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    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  Jul 27, 2017
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Academic Policies


The policies and regulations of the graduate program or department, the Graduate College, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Board of Regents are subject to review and change. The Graduate College Policy Manual and the UNLV Student Conduct Code are available by request in the Graduate College and on our website.

It is the responsibility of students to know and observe all regulations and procedures relating to their graduate program, the Graduate College, and UNLV. In no case will any regulations be waived or an exception granted based on a plea of ignorance of, or contention that the graduate program, Graduate College, or university did not inform a student of the regulations or procedures. Questions regarding graduate-level study regulations and their interpretation should be addressed to the Graduate College.


Policies & Procedures

Academic Integrity
Administrative Drops and Classroom  Conduct
Appeals and Procedures
Change of Address
Continuous Enrollment
Credit Requirements
Grade Point Average
Six-Year and Eight-Year Policy
Policies and Procedures on the Protection of Research Subjects
Probation and Separation
Student Use of Hazardous Materials
UNLV Student Computer Use Policy
Waiver of Regulations


Academic Integrity 



All members of the UNLV community are dedicated to learning. The university and the graduate college expect nothing less that a high level of scholarly integrity and academic honesty on the part of students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Quality academic work requires honesty. The UNLV faculty and administration regard any attempt by a student to present as his or her own work that which he or she has not solely produced as a serious offense. Students are considered to have cheated, for example, if they copy the work of another; use unauthorized notes or other aids during an examination; turn in a paper or an assignment written, in whole or in part, by someone else as their own. Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging the sources, or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, examination, or other scholarly endeavor may receive a grade of ‘F’ for the course involved, and may be suspended or removed from the program. Additionally, UNLV has established policies regarding research misconduct among students, faculty and staff. Research misconduct pertains to commission of any of the following acts: falsification of data, improper assignment of authorship, claiming another person’s work as one’s own, unprofessional manipulation of experiments or of research procedures, or misappropriation of research funds. (Adapted from the 1994­-95 Graduate Catalog Northern Illinois University).

If a student is deemed by a faculty member to be guilty of academic dishonesty, where applicable, the student may be assigned a failing grade for the corresponding segment of the course or for the entire course. The faculty member or administrator also may initiate disciplinary review under procedures described in the Nevada System of Higher Education document Rules and Disciplinary Procedures for Members of the University Community.

Disciplinary sanction options described therein include warning, probation, suspension, and expulsion or revocation of a degree if a degree has been previously awarded. In all cases the faculty member is responsible for recording the circumstances, notifying the student in writing, and for giving the student an opportunity to reply. Appeals go to the chair of the student’s academic department, academic dean and Graduate Dean.

If a graduate student fails to maintain the standards of academic or professional integrity expected as defined in writing by their discipline or program, the student’s admission status in his or her program will be terminated. If any member of the university community is deemed guilty of academic dishonesty, action may be brought under the Rules and Disciplinary Procedures for Members of the University Community. In addition, students who violate these standards will be subject to conduct sanctions, in accordance with the UNLV Student Conduct Code and Policies, in order to promote their own personal development, to protect the university community, and to maintain order and stability on campus.


Credit Requirements   



Residence Credit Requirement

Resident credit means any graduate course that is satisfactorily completed at UNLV, except credits earned by special examination or correspondence courses. Correspondence study, credit by special examination, or enrollment in another institution within the Nevada System of Higher Education does not constitute an interruption of resident credit.

A minimum of 50 percent of the total credits required to complete the master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree not including transferred credits, the thesis, dissertation, or professional paper must be earned at UNLV after admission to a graduate degree program.

Graduate Credit

All courses numbered 500-799 are considered graduate level. To determine which graduate-level courses will apply to a specific degree, the student must have them approved on a degree program. Prior to having a degree program approved, there is no guarantee that a course will apply toward the degree. To be considered a graduate-level course, the instructor must be a member of the Graduate Faculty. The Graduate College requires a minimum of 50 percent of the degree program semester hours are 700-level courses excluding thesis, dissertation, or professional/scholarly paper. Individual departments may require more than the Graduate College minimum.

Graduate-level courses may not be challenged. Graduate courses which are graded on a satisfactory/fail basis, may not be used in a graduate degree program except for thesis, dissertation, or professional/scholarly paper credits.

Credit Toward Degree

Courses used to fulfill requirements for one degree may not be used toward another degree. No more than three credits of a student’s degree program may consist of UNLV workshop, institute, and conference credits, and the student must have received a grade for these credits.

A course in which a grade of less than C was received will not be considered for use toward the degree. Departments may impose a higher grade standard. Experimental, experiential (life and work experiences), correspondence, and audited courses may not be applied toward the degree. In addition, courses numbered in the 100-499 series cannot be used for graduate credit.

Credit may be used toward the graduate degree for courses taken while an undergraduate at UNLV only if the course was reserved for graduate credit. See the Admissions section for this information.

Transfer Credit Limitations: Prior to Admission and Enrollment

Not more than one-third of a student’s degree program (not including the thesis, dissertation, or professional/scholarly paper) may be transferred from another university at the time admission is granted. Courses used to fulfill requirements for one degree may not be used to reduce credit hour requirements in another degree program. For UNLV Non-Degree graduate students, a maximum of 15 graduate credits taken at UNLV may be applied toward a graduate degree program.

Transfer Credit Limitations: After Admission and Enrollment

Once admitted to an advanced degree program, students must obtain prior written consent of the department and the Graduate Dean to take course work elsewhere and use it in their degree program. Such work must be graduate level, graded, and must not be experimental, correspondence, or extended in nature.

The department chair, the graduate coordinator, the academic dean responsible for approving the student’s degree program, and the Graduate Dean must approve all credits taken prior to admission or transfer credit. To be considered for use:

  1. The work must have been taken at an accredited institution;

  2. The work must have been completed with a grade of B or higher (B- is not acceptable);

  3. Official transcripts covering the work must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Graduate College; and

  4. The work must be posted to the student’s permanent academic record.

Transfer credit is approved only when evidence exists that the work is certifiably graduate level and has not been used in another degree program. The age of the transfer work under consideration, or the year taken, may also be a factor. The student is responsible for providing this evidence. Courses used to fulfill requirements for a previous degree may not be used toward another degree.

After admission, credits (workshops and correspondence courses will not be considered) taken at another institution may be applied toward the degree if prior permission is obtained. Contact the Graduate College for the request form, additional information and the conditions of transfer credits.

Limitation on Credit Load

The university considers a graduate student taking nine credits per semester as full-time (six credit hours if the student is a graduate assistant). Please note that the number of credits enrolled impacts financial aid. Contact the office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for further information.

Graduate students normally may not take more than 12 credit hours (10 if a graduate assistant) during the fall and spring terms. They may take no more than six credit hours in a single five-week Summer Term and earn no more than a total of 12 credits during the Summer Term (pre, post, and regular five-week sessions combined). Overload petitions are available in the Graduate College office. Petitions must be approved by the Graduate Dean prior to registration.


Grade Point Average



A candidate for an advanced degree must have an overall grade point average of 3 .00 for all graduate program approved courses. The GPA, computed by the Graduate College, includes all completed graduate course work accepted at admission and all subsequently approved course work.


Continuous Enrollment


After admission to a graduate program, students must register for a minimum of six semester hours each calendar year. Students working on a thesis or dissertation must register for three semester hours of credit each semester (excluding summer), until the document has been completed and has been given final approval. Students who have not registered for academic work within one calendar year will be separated from their program and must reapply for admission should they wish to continue. Exceptions to the above policy, as with a request for a leave of absence, are made only with the approval of the student’s advisor, department chairperson or graduate coordinator, academic dean and the Graduate Dean. Any student using the services of the academic staff or university facilities must be registered for the period during which the services are rendered or the facilities are used. Students must be registered during the semester they intend to graduate and/or take final, comprehensive, preliminary, examinations, defend a thesis or dissertation.

Six-Year and Eight-Year Policy



The Six-Year and Eight-Year Policy applies to all course work, including all approved transfer degree course work. In special circumstances, the student’s faculty advisory committee may recommend that the Graduate Dean extend these degree time limits. Each department may establish shorter periods than those previously discussed contingent upon the approval of the Graduate Dean and inclusion in the Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

Students violating the six-year and eight-year policy and/or the continuous enrollment policy are no longer automatically eligible to complete their program under the requirements in place at the time of admission. This decision is left to the discretion of the department. Students are considered making satisfactory progress toward the degree as long as they are completing six degree program credits per calendar year. Students not meeting this requirement will be separated from the Graduate College.

Master ’s Degree Students: All master ’s degree requirements must be completed within six years. Course work completed more than six calendar years before the term in which all degree requirements are met may not be used in the degree program.

Doctoral Degree Students: A student beginning a doctoral degree program and holding a master’s degree in an appropriate field of study must complete all doctoral degree program requirements within six years. A student beginning a doctoral degree program without a master’s degree must complete all requirements for the degree within eight years.


Leave of Absence



When necessary a student may request approval for a leave of absence from a degree program. During the leave of absence, the student should remain in contact with the department. However, all degree requirements must be completed within the six- and/or eight-year policy as stated previously.


Probation and Separation



Departments are to review the academic performance of graduate students at the end of each semester and/or academic year. If a department determines that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward the degree, it may request the Graduate Dean separate the student from the college or place the student on probation. The department must provide the student with the specific requirements, including deadlines, which must be completed to be removed from probation. If the Graduate Dean approves the request, the student will be placed on probation. Failure to meet the conditions of the probation will result in separation from the Graduate College.

Failure to make satisfactory progress may include: failure to complete six credits per calendar year toward the degree program; unsatisfactory grades (including Incompletes, grades below a B, or Withdrawals); failure to consult with the advisor when requested; failure to establish a graduate committee; failure to develop an official, approved degree program; failure to establish the groundwork for an acceptable thesis or dissertation; and failure of comprehensive and qualifying examinations. Students must prove that they are making satisfactory progress. Departments may establish their own benchmarks for progress, consistent with degree program requirements and standards in the field. Satisfactory academic progress also involves maintaining the standards of academic and professional integrity expected in a particular discipline or program. Failure to maintain these standards may result in termination of the student’s admission to a graduate degree program.

A UNLV graduate student who has been dismissed for academic reasons is not eligible for admission or re-entry. The student must petition the Graduate College for academic reinstatement.


Administrative Drops and Classroom Conduct



Failure to attend a course or to submit required work will result in a grade of F. The student who neglects a course is solely responsible for dropping the course or withdrawing from the university. However, an administrative drop may be initiated at the discretion of the instructor, who will record the circumstances. The approval of the academic dean offering the course is required. Deadlines for an administrative drop are the same as for a drop initiated by the student and are based on the date received at the Registrar’s Office. The student will be notified by the final grade report.

Students have a responsibility to conduct themselves in class and in the libraries in ways that do not interfere with the right of other students to learn or of instructors to teach. Use of electronic devices such as pagers, cellular phones, or recording devices, or other potentially disruptive activities, is permitted only with prior explicit consent of the instructor. The instructor may rescind permission anytime during the course.

If a student does not comply with requirements or obstructs the functioning of the class, the instructor may initiate an administrative drop. The instructor must record the circumstances. The approval of the dean of the college offering the course is required. Before a decision, the dean will consult with the student and other parties as appropriate.

Serious cases of misconduct, as defined by the Rules and Disciplinary Procedures for Members of the University Community, will be referred to the appropriate administrative officer for action.


Change of Address


Any change of address should be reported immediately to the Registrar’s Office and the Graduate College. Any correspondence from the university mailed to the last address provided by the student to the Registrar and Graduate College will discharge all university responsibility for notification.

Appeals and Procedures



Appeals are to request reconsideration of a course grade, alleged unfair practice, and relief or waiver from a UNLV and/or Graduate College policy or requirement. Appeals must be filed with the Graduate College Office (FDH 3 09) in a timely manner. The Graduate College must receive grade appeals within 60 calendar days from the last day of the term/semester in question. The Registrar’s Office must receive notification to change a grade due to clerical error within 60 calendar days from the last day of the term/semester. Each appeal is reviewed individually and a decision will be based on the merits and documentation provided.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide a clear and concisely written statement of the appeal and to provide all relevant documentation to be reviewed. Written appeals must include:

  1. UNLV Graduate College Appeal Form as a cover sheet
  2. Written Statement of Appeal addressed to the appropriate UNLV administrator
  3. Relevant documentation and support. For example, documents may include medical records, work verification, police reports, death certificates, airline receipts, letters from professors on university     letterhead, transcripts, etc. If the issue is not resolved between the student and course instructor, a written appeal should first be directed to the Graduate Coordinator of the department in question. If the problem remains unresolved to the student’s satisfaction, appeals must be directed in progressive order to the Department Graduate Coordinator, Department Chair, College Dean, then subsequently to the Graduate Dean. The Graduate Dean may act to resolve the problem or request the Graduate College Committee on Faculty and Student Issues to review the problem and make its recommendation to the Graduate Dean. The Graduate Dean will inform the student of the final decision.

Advisors and departments may have varying methods of processing appeals. Your department should be contacted for specific policies and procedures. The Graduate College Graduate Faculty and Student Issues Committee is the designated College Committee to hear certain graduate student and faculty appeals and is composed of graduate faculty a graduate student representative.


Waiver of Regulations


The Graduate Dean will consider a student’s written request for waiver of a regulation upon a written recommendation from the student’s department and committee chair. The regulation in question must be specified and the reason for the exception clearly stated. The Graduate Dean will notify both the student and the department of the decision.

Policies and Procedures on the Protection of Research Subjects



Human Subjects: Graduate students conducting research must adhere to UNLV policies and procedures regarding the use of human subjects. All research projects in which human subjects are involved must be reviewed and approved under the authority of the UNLV Institutional Review Board (IRB), which consists of two committees - Biomedical Sciences Committee and Social and Behavioral Sciences Committee. The IRB is responsible for the development and monitoring of university policy and procedures involving the use of human subjects in research.

The provision for the protection of human subjects in research applies to all studies in all locations, whether funded or unfunded, and whether conducted by faculty, students, or staff. It also applies to persons unaffiliated with UNLV, who wish to investigate subjects under the protection of the university. Students should contact the Office of Sponsored Programs to obtain appropriate forms and further information.

Animal Subjects: It is university policy that: 1 ) the proper care and management of laboratory animals is essential to the welfare of the animals, to the validity of research data, and to the health and safety of those caring for or using animals; and 2 ) the university will comply with federal and state regulations regarding animal welfare.

All animal protocols involving vertebrate animals (including farm animals and wild animals) conducted at, funded through or sponsored by UNLV must be submitted for prior Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) review and periodic review after approval in accordance with university policies and procedures that are required by federal law.

The provision for the protection of animal subjects in research applies to all studies in all locations, whether funded or unfunded, and whether conducted by faculty, students, or staff. It also applies to all studies in all locations, whether funded or unfunded, and whether conducted by faculty, students, or staff. It also applies to persons unaffiliated with UNLV, who wish to investigate subjects under the protection of the university. Students should contact the office of Sponsored Programs to obtain appropriate forms and further information.


UNLV Student Computer Use Policy



Public computer laboratories and mainframe computers are provided as a service to students. Use is a privilege, not a right. Users should be good citizens; they must refrain from doing anything that annoys others or disrupts the educational experiences of their peers. Failure to comply with the regulations below may result in suspension under the NSHE Code, or civil or criminal action under the Nevada Revised Statutes, or federal law. It is a violation of UNLV policy to:

  1. Copy any copyrighted software provided by UNLV. It is a criminal offense to copy any software protected by copyright, and UNLV will treat it as such.
  2. Use licensed software in a manner inconsistent with the licensing arrangement. Information on licenses is available at the tutor stations or through NSHE Computing Services.
  3. Copy, rename, alter, examine, or delete the files or programs of another person or UNLV without permission.
  4. Use a computer to annoy others, including, but not limited to, sending offensive messages or knowingly causing a system to crash.
  5. Create, disseminate or run a self-replicating program (virus), whether destructive in nature or not.
  6. Use a computer for non-university work, such as for a private business or non-UNLV sanctioned club.
  7. Tamper with switch settings or do anything that could damage terminals, computers, printers, or other equipment.
  8. Collect, read, or destroy output other than your own work without the permission of the owner.
  9. Use the computer account of another with or without permission unless it is designated group work.
  10. Use software in the lab not owned by UNLV unless the student is the legally licensed owner.
  11. Continue to use a computer account after withdrawing from the class for which it was obtained.
  12. Access or attempt to access a host computer, either at UNLV or through a network, without the owner’s permission, and/or through use of log-in information belonging to another person.

Student Use of Hazardous Materials


Certain courses may require students to work with potentially hazardous materials in the lab, darkroom, or workshop. Instructors will provide instructions regarding the safe handling of all materials. Questions should be directed to the specific academic department or instructor.