Maintaining Graduate Standing

All graduate students in the AMSC Program are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their degrees, commensurate with their other responsibilities.


Below we describe what the AMSC Program and the Graduate School expect in order to maintain a graduate standing. Students with any kind of funding (teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships) may have to meet higher standards in order to maintain that funding.

I. Course Load

Course load is measured in units, which are defined in the table below.

  • A full-time graduate student is normally expected to successfully complete a combination of courses that totals at least 48 units each fall and spring semester.
  • For graduate assistants, the minimum full-time requirement is reduced to 24 units each fall and spring semester.
  • A part-time graduate student must complete at least 12 units per year.

Any student who fails to carry a sufficient load will be reviewed on an individual basis and admission will be continued only on the Graduate Committee's judgment that the student has sufficient potential to complete the graduate program (see C below).

 Courses numbered 000-399  2 units/credit hour 
 Courses numbered 400-499  4 units/credit hour 
 Courses numbered 500-599  5 units/credit hour 
 Courses numbered 600-897  6 units/credit hour 
 Research courses 799  12 units/credit hour 
 Research courses 898-899  18 units/credit hour 

II. Grade Point Average

An A through F grading system is used in graduate-level courses. The A is calculated at 4 quality points, B at 3, C at 2 and grades D, F and I receive no quality points. Pluses and minuses can be given, but do not affect quality points.

The following rules apply:

  • A student may repeat any course in an effort to earn a better grade. The latter grade, whether higher or lower, will be used when computing the grade point average.
  • All courses taken after matriculation as a graduate student numbered 400 and above (except those numbered 799 or 899 and those graded with an S), will be used in the calculation of the grade point average.
  • No graduate credit transferred from another institution will be included in the calculation of the grade point average.

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for a graduate degree.

  • Any student who fails to maintain at least a 3.0 average for three consecutive semesters, or any provisionally admitted student who fails to fulfill the specified require ments, will be dropped from the AMSC Program unless after a review of the student's overall record it is the opinion of the Graduate Committee that the student has demonstrated sufficient potential to complete the program (see C below). In this case probationary status may be granted for one semester.

III. Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances

Students are responsible for notifying the Director of the AMSC Program in writing of any circumstances that would prevent them from maintaining graduate standing, satisfying conditions of provisional or probationary status, or fulfilling specified degree requirements.