD, Communication Science and Disorders
  • Erin Youngs, MS, Genetic Counseling
  • Eric Howard, PhD, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences
  • Thomas A. Teasdale, DrPH, Health Promotion Sciences
  • Margaret Phillips, OEH-Industrial Hygiene
  • Stacy Anderson, MS, Allied Health Sciences (Medical Dosimetry)
  • Molly Hill, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Rheal Towner, PhD, Neuroscience
  • Beverley Greenwood-Van Meerveld, PhD, Neuroscience
  • Barbara Holtzclaw, PhD, Nursing
  • Melissa Craft, PhD, Nursing
  • Allen Knehans, PhD, Nutritional Sciences
  • David Johnson, PhD, Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Onur Kadioglu, DDS, MS, Orthodontics
  • Tapan Koticha, BDS, MDS, MS,  Periodontics
  • Zhizhuang Zhao, PhD, Pathology
  • Nathan Shankar, PhD, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Siribhinya Benyajati, PhD, Physiology
  • Jagadeesh Sonnad, PhD, Radiological Sciences

2.3.1 - Graduate Council 2018-2019

  • H. Anne Pereira, PhD, Graduate College Dean and President
  • Willard Freeman, PhD, Medicine, Vice President
  • Jo Azzarello, PhD, Nursing
  • Dimitrios Karamichos, PhD, Medicine
  • Jennifer Peck, PhD, Public Health
  • Grant Skrepnek, PhD, Pharmacy
  • Guangpu Li, PhD, Medicine
  • Andrew John, PhD, Allied Health, Secretary
  • Xin-Qin Ding, PhD, Medicine
  • Mike Ihnat, PhD, Pharmacy
  • Jaanam Gopalakrishnan, GSA
  • Ying Zhang, PhD, Public Health
  • Barbara Holtzclaw, PhD, Nursing
  • Eric Howard, PhD, Medicine
  • Sandra Arnold, PhD, Allied Health
  • Gillian Air, PhD, Graduate College, ad hoc
  • Michelle Staudt, PhD, Graduate College, ad hoc
  • David Sherry, PhD, ad hoc (CRC)
  • Catina Jordan, Graduate College

2.4 - Graduate Faculty

Individuals participating in the teaching, research and service mission of graduate education must be appointed to the OUHSC Graduate Faculty. For more information see the Guidelines for Graduate Faculty Appointments

2.5 - Graduate Degree Programs

The Graduate College offers both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in multiple disciplines. Requirements that apply to all of these degrees appear later in this bulletin. Information about individual degrees is available from the Graduate College or from the individual academic unit. The following departments or programs offer MS and/or PhD degrees:

2.5.1 - Master of Science Degree (MS)

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biostatistics
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical and Translational Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Health Promotion Sciences
  • Medical Dosimetry
  • Neuroscience
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Orthodontics
  • Pathology
  • Periodontics
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Physiology
  • Radiological Sciences

2.5.2 - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Allied Health Sciences
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Biostatistics
  • Cell Biology
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Promotion Sciences
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nursing
  • Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Pathology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Physiology
  • Radiological Sciences

2.5.3 - Dual Degrees

  • PharmD/MS
    Students in the PharmD professional program may apply to enroll for a research MS degree.
  • MD/PhD Degree Program
    Students may individually design a program of study combining the MD degree with a PhD degree. Refer to the doctoral degree section of this bulletin for additional information.
  • Generic Dual Degree Programs
    Students may pursue two pre-existing master's degree programs simultaneously. Refer to the master's degree section in this bulletin for additional information.

2.5.4 - Accelerated Dual Degree Program

Students may combine the bachelor's degree with a master's or doctoral degree in an accelerated manner. Refer to the master's or doctoral degree section in this bulletin for additional information.

2.5.5 - Specialization in Neuroscience

Students admitted to a degree-granting department may pursue a designation of "Specialization in Neuroscience" upon completion of the PhD degree. Refer to the doctoral degree section of this bulletin for additional information.

2.6 - Admission/Application

All applications are made through the ‘How to Apply’ link on the Admissions and Records web site.

Applicants are encouraged to submit all official transcript(s) and any applicable college supplemental materials within two weeks of submitting their application in order for application processing to occur in a timely manner.

Steps:

  1. Visit the college or program web sites to review program requirements.
  2. Review the program deadlines.
  3. Complete the on-line application. Required fees are noted in the on-line application.
  4. Submit test scores.
  5. Submit official sealed or electronic transcript(s) from all higher education institutions attended. All official transcript(s), enrollment verifications and/or class schedules should be sent directly from the previous or current institution. Applicants should ensure the official transcript(s) contain current enrollment, as well as all previous grades. In cases where current enrollment is not posted to the applicant’s transcript, the applicant should submit proof of enrollment by providing enrollment verification(s) with their classes listed or a class schedule from the institution. If providing an enrollment verification or class schedule, the applicant will need to have an official transcript mailed to the Office of Admissions and Records as soon as final grades are posted. Any applicant with foreign credentials is required to have their transcripts or marksheets evaluated course-by-course through WES (World Education Services: http://www.wes.org/ ) or through Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE: https://www.ece.org/ECE/Individuals) . 
  6. Submit recommendation letters and/or list of references, if requested by college or department. Refer to program requirements.
  7. Submit Resume or Vitae and/or Statement of Career Goals, if requested by college or department. Refer to program requirements.
  8. Submit Observation Form, if requested by college or department. Refer to program requirements.
  9. Review the Application Status View web site to monitor the receipt and completion of all items submitted to the Office of Admission and Records.

2.7 - Types of Admission

2.7.1 - Full Standing

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center uses the 4.00 scale to calculate grade point averages, with an "A" equal to 4.00. An applicant must have a baccalaureate or entry level first professional degree from an accredited university or college and a 3.00 grade point average (4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of course work applied to the degree. The applicant must be in good standing with the college or university where currently enrolled or last attended in order to be considered for admission in full standing to a degree program. If the applicant's transcript does not identify the last 60 hours, the entire transcript will be evaluated for admission. An applicant who has completed 12 hours or more of graded graduate level course work in an area related to the degree program of interest may be considered for admission. The applicant must have completed the course work at an accredited college or university with a 3.00 grade point average in all graduate work attempted and be in good standing with the college or university where currently enrolled or last attended. Additional academic work that is applicable to the degree program may be used in evaluating a student for admission into a graduate degree program.

An applicant presenting transcripts without a baccalaureate or entry level first professional degree posted may be admitted to a graduate degree program. An applicant admitted under these conditions must present an official transcript with the degree posted within the first semester of enrollment in the Graduate College. Failure to do so will result in a hold on future enrollment.

Except for those admitted a special student, the applicant must be recommended by a department or program unit. The final decision for admission to any graduate program, either as a degree or non-degree student, is determined by the Dean of the Graduate College.

2.7.2 - Probationary Admission

An applicant who does not meet the minimum grade point requirements for admission in full standing, may be considered for probationary admission to a degree program. Probationary admission to the degree program requires the recommendation of the department or program unit and approval of the Graduate Dean. When the student has completed the terms of the probationary admission, the student will be classified as full standing in the degree program.

Admission of an applicant with a grade point average less than a 3.00 (2.75-2.99) may be made only in an unusual case. In such cases, admission will depend heavily on other indicators of the applicant's ability to do successful graduate level work. These indicators might include but are not limited to a strong performance on standardized tests, a high grade point average in the major, and/or subsequent experiences that clearly indicate strong academic ability.

A student admitted with a grade point average less than 3.00 must earn at least a 3.00 grade point average in the initial 9 hours of graded graduate course work. The 9 hours must be courses required for the degree. It is expected these courses will be completed within one calendar year following initial enrollment.

2.7.3 - Unclassified Students

The OUHSC Graduate College does not accept unclassified students.

2.7.4 - Special Students

An applicant must meet the requirements for admission into the Graduate College. Please read directions carefully as the application fee is non-refundable. The Graduate College allows Special Student acceptance only under very restricted circumstances. Most individuals accepted need one specific course for professional advancement such as recertification. Special Student acceptance is not granted to students who wish to take courses to enhance their application to advanced degree programs or who are waiting to apply to or reapply to advanced degree programs. Enrollment is limited to 12 semester hours. All other students taking Graduate College courses must be accepted into a Graduate College degree granting program. Application and procedure to apply as a Special student is located on the Admissions and Records website.

2.7.5 - Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral fellows who have received a doctoral degree from an accredited institution may be admitted as a Special graduate student with a non-resident tuition waiver. Fellows who wish to be admitted to a degree program must follow the normal admission requirements for all graduate students. If a Postdoctoral fellow wishes to enroll as a degree-seeking student within the same department, they cannot teach graduate level courses in that department.

2.7.6 - Currently Enrolled University of Oklahoma Norman Students

Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Oklahoma Norman campus who wish to apply for admission to an OUHSC graduate program should contact the Office of Admissions and Records, Room 121, Bird Library Building, for application instructions. Once the application file is complete, their academic records will be referred to the Graduate College and to the prospective program for consideration. Enrollment as a student on the Norman Campus does not ensure admission to a Health Sciences Center degree program. Once admitted, undergraduate students must notify the Graduate College if they have failed to complete any requirements for the undergraduate degree. If any requirements have not been completed, the admission will be canceled and the student must reapply for admission.

2.7.7 - International Students

International applicants must fully meet the academic requirements for admission to the university, college and department; satisfy the English proficiency requirement and verify adequate financial support. International applicants and students are not eligible for financial aid through the university. All international and permanent resident applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Meet the same admission criteria as required for American citizens.
  2. Score 79 or higher on the TOEFL (iBT). This is waived for applicants from certain countries where English is the native language. Consult the Admissions and Records International page for details. Also see individual programs on the Graduate College web site for programs requiring a higher TOEFL score. Scores cannot be more than 2 years old. Applicants with a U.S. high school diploma or with a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree may submit a TOEFL Waiver Request Form to the Admissions and Records Office.
  3. Submit certified copies of transcripts from the university baccalaureate level work and certified copies of degrees awarded. Any applicant with foreign credentials is required to have their transcripts or marksheets evaluated course-by-course through WES (World Education Services) at the following web site: http://www.wes.org/.
  4. Present acceptable evidence of financial adequacy to pursue a course of study at OUHSC (for F-1 students). International students for whom English is a second language and who serve as graduate teaching assistants must demonstrate proficiency in both oral and written English.

2.7.8 - Reserved Admission and Readmission

Upon being admitted to the Graduate College, prospective students are expected to enroll in courses at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in the semester they are admitted. Upon the request of the program or Dean, the Office of Admission and Records will hold admission for up to one year. Students are subject to the regulations in effect during their first term of enrollment so long as they maintain continuous enrollments.

Graduate students who interrupt their enrollment in the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for more than one year must reapply for admission. If readmitted, they will be subject to the regulations in effect at the time of readmission.

2.7.9 - Change of Degree or Major

Students in good academic standing may request to change degree options within a program or transfer to another graduate program at the Health Sciences Center by completing a Request for Change of College, Major or Degree Option form. The request must be approved by all programs involved, the college Dean, and the Graduate Dean. Students on probationary status must move to full-standing status and have an overall graduate grade point average of 3.0 or greater prior to initiating a request for change of status.

2.8 - Graduate Assistants

A graduate student enrolled in an MS or PhD degree program can be appointed as a Graduate Assistant (GA) by the Graduate College. The primary responsibility of a GA is participation in the research and teaching effort of the department or program. The work must contribute to the graduate/professional education of the student and to fulfillment of requirements for the graduate degree. Graduate Assistants are categorized as Graduate Assistants, (GA ’s), Graduate Research Assistants (GRA's) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA's) and are defined according to the student’s responsibilities.

GAs, GRAs, and GTAs may be eligible for a non-resident tuition waiver in accordance with Oklahoma State Regents policy. A student must be appointed a GA, GRA, or GTA by the first day of class in order to receive a non-resident tuition waiver for that semester.

The Internal Revenue Service grants student status to all GA’s, GRA’s, and GTA’s with half-time enrollment. IRS defines half-time enrollment as 5 credit hours for fall and spring semesters and 2 credit hours for the summer semester. If the enrollment drops below this, the student must be reclassified as an employee and will no longer be considered a GA, GRA, or GTA.

2.8.1 - Graduate Assistant

The primary responsibility is participation in work that contributes to the educational process and development of the student.

2.8.2 - Graduate Research Assistant

The primary responsibility is participation in the research effort of the department and graduate program. The work must contribute to fulfilling requirements for completing the degree.

2.8.3 - Graduate Teaching Assistant

The primary responsibility is the teaching effort of the department and its contribution to student development.

To be appointed a GA, GRA or GTA, the student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Student must be enrolled full-time. Full-time enrollment for a GA is defined as 6 credit hours for fall and spring semesters and 3 credit hours for the summer term.
  2. Appointed to work 10 - 20 hours per week (0.25 to 0.50 FTE).
  3. Work appointed for must be related to the program of study.
  4. Student must receive a minimum stipend of $500 per calendar month. The Graduate College determines the maximum amount that can be earned annually. Students may not receive a stipend that exceeds the annually established maximum without prior approval of the Dean of their college

2.8.4 - GA Appointment Outside Student's Degree-Granting Department

If the GA, GRA, or GTA appointment is with a faculty member who does not hold an appointment in the student’s degree- granting department, the hiring department should initiate the GA Authorization Form found online. If the chair supports the appointment, completed documents should be forwarded to the Graduate College Dean who will approve the appointment if the work experience is directly related to the program of study and degree requirements.

The GA, GRA, or GTA appointment will be in the hiring department. The appointment must meet all requirements, policies and procedures defined by the degree-granting department for GA, GRA, and GTA appointments in the department.

The following documentation is included on the authorization form:

  1. A detailed description of duties and how they are related to the program of study.
  2. Description of the purpose and scope of the project on which the student would work.
  3. Identification of the department and college where the project is located.
  4. Identification of the faculty member who supervises the work and definition of the faculty member’s association with the primary department and/or education.
  5. List of skills that will be developed or learned that are directly related to the graduate program objectives.
  6. Statement by student addressing how this experience will enhance the student’s career objectives, including specific and measurable outcomes (i.e., professional presentations, publications, etc.).
  7. Statement by the supervising faculty member confirming the scope of the work, its relevance to the program of study, the stipend amount and % time appointed.

2.9 - Enrollment Policies

2.9.1 - Full-Time and Maximum Enrollment

Full-time enrollment for graduate students is nine semester hours during the fall and spring semesters and four semester hours during the summer sessions. Students may not carry more than 16 hours per semester for graduate credit or more than nine semester hours per summer session without permission of the Graduate Dean.

2.9.2 - Enrollment During General, Comprehensive, or Final Examinations, or Defense

Students must enroll in at least two graduate credit hours during the semester in which they take the general or comprehensive examination, or when defending their thesis or dissertation. Thesis/dissertation students must maintain continuous enrollment in 5980 or 6980 until the final copies are deposited with the library.

2.9.3 - Enrollment of Undergraduate Students in Graduate Courses

Undergraduate juniors or seniors at the University of Oklahoma who have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater may enroll in graduate level courses. Approval is required from the advisor, department, and Graduate Dean. Undergraduates desiring graduate credit for a course must have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.00 and complete and return to the OU Norman Graduate College the Application for Graduate Credit for Courses taken during the Junior and Senior Year. Students must receive permission to enroll in the course for graduate credit from the instructor, the department offering the course, and the Graduate Dean. Approval of the instructor will signify that the junior or senior will be graded in competition with the graduate students in the class. The application must be completed and returned to the Graduate College Office with the signed approvals noted above before or during the first two weeks of classes of the semester during which the course will be taken.

When the student has completed the bachelor's degree, the Graduate College will request the student's undergraduate college to verify that the course was not required for the bachelor's degree and that the student earned either A, B, or S in the course. Credit for courses so listed may not be applied toward the bachelor's degree.

Each graduate degree program has a prescribed set of courses required for the degree and not all graduate level courses can be applied to fulfill those requirements. Before enrolling in graduate level courses, the student who plans to work toward a graduate degree should consult with the department or program to plan an appropriate program of study.

2.9.4 - Faculty and Staff Graduate Enrollment

To prevent a conflict of interest between the role of student and the role of faculty or staff, the following policy applies to all OUHSC faculty and staff enrolled in Graduate College course work and programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

A faculty member may enroll in Graduate College course work as a Special Student. If the course work is in a department in which the faculty member has an appointment, the faculty member must enroll for audit.  A faculty member may not enroll for credit and cannot be admitted into a degree program in a department in which he or she holds a faculty appointment or in an academic area of his or her faculty expertise unless the following conditions are met:

  1. The faculty member’s graduate program must be for a degree higher than the one currently held.
  2. The departmental Chair or Program Director in which the faculty member holds an appointment must submit a plan to manage any potential conflict of interest.  The plan must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College and the College in which the faculty member holds an appointment.
  3. A full time faculty member cannot be paid as a graduate student or receive a student grant.
  4. The faculty member must relinquish voting privileges in the department or program in which he or she holds a Graduate Faculty appointment and recuse themselves from any meeting discussing items related to their Graduate College program while a student.

Staff may enroll in graduate course work as Special Students.

If a staff member is admitted to a degree program within the academic unit in which he or she is employed, the following conditions must apply:

  1. A staff member may not enroll for credit in a course that is taught by a faculty member who has supervisory authority over the staff member's employment. An exception can be made for a required course taught only by the faculty supervisor if approved by the Graduate College Dean.
  2. The staff member’s work and responsibility as an employee must be different from his or her work and responsibility as a student.
  3. If the staff member is employed for research effort, the research activity for which the staff member receives payment as an employee cannot be used to meet thesis or dissertation requirements.
  4. The criteria for the evaluation of the staff member as an employee must be identified and differentiated from the criteria for the evaluation of the staff member as a student.
  5. A full time staff member cannot be paid as a graduate student or receive a student grant. 
  6. It is the responsibility of the thesis/dissertation chair and committee members to be certain that these conditions are met and to monitor for any potential conflict of interest and bring it to the attention of the Graduate Dean.
  7. The faculty member with supervisory responsibility for the staff member as an employee cannot chair the staff member’s graduate committee unless the following conditions are met:
    1. Prior approval must be requested by the supervising faculty member and approved by the department Chair or Program Director and the Graduate Dean.
    2. The request must include how duties as a staff member and a student are substantially different and how staff and student activities will be evaluated differently.

    3. If the request is approved, the thesis/dissertation committee members will be charged with monitoring for any potential conflicts of interest and bringing them to the attention of the Graduate Dean.

2.9.5 - Health Sciences Center Students Enrolling in Norman Campus Courses

To enroll in Norman campus courses, Health Sciences Center students must receive permission from their HSC college. The HSC Office of Admissions and Records will process all enrollments, adding and/or dropping courses. Tuition and fees for OU Norman courses are paid to the OU Norman Bursar’s Office in Buchanan Hall, 1000 Asp Avenue. Norman campus courses will be listed on the HSC student's transcript. For further information, contact the HSC Office of Admissions and Records, 271-2359.

2.9.6 - Norman Campus Students Enrolling in Graduate College Courses

In that all courses at the HSC require special permission, Norman campus students are advised to secure that permission from the HSC instructor before beginning the enrollment process.

Once permission has been obtained, Norman campus students should contact the Norman Office of Academic Records and Enrollment Services, Buchanan Hall, 1000 Asp Avenue, Norman. HSC courses will be listed on the Norman campus student's transcript. Tuition and fees for HSC courses are paid to the HSC campus Bursar’s Office, Service Center Building, 1100 N Lindsey, Oklahoma City. For further information, contact the OU Norman Office of Academic Records and Enrollment Services, at (405) 325-4147.

2.9.7 - Auditor

Audit enrollment is for non-credit and used by students who want to take a class for information, not to count toward a degree. Students enrolling as an auditor must meet guidelines as outlined below. Enrollment as an auditor is permitted in all courses, subject to the approval of the instructor(s) and the Dean of the college in which the course(s) is offered. Enrollment as an auditor must be completed by the last day of enrollment in any term.

Enrollment as an auditor is indicated with an "AU" or "W" grade on the student's permanent academic record and no credit/clock hour values designated. Fee charges and refund policies for audit enrollments are the same as for credit enrollments. Students enrolled "exclusively" as auditors may withdraw only during the fee refund period and the enrollment will be canceled. No entry will be made on a permanent academic record.

In accepting a student as an auditor, it becomes the responsibility of the instructor to make clear to the student the instructor's requirements for the audit enrollment. For example, if the student is to attend regularly, to participate in specific class exercises, perform experiments, take tests, etc., this must be relayed to the student at the time permission is given to enroll as an auditor. Satisfactory completion of the audit enrollment is identified as an "AU" grade. An instructor, at his/her discretion, may assign a "W" grade to an auditor who, in the instructor's opinion, did not perform according to the specific requirements as identified at the time of enrollment.

Students enrolled exclusively as an auditor may change their enrollment to "credit," providing the student gains admission to the university during the first two weeks of classes of a semester or the first week of classes of a summer session with the approval of the instructor(s) and appropriate college Dean.

A change of enrollment from "credit" to "audit" may be made no later than the end of the sixth week of classes of a semester or the end of the third week of classes of a summer session, providing the student is passing and receives the approval of the instructor and the appropriate Dean. A change of enrollment to audit supersedes the original enrollment for credit, and no withdrawal from the credit enrollment is posted to the student's permanent record. For more information, contact Admissions and Records, LIB 121 or (405) 271-2359.

2.9.8 - Class Attendance

Only officially enrolled students (either for credit or audit) may attend class. Each student is responsible for the content of courses in which he or she is enrolled. Specific policies concerning attendance requirements, announced, and unannounced examinations are the responsibility of the individual instructor. If absences seriously affect a student's class work, the instructor is required to report this fact to the appropriate Dean, who will transmit the information to the Office of Admissions and Records. Classes are not to be dismissed or rescheduled for extracurricular functions.

2.9.9 - Request for Leave of Absence

Students may request a leave of absence from their graduate studies for up to but not to exceed 12 consecutive months (three consecutive academic terms). Leave of absence has no effect on time limits for expected graduation. The student should complete the ‘Student Leave Request’ form found on the Admissions and Records website. The request must be approved by the student’s graduate advisor, department chair, and Graduate Dean. Students on probationary status, if granted a leave of absence, will resume their probationary status upon return from their leave. Students receiving financial aid may be required to return a portion of the aid. They must check with their financial aid officer.

2.9.10 - Withdrawing and Dropping Courses

Students should contact their department to initiate the drop or withdrawal procedure. Withdrawing from the Health Sciences Center refers to withdrawing from all enrolled courses for a given term. Dropping refers to the dropping of one or more courses while remaining enrolled in at least one course for a given term. Consult the class schedule for grading regulations and deadlines relative to withdrawals and drops. Withdrawing or dropping courses may require students receiving financial aid to return a portion of the aid received. Students must check with their financial aid officer. Appropriate forms found at Admissions and Records.

Drop:
During the first two weeks of class (first week of a summer session), no record of a grade on a dropped course will be recorded. From the third through sixth week of class (second and third week of summer), an automatic grade of W will be assigned to each course the student is dropping. From the seventh through 10th week (fourth and fifth week of summer), a grade of W (passing but indicating student withdrew from the course) or F (not passing) is submitted by the course director according to Graduate College grading policy guidelines. Grades of A, B, C, and S are passing or satisfactory grades and grades of D, F or U are failing grades in the Graduate College. From the 11th week through the last day of classes (sixth week through the last day of class in the summer), a petition to the Graduate College Dean requesting permission to drop a course is required. The petition should outline the specific reason(s) for dropping the course(s). If the Dean approves the drop, the course instructor renders a grade of W or F (following the above Graduate College grading policy guidelines) that reflects the student’s letter grade at the time of the drop request.

Withdraw:
The transcript of students withdrawing prior to the beginning of the semester will not reflect enrollment in the courses. From the third through sixth week of class (second and third week of summer), an automatic grade of W will be assigned to each course the student is withdrawing from. From the seventh week through the last day of class (fourth week through last day of class in summer), a grade of W (passing but indicating student withdrew from the course) or F (not passing) is rendered by the course director according to Graduate College grading policy guidelines that reflects the student’s letter grade at the time of the drop request. Grades of A, B, C, and S are passing or satisfactory grades and grades of D, F or U are failing grades in the Graduate College.

 An administrative withdrawal (AW) may be assigned to indicate that a student has been "involuntarily" withdrawn by the institution during the designated semester for disciplinary or financial reasons or inadequate attendance. Such institutional penalties must follow formal institutional procedures. Administrative withdrawals are GPA neutral.

2.10 - Grades

2.10.1 - Course Credit in the Graduate College

Course work taken at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center which is to be applied toward fulfilling requirements for a graduate degree must be approved for graduate credit and recommended by the Advisory Committee.

2.10.2 - Grades of A, B, C, D, and F

The grades A, B, C, D, and F are used in computing grade point averages. In the Graduate College the grades of A, B, C, and S are the only passing or satisfactory grades, and the grades of D, F and U are failing. Students who receive a D, F or U grade in a required course must register for the required course the next time it is offered. In such re-enrollment, both grades will be shown on the student's academic record and both will be included in the grade point average calculation. Any student presenting credit from another institution for a course previously failed at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center shall not receive credit for such courses except through validation by the department in which the course was originally failed and approval by the Graduate Dean. It is the prerogative of each college and/or department to establish grade requirements above the Graduate College minimum.

2.10.3 - Grades of S and U

The grade of S (satisfactory) is a neutral passing grade. The grade of U (unsatisfactory) is used to indicate that no credit will be given for the course. These grades may be used for seminar courses provided they are taught on a non-competitive basis and all students in the class are graded on this basis. The S grade is the only passing grade accepted for special problem courses, individual research, and directed reading courses. Instructors and mentors are expected to notify the student of an impending U grade and plan remedial action well before the end of the semester. The S grade may not be used for lecture courses except with the expressed approval of the Graduate Dean.

2.10.4 - Grade of I

The grade of I (incomplete) is a neutral grade. It is not an alternative to an earned letter grade, but is intended as a temporary grade to be used for a student who, for reasons satisfactory to the instructor, is unable to complete certain identifiable requirements of a course and who cannot be assigned any other grade. Typical instances might be absence from a final examination due to illness or inability to submit a term project due to extenuating circumstances. "Incomplete" is not an acceptable explanation of the I grade.

The instructor will indicate to the student what must be done to complete the course, will set a time limit appropriate to the circumstances and will define the grade to be assigned. 

If by the end of one year no change in grade has been submitted, the grade of I will become permanent on the student's record. After a grade of I has become permanent, the student may re-enroll in the course. Credit for courses in which a student has received an I at the University of Oklahoma cannot be completed at or transferred from another institution. If the student graduates with a grade of I on the record, it becomes permanent.

2.10.5 - Grades of X, S, and U for Enrollment in Thesis and Dissertation Research

The grade of X is a neutral conditional grade and indicates that satisfactory progress is being made on thesis and dissertation research courses 5980 and 6980. It is a complete grade when the final entry is either Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U), indicating either acceptance or rejection of the thesis or dissertation. An intermediate grade of U indicating unsatisfactory progress in thesis or dissertation research may be given if circumstances warrant. The grade of X is included in hours attempted and hours earned.

2.10.6 - Grade of W

Students withdrawing from all courses in the first two weeks of class (the first week of a summer session) receive a W in each course of enrollment. For complete withdrawals occurring after the second week of class (first week of summer session), the instructor will assign a grade of W or F for each course.

Students withdrawing from one or more courses but not all courses in the first two weeks of class (first week of summer) no grade is recorded; from the third week through the sixth week of class (second and third week of summer) a W will be assigned to each dropped course. From the seventh through 10th week (fourth and fifth week of summer) the instructor of each course dropped will assign a W or F. Beginning with the 11th week of class (sixth week of the summer session) through the last day of classes courses may be dropped only by direct petition to the Dean of the college under which the course is taught. Students who drop a course with permission of the Dean will receive a final grade of W or F at the discretion of the instructor of the course dropped.

2.10.7 - Repeat Coursework

Students cannot repeat course work in which they have received a passing grade (A,B,C, or S). Exceptions can be made for student's receiving a C grade if the program requires a grade of A or B in a specific course. A request from the program must be approved by the Graduate Dean. Both the original grade and the repeat grade will be included in the calculation of the graduate GPA.

2.10.8 - Transfer Credit

The acceptance of transfer credit from another institution for a graduate degree program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is determined in accordance with the criteria as outlined in the Master's, Doctoral and Certificate Programs section of this bulletin.

2.10.9 - Grade Point System

Each hour of A, B, C, D, and F carries a grade point value as follows: A-4, B-3, C-2, D-1 and F-0. Grades of S, I, X, U, and W carry no grade point value and are not included in the computation of a student's semester or cumulative grade point average.

2.10.10 - Correcting Grades Reported in Error

The instructor initiates the change by filing a Faculty Request for Grade Change form with the Office of Admissions and Records through the college under which the course was taught.

2.11 - Standards of Performance and Evaluation

2.11.1 - Graduate College Standards

The Graduate College is responsible for review of the performance of graduate students in accordance with the guidelines described in this bulletin. The Graduate College monitors the students' academic progress and at the end of each semester or summer session notifies students about their status if they fail to meet the standards of performance required by the Graduate College.

All graduate students, regardless of admission status, are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.00 or greater in all graduate course work completed. If a student's academic record includes enrollment in more than one graduate degree and/or certificate program, the student must maintain a grade point average of 3.00 or greater in each program. The total number of credit hours of C grade which can be applied toward a graduate degree and/or certificate cannot exceed 25 % of the total letter graded course work required for the degree and/or certificate

2.11.2 - Academic Probation

Students who fail to maintain an overall grade point average of 3.00 in all graduate courses attempted will be placed on academic probation. Students will also be placed on probation if they fail to maintain satisfactory progress as determined by their annual evaluation or in receiving the grade of U in 5980 or 6980. Instructors and mentors are expected to notify the student of any impending U grade and plan remedial action well before the end of the semester.

Students placed on academic probation for low GPA will be evaluated at the end of each subsequent semester. The probationary status will remain until the student raises their overall graduate GPA to 3.00 or higher. The probationary requirements must be completed within 9 credit hours of graded graduate course work or one calendar year from being placed on probation, whichever comes first. This is the probationary period, during which students must demonstrate satisfactory progress in improving their cumulative grade point average. Students placed on probation for a grade of U in 5980 or 6980 or for failure to maintain satisfactory progress will be evaluated at the end of the following semester. The grades of D, F, or U may be grounds for dismissal prior to completing the probationary period.

At the end of the probationary period, students who achieve a 3.00 cumulative grade point average and/or regain satisfactory progress will be returned to full or unclassified status and will be allowed to continue their enrollment. Those who fail to achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 for all courses awarding grade points may be denied further enrollment after this probationary period. If students merit an extension of the probationary period, the extension will be considered a second probationary period and the time limit will be specified by the Graduate Dean but may not exceed two consecutive academic terms.

If a student fails to maintain a 3.00 grade point average and the rules require probation for a third time, the student will be denied further enrollment and will be dismissed from the Graduate College.

2.11.3 - Program Standards

Programs, departments or other academic units may have additional and more stringent criteria for evaluating their students' performance and progress and they may demand a higher level of performance than that required by the Graduate College. Under certain circumstances, a department or program unit may recommend dismissal of a student from a graduate program even though a 3.00 grade point average has been maintained. Grounds for dismissal include but are not limited to (1) failure to make timely progress toward the degree or (2) failure to perform in course work, qualifying examination, or research at an acceptable level in the respective department or program unit. These guidelines are stipulated in the departmental documents.

2.11.4 - Program Annual Review of Student Progress

Programs shall conduct an annual review and evaluation of their students' progress in meeting degree requirements. Each department shall establish a graduate student review procedure to coordinate and forward all reviews to the students and Graduate Dean. The review must be conducted by graduate faculty authorized to chair committees at the level of the students to be evaluated. Any exceptions to this requirement must receive prior written approval of the Graduate Dean. Annual reviews are to be conducted prior to the fall semester.

  1. Criteria. The review may include, but is not limited to, considerations such as progress toward meeting conditions of admission; completion within the prescribed period of time of those courses in which the student has received the grade of I; completion of core course requirements; completion of research tool requirements; progress toward completing research requirements; timely filing of the prospectus; the general quality of research; and completion of the thesis or dissertation. The review also may encompass the student's broader scholarly capabilities and professional development.
  2. Procedure. The Program will make this review annually and notify each student in writing of the student's progress and performance toward satisfying degree requirements. If there are deficient areas, the department must specify clearly what each student must do to receive a satisfactory evaluation and specify a time for a second review. A copy of this letter must be sent to the Graduate Dean. The Graduate Dean will review the student's total record and, if appropriate, the student will be placed on probation.
  3. Second Review. The Graduate Dean and the Program will conduct a second review for all students placed on probation. In this second review, the Program will determine if (a) the student is making satisfactory progress; (b) the student's level of performance is unsatisfactory and the student is ineligible for further enrollment; or (c) the Program believes the student's progress is still unsatisfactory but wishes to petition the Graduate Dean to continue the student on probation for an additional semester or summer session. The student and the Graduate Dean will be notified in writing of the results of this second review. The Graduate Dean may either remove the student from probation, deny the student further enrollment, or continue the student on probation for an additional semester. When application of the above rules requires the student to go on probation a third time, the student will be denied further enrollment.

2.11.5 - Residence Requirements

The primary purpose of residence requirements is to encourage the educational and professional development of individuals seeking advanced degrees. The opportunity for the student to associate with the faculty and other students in the University community, to utilize the facilities on the campus, and to take advantage of a wide variety of cultural opportunities justifies a relatively extended campus stay. In addition, the University must be in a position to oversee the development of the candidate, especially during the formal preparation for the General Examination.

The student must be in residence at the University of Oklahoma and engaged in course work or research activities prescribed by the Program for at least two regular semesters. Exceptions are made for degrees provided by distance education through electronic media.

2.12 - Graduate Academic Appeals

The Graduate College hears all appeals involving qualifying examinations, comprehensive examinations, general examinations, 5980 (thesis) or (6980) dissertation courses and/or disagreements that may jeopardize the continued enrollment of the student in the Graduate College or graduate program, and other matters of controversy not specifically covered in the Student Handbook. Such appeals must be filed in writing and given to the Graduate Dean within 60 days of the time of action from which the dispute arose. Graduate students with grievances should immediately contact the Graduate College to obtain more details about the appeals procedure.

2.13 - Responsible Conduct of Research

All Graduate College students must receive training in Responsible Conduct of Research. The level of training in Responsible Conduct of Research is dependent upon the degree program. Training for doctoral students must occur prior to enrolling in doctoral dissertation research. RCR training for thesis masters students must occur prior to enrolling in master’s thesis research. For non-thesis master’s students, training must occur prior to approval to take the comprehensive examination. Programs must submit a proposal to the Graduate College Responsible Conduct of Research Committee as to how their students will meet this requirement, and any changes must be approved by the Graduate College RCR Committee.

2.14 - Graduate Awards for Academic Excellence

One Outstanding Master’s Thesis and one Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award are offered annually to reward excellence in research. Each Program has the opportunity to nominate one thesis and/or dissertation to compete for these prestigious awards. The Research and Graduate Student Affairs Committee of the Graduate Council selects these awards. Winners are presented a certificate and cash award at the OUHSC Campus Awards Ceremony.

The Graduate College and the Graduate Student Association annually sponsor the Graduate Research, Education, and Technology (GREAT) Symposium where graduate students and postdoctoral fellows present oral and poster presentations describing current original research projects. Travel grants and trophies are awarded for winning presentations.

The Graduate College awards the O. Ray Kling Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership each year at the OUHSC Campus Awards Ceremony. This award is named in honor of Dr. O. Ray Kling, Dean of the Graduate College from 1990-2002. It is given annually to the graduate student who best embodies Dr. Kling’s commitment to the hallmarks of graduate education at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. A committee named by the Dean of the Graduate College annually evaluates graduate students for this award based upon leadership among peers, service to students in the Graduate College, academic accomplishments, intellectual honesty and curiosity, and achievements in research.

2.15 - Graduation Ceremony

The official commencement for all graduating OU students is held on the Norman campus each spring.  The Graduate College Convocation is held at OUHSC each Spring. Students should complete the graduation application at the time they enroll for their last semester; diplomas are awarded three times a year.. Additional information can be found in the Master's and Doctoral degree sections of this bulletin.

2.16 - Optional Practical Training for International Students (OPT)

International graduate students may request to receive optional practical training (OPT) after their graduate education. Graduate students are highly discouraged from starting their optional practical training (OPT) prior to completing their degree requirement. OPT status prohibits any type of student employment; therefore, a graduate student with OPT status may not hold a Graduate Assistant position and will no longer be eligible to receive a stipend or be eligible for a non-resident tuition waiver, and must pay tuition at the non-resident rate. In addition, once a graduate student has OPT status the graduate mentor is no longer required to pay the student’s tuition, fees, or health insurance.

Any Graduate Assistant requesting OPT must meet with a member of the Graduate College; this meeting must include their dissertation mentor. This meeting will discuss the ramifications of choosing a specific date for the student to start their OPT. OUHSC International Student Services will not process a request for OPT for a Graduate Assistant without a signature from a member of the Graduate College approving the start date.

OPT does allow a student to hold a professional position; however, the student must receive written approval from the degree granting department and comply with all Graduate College academic policies outlined in the Graduate College Bulletin

2.17 - Graduate Student Travel Policy

A graduate student is both a student and researcher. The role the student assumes while traveling determines if it is a taxable student expense or a business expense. Specific guidelines for determination if travel is taxable by the government are found on the Graduate College webpage at Student Travel Policy.

2.18 - Undergraduate Research Opportunities with HSC Mentors

2.18.1 - Students from OU Norman (Two Options)

College Credit: OU Norman undergraduate students may enroll in coursework that allows independent research with an OUHSC faculty member through intercampus enrollment. Credit hours earned are dependent upon hours spent on the OUHSC campus with the mentor. OUHSC courses will be listed on the Norman Campus student’s transcript. The student and or faculty member from Norman communicates directly with an OUHSC mentor. Intercampus enrollment is processed by the OU Norman Enrollment Office. Courses available are:

BMSC 4990 Undergraduate Research; BMSC 3980 Undergraduate Honors Research (Honors Students Only).

No College Credit: Undergraduate students from OU Norman may participate in experiential research with an OUHSC mentor. The student and or faculty member from Norman communicates directly with an OUHSC mentor but does not enroll for course. No tuition is charged by OUHSC and no college credit is earned. Student agrees to follow OUHSC and laboratory policies and procedures.

2.18.2 - Students from External Institutions (Two Options):

College Credit: Undergraduate students enrolled at an accredited U.S. college must be accepted as an OUHSC Graduate College Special Student and may receive college credit with approval from the student’s home institution. The student is responsible for OUHSC application fees, tuition, and fees and must agree to follow OUHSC and laboratory policies and procedures.

No College Credit: Undergraduate students from an accredited U.S. college or university may participate in volunteer research with an OUHSC researcher. No tuition is charged and no college credit is earned. Student agrees to follow OUHSC and laboratory policies and procedures. 

2.19 - Summer Undergraduate Research Programs

The OUHSC Graduate College hosts four summer undergraduate research programs (SURPs) aimed at preparing and encouraging undergraduate students to pursue careers in biomedical research or health related sciences. These 9-week programs are designed to offer outstanding undergraduate students intensive, hands-on research opportunities in the laboratories of select OUHSC biomedical faculty mentors. These programs introduce students to the rigorous academic preparation required for biomedical research careers. Tuition is waived and a stipend provided, three hours college credit is earned and housing is provided. The three programs currently housed on the OUHSC campus are:

  • The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)
  • The Native American Research Center for Health (NARCH) Student Development Program
  • The IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Summer Research Program
  • The Cancer Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE)

Detailed information on each program and application deadlines are found on the Graduate College website at Summer Undergraduate Research.

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