Jun 23, 2018  
2011-2012 University Catalog 
    
2011-2012 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Standards and Academic Progress


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Definition of Full-time Status for Academic Purposes

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For first-year (U1) students entering fall 2009 and later years (Catalog Years 2009 and later):

Full-time status for undergraduate students for academic purposes is defined as 12 or more credits of registered coursework at the end of the drop/add period. 

Exception: Doctor of pharmacy program students in the sixth year (P4) of the program are defined as full-time with a minimum of 10 credits of registered coursework at the end of the drop/add period.

General Information

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Students in advanced degree programs under the jurisdiction of the College of Graduate Studies or Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy, as well as graduate level-certificate programs, should refer to the College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures Handbook for information on grading.

It is also important to note that individual colleges and many major programs have specific academic standards for academic standing, progression, graduation, etc. Please refer to the individual college or program sections of the University Catalog (catalog.usp.edu) for information related to these standards. Academic departments may also have additional handbooks containing information relevant to the discipline or the profession. Students should check with their academic departments.

The information in this section presents only university-wide academic standards.

The minimum passing grade in all courses taken at the University is “D-.” At the conclusion of each semester of study, students are expected to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00, unless a higher GPA is specified by their program. For the purposes of these academic regulations, “good academic standing” shall be defined as maintenance of a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 and not more than one failing grade (“F”) in the most recent semester, irrespective of cumulative GPA.

To progress into advanced or professional coursework, students must have completed and passed all required courses. Depending on curriculum, these may be first-, second-, or third-year courses. Students also must have achieved at least the minimum cumulative GPA required by their major.

All students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 by the end of the spring semester of their second year, unless a higher standard is specified by their program (see specific requirements in the University Catalog). The minimum cumulative GPA must be achieved by the end of the spring semester of the second year. A second-year student who has achieved the minimum cumulative GPA as of the end of the spring semester but who has not completed or has failed a required course must satisfactorily complete the required course by the end of Summer Session 2 of the same year with the minimum cumulative GPA or above, in order to progress into the third year of a curriculum. Students in the doctor of pharmacy program must complete all required first- and second-year courses by the end of the spring semester of the second year.

The academic records of all second-year students are evaluated by the corresponding program director/department chairperson and the college dean responsible for their degree program. Those students who do not meet the criteria for progression into the third year (fourth year for doctor of physical therapy students) of the curriculum will be referred to the appropriate faculty college council.

The faculty college council may:

  • Drop the student from the University rolls; or
  • Provide the student an opportunity to attain the required GPA within a maximum of two additional semesters while assigned a full course load, including reassignment to courses in which a minimum final grade of “C” was not achieved (subject to policy on “Repetition of a Course/Grade Replacement”).

Academic Probation

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For students who entered prior to fall 2009 (Catalog Years 2008 and earlier):

The college deans will review the scholastic progress of all students at the end of each semester. Students who have not achieved the required minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00, or who have received a failing grade (“F”) in two or more courses in the most recent semester, will be placed on academic probation.

Students in majors other than the doctor of pharmacy program who do not achieve the course grades or cumulative GPA necessary to qualify for good academic standing may, at the option of the faculty, be granted a second consecutive semester of probation or a second or third nonconsecutive semester of probation in which to meet the required academic standards.

No student will be permitted more than two consecutive or three nonconsecutive semesters of academic probation. (See Dropped from the Rolls  policy for further details.)

Students on academic probation are required to meet with a professional academic advisor in the Department of Academic Advising or Student Academic Support Services (SASS) to complete an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP). Students are required to develop this plan in consultation with their academic advisor and comply with the Academic Improvement Policy. Please see the Academic Improvement Policy for further details.

For first-year (U1) students who entered fall 2009 and later years (Catalog Years 2009 and later):

The college deans will review the scholastic progress of all students at the end of each semester. Students, whether full-time or part-time, who have not achieved the required minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00, or who have received a failing grade (“F”) in two or more courses in the most recent semester (whether full-time or part-time), will be placed on academic probation. A semester is a 15-week unit of instruction and assessment.

Students on academic probation are required to meet with a professional academic advisor in the Department of Academic Advising or Student Academic Support Services (SASS) to complete an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP). Students are required to develop this plan in consultation with their academic advisor and comply with the Academic Improvement Policy. Please see the Academic Improvement Policy for further details.

Academic Improvement Policy

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Students who earn an academic probation are not performing at a level of achievement that is consistent with success in their academic program. The purpose of this policy is to assist students to develop and implement plans that will help them to increase their academic performance and achieve their academic goals.

Students on academic probation are required to meet with a professional academic advisor in the Department of Academic Advising or Student Academic Support Services (SASS) to complete an individualized Academic Improvement Plan (AIP). Students are expected to develop this plan in consultation with their academic advisor who must sign-off on their plan.

Students are expected to implement their AIP immediately after earning academic probation and must meet with their advisor or professional academic advisor no later than the end of the second week of classes of their first semester after being placed on academic probation. Students who earn their first probation after the spring semester are required to develop their plans over the summer and must obtain their advisor’s approval prior to June 15.

Students on academic probation will be contacted by Student Academic Support Services or the Department of Academic Advising to schedule an initial meeting. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule and attend any meetings, workshops, tutoring, etc., associated with the development and implementation of this plan. The AIP includes utilizing resources in the Division of Student Affairs (Academic Advising, Academic Support Services, tutoring, counseling, career counseling, etc.) and other appropriate resources (e.g., their instructors, the Writing Center).

Students who do not complete and follow through with their AIP will have a dean’s hold placed on their record preventing further registration activity until they meet with their academic dean and/or a dean of students. Students who do not develop or implement their AIP and earn a second academic probation may be administratively withdrawn from the University.

Student Comments and Complaints

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Doctor of Pharmacy Program

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) requires that colleges of pharmacy respond to any written complaints by pharmacy students relating to adherence to the standards, policies, and procedures of ACPE. Students should submit a written comment or complaint to the Office of the Dean of Pharmacy (GH-216). All comments or complaints will be evaluated, and a written response will be provided. Students are also encouraged to visit the ACPE website at www.acpe-accredit.org.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Doctor of physical therapy students have the right to lodge a formal complaint to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) if the USciences physical therapy program is not in compliance with one or more of the evaluative criteria set by CAPTE.  

Students need to identify the specific evaluative criteria that they feel is not being met by the USciences Department of Physical Therapy. In order for CAPTE to consider the complaint to be bona fide, the student MUST have exhausted all of the avenues for redress at the institution.  The full policy on complaints to CAPTE can be found in the Department of Physical Therapy Policy and Procedure Manual. Students may also find information on filing CAPTE complaints on the USciences physical therapy webpage (www.usciences.edu/pt/) and through the American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org).

Residency and Length of Time to Complete Program of Study

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In order to earn an undergraduate or first professional degree from USciences, a student must complete at least 30 in-residence credits at a USciences campus. At least half of these credits must be upper division courses required by the major (i.e., 300 level or above). In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by USciences academic departments or partnership institutions that can contribute to the student’s degree requirements.

USciences colleges and programs may impose additional residency and time to completion requirements. These policies are as follows:

Misher College of Arts and Sciences

In order to earn a degree from Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a USciences campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by USciences for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average (GPA).

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy

Students enrolled in programs in Philadelphia College of Pharmacy have a maximum amount of time to complete the requirements necessary for graduation in their program of study. For bachelor’s degree programs, students have a maximum of six years from freshman entry into the University to complete all degree requirements. For the doctor of pharmacy program, students have a maximum of six years from entry into the first professional year (third year) to complete all degree requirements. If a student cannot complete the degree in the allotted time of six years, the student will be withdrawn from the program. This requirement is effective for all first-year students matriculating into the fall 2007 semester and thereafter.

Health Science Program

All students enrolled in the BSHS in health science program must fulfill a residency requirement of a minimum of two years (4 full semesters) at USciences, including a minimum of one full semester as a BSHS major, in order to graduate. Students enrolled in integrated BSHS OT/PA/PT programs are exempt from this requirement.

All students enrolled in the BSHS in health science program must complete a minimum of 30 credits at USciences in order to graduate. A minimum of 120 approved credits is required to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Occupational Therapy Program

Applications from other undergraduate majors or transfer students are welcome. The class level to which transfer students are assigned will depend on the prerequisites they have completed, but the minimum residency requirement is three years for the MOT and four years for the DrOT. All conditions regarding guaranteed admission into the professional curriculum also apply to transfer students admitted to the first or second year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

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Students who receive financial aid while attending the University must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to be eligible for financial aid funding. Progress is measured at the end of each academic year or its equivalent. This measure, and the rules of academic probation for financial aid, may be different from the rules of academic progress and probation imposed by individual academic departments. For financial aid purposes, a student maintains satisfactory academic progress if he/she:

  • Maintains at least 2.00 cumulative GPA for undergraduates and at least a 2.50 for graduate students.
  • Completes at least 75% of the total hours attempted each semester.
  • Does not exceed 150% of the normal number of credits needed to complete his/her academic program.

Dean’s List

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For students who entered prior to fall 2009 (Catalog Years 2008 and earlier):

Following the close of each semester, the dean’s List is posted, recognizing those full-time students who have achieved high scholastic distinction. Those students who prefer not to have their names posted should notify the office of the appropriate college dean. Those named to the Dean’s List must have completed and passed all assigned courses with no grade below “C” and attained a semester GPA of 3.40 or above.

Students on conduct probation are not eligible for the dean’s list.

For first-year (U1) students who entered fall 2009 and later years (Catalog Years 2009 and later):

Following the close of each semester, the dean’s list is posted, recognizing those students who have achieved high scholastic distinction. Those named to the dean’s list must have completed 12 or more credits of coursework in that semester  with no grade below “C” and attained a semester GPA of 3.40 or above. Those students who prefer not to have their names posted should notify the office of the appropriate college dean.

Students with written reprimand for an academic violation or any conduct probation or higher sanction are not eligible for the dean’s list.

Writing Proficiency Examination

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Passing the writing proficiency examination is a graduation requirement for all baccalaureate and first professional degree programs through Catalog Year 2008. Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution will be exempt from the writing proficiency exam. (The exemption in the preceding sentence for students with a baccalaureate degree will take effect for students entering USciences in summer 2007 or later.) The writing proficiency examination will be administered each semester and will be administered to all students during their second year.

The writing proficiency examination committee will be responsible for determining the content of the writing proficiency examination and for its administration and grading. The committee will act in accordance with the Guidelines for Content and Evaluation and with the advice and consent of the dean of Misher College of Arts and Sciences, the dean of Samson College of Health Sciences, the dean of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and the dean of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy.

Students who do not pass the writing proficiency examination may take WR 305 or another suitable course used for additional instruction. Then they must retake a writing proficiency examination and pass in order to satisfy the graduation requirement.

Ultimately, all students enrolled through Catalog Year 2008 must pass the writing proficiency examination in order to graduate. Doctor of pharmacy students admitted into graduating classes of 2008–2012 must complete this requirement to progress to the third professional year. Doctor of pharmacy students admitted into the graduating classes of 2013 and 2014 must complete the writing proficiency exam prior to entering the second professional year.

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