Dec 06, 2023  

Graduate Academic Policies

Courses and Course Credit

Course Load

A full-time graduate course load during the fall and spring terms is 9 semester credit hours or three courses and 8 semester credit hours for MBA students. For students who are employed 40 hours per week, the recommended load is two courses, or six credit hours. Depending on the program, the regular load for one combined summer session (9 weeks) is 6-9 credit hours. Students who wish to enroll in more than the recommended course load must seek approval from the appropriate academic dean. For further information on graduate course load consult specific master’s degree handbooks.

Part-of-Term (PoT)

Effective Fall 2011, UHD began utilizing shorter sessions, termed “Part-of Term” (PoT) within full terms. For more information about these offerings, please review the posted academic calendars on the UHD website (

Schedule Changes

Schedule changes are made online, and may require approval by an academic advisor. Registration instructions for Schedule Changes are found on the Registrar’s website and the dates for Schedule Changes are found in the online Academic Calendar.

Discontinued (Cancelled) Classes

The university reserves the right to discontinue classes or otherwise alter the class schedule. Whenever possible, enrollment in an alternate course is completed through an administrative change form initiated by the department responsible for discontinuing the class.


Students admitted to a graduate program are classified as graduate students. Post-baccalaureate students enrolled in graduate courses are governed by undergraduate policies.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all class sessions. The responsibility for dropping a course lies with the student. Departments and faculty members may have additional attendance policies for their courses and may drop students for non-attendance using the ePAR.

Religious Holy Days

The University of Houston-Downtown respects the religious observances of students even though they may conflict with university class meetings, assignments, or examinations as per the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Texas Administrative Code §4.4 Student Absences on Religious Holy Days. 

A student whose absence is excused under this policy shall be treated consistently with the instructor’s policies and procedures relating to other excused absences, except that no instructor’s policy may deny the opportunity for make-up work, as described here.  Instructors should announce reasonable time periods for make-up work and exams in writing to the class and make clear the consequences of a student’s failure to meet such time requirements.  Students needing to reschedule missed work or exams for a holy day should submit a written request to each instructor at least one week prior to the class period or assignment/exam date that will be missed. An instructor should acknowledge receipt of that request via email to the student’s official UHD email address. A new date for taking an examination or completing classwork missed for a holy day shall be set by the instructor in accordance with announced policies.

If a student and an instructor disagree about whether the absence is for the observance of a religious holy day, or if they disagree about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may appeal to the Office of the Provost. For further information about the state law, please see the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Texas Administrative Code §4.4 or contact the offices of the UHD Title IX/Equal Opportunity Services to review the policy.

Transfer Credit

Acceptance of Transfer Credit

Students must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended as a part of the admission process. An evaluation will be performed upon acceptance into the university. Course work transferred or accepted for credit toward a graduate degree must represent collegiate course work relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in the institution’s own graduate degree program.

Six semester hours of graduate credit from another accredited institution may be transferred into a degree plan, subject to approval from the graduate degree coordinator. After being admitted into a UH-Downtown graduate program, students should obtain approval from their degree-granting college before taking any courses, with intent to transfer. Students may take up to 9 graduate hours with post-baccalaureate status. However, these courses are evaluated by the department admitting the student, may not be accepted the specific degree program, and may be limited to 6 hours. Transfer credit will not be granted for courses in which grades of C or lower have been earned. Students should direct questions concerning transfer credit to their graduate coordinator.

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

Transcripts will be evaluated for institutional transfer credit upon admission to a UH-Downtown graduate program.

Transferring Credits from Other Countries

Students applying for admission with college credits from other countries must submit an evaluated transcript from a credential evaluation service recognized by the university. Graduate coordinators will consider granting transfer credit based on the recommendations of the evaluating service. Information and brochures from evaluating service agencies are available at the Office of Admissions and online at

Auditing Courses

To audit a course is to enroll in a course on a noncredit basis. Audit students pay the regular tuition and all other applicable fees as set forth for the current academic year. Senior citizens 65 years or over may audit for free on a space-available basis. A change to credit status may not be made after the student has registered to audit a course. Changes from credit status to audit status in a course must be made prior to the end of the Official Day of Record. A Request for Audit form must be processed in the Registrar’s Office by the Official Day of Record for the appropriate term along with Instructor approval. Students wishing to audit courses should contact the Registrar’s Office for further details

Grading System and Standards

All students are expected to maintain high academic standards throughout their graduate programs. In general, graduate students may not make any more than a certain number of grades of C. Please consult your graduate handbook for additional information. In addition, grades of D or F are grounds for dismissal from the graduate program. All graduate students at UHD are subject to the following policies as well as any policies stated in the handbooks for each degree program. Links to the graduate programs can be found at

Academic Honesty

The Academic Honesty Code is embraced by all members of the University of Houston-Downtown academic community and is an essential element of the institution’s academic credibility. The Honesty Code states “We will be honest in all our academic activities and will not tolerate dishonesty.” The purpose of the Academic Honesty Policy is to deal with alleged violations of the Honesty Code in a fair and consistent manner. The policy is administered jointly by students and faculty. It is each student’s responsibility to read and understand the Academic Honesty Policy. It may be found in the Student Handbook for each program.

Grading System

The following grades are included in the calculation of grade point averages:

Grade* Grade Points

*Grade descriptions are subject to override by descriptions published in the handbooks for each graduate program.

Also included in the calculation of grade point averages are incomplete letter grades.  Incomplete letter grades are: I/A (4 points), I/B (3 points), I/C (2 points), I/D (1 point) and I/F (0 grade points).

The following grades are not included in the calculation of grade point averages:

I Incomplete
IP In Progress
AUD Audit
S Satisfactory (Passed)
U Unsatisfactory (Failed)
CA Credit Awarded
W Drop
WM Withdrawn-Military

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average is a measure of a student’s academic achievement. The following formula represents the method of computing the Program Grade Point Average.

UHD GRADUATE PROGRAM GPA = Total Number of Graduate Grade Points Earned at UHD that are applied to the program ÷ Total Number of Semester Credit Hours taken UHD that are applied to the program

Grades for Repeated Courses: If a student repeats a course as a student enrolled in a graduate program, both grades are calculated in the Graduate Program GPA.

GPA at the Time of Graduation

UHD Grade Point Average (GPA) is used at the time of graduation and is used to certify the degree.  When a graduate course is repeated, both grades are used in computing the UHD grade point average. Unless a grade appeal has been found in the student’s favor as outlined in the grade appeal process the GPA certified at the time of graduation remains the official GPA for the certified degree and shall not be subject to change.    Grades for courses repeated after graduation and new courses completed after graduation, do not change the GPA certified at the time of graduation.  Transfer grades are not included in the calculation of the graduate program GPA.

Grade of I (Incomplete)

A grade of I is given only when students have completed a significant portion of the course requirements and a documented emergency prevent the student from completing the remaining course requirements. Before an instructor can assign a grade of I, they must file with, and get approved from, their department chair.  This approval is documented by a form signed by both the instructor and the student that describes the necessary work that can be submitted before the deadlines described below. If a student is unable to sign the form, the instructor must state on the form the reason for granting the I grade and the work necessary for the removal of the I grade.

  • Fall Semester: If the incomplete grade was assigned during the Fall semester, the grade of I will be changed to either the grade earned based on the assignments submitted before the end of the subsequent Spring term. It is the instructor’s responsibility to submit the grade change to the Office of the Registrar.  If the instructor is unavailable, the home department is responsible for submitting the grade change to the Office of the Registrar.  If no grade is submitted to the registrar at the end of the subsequent Spring semester, the incomplete grade is automatically changed to an I/F.
  • Spring Semester and Summer Term: If the incomplete grade was assigned during the Spring semester or a Summer term, the grade of I will be changed to grade earned based on the assignments submitted before the end of the subsequent Fall term.  If no grade is submitted to the Office of the Registrar, the incomplete grade is automatically changed to an I/F.
  • Mini-terms: If the incomplete grade was assigned during the part of a term or mini-term, the grade of I will be changed to grade earned based on the assignments submitted before the end of the subsequent long semester.
  • Military Leave: Students who have received I grades because their enrollment has been interrupted by active military duty in the United States military must complete the missing work within one year from the conclusion of those duties.   It is the responsibility of the student to provide official documentation of their required duties to the Office of Veterans Affairs and to the Office of the Registrar.  If the work is not completed within one year from the conclusion of those duties, the grade of I is changed to WM.
  • Title IX Medical Leave: In compliance with Title IX, students with applicable leave designation may complete outstanding coursework within one long semester after the expiration of the leave.   It is the responsibility of the student to provide a supporting statement to the Title IX coordinator and to the Office of the Registrar. If the student does not complete the outstanding coursework within one long semester after the expiration of the leave, the student’s grade will remain indefinitely I, unless the student decides to accept the grade earned in the class. If the student wished to accept the earned grade, they should request to do so, who will defer to the instructor of record as to the earned grade in the class. 
  • Outstanding Incompletes at Graduation: A grade of I counts as an F in calculating the graduation GPA for purposes of determining eligibility for graduation.

Grade of IP (In Progress)

A grade of IP may be assigned only in courses that have been officially approved for such designation.  The grade of IP is used primarily in thesis and selected research courses in which a student is registered in order to use university resources.  In calculating the GPA, a grade of IP receives no grade point value and it may remain on a student’s transcript in perpetuity.  To receive grade credit for a course in which an IP was assigned a student must repeat the course and earn a passing grade (i.e., once an IP is given, the grade cannot be changed).

Grade of S/U (Satisfactory Pass/Unsatisfactory Fail)

A grade of S/U may be assigned only in courses that have been officially approved for such designation. Credit received with a grade of S/U is not included in calculating the GPA.

Grade of AUD (Audit)

In accordance with PS 03.A.03 - Auditing Courses, a grade of AUD may be assigned only in those courses officially approved for such designation.  Grades of AUD are not included in calculating the GPA.

Grade of W (Drop)

The grade of W is assigned when a student drops a course after the census date. Grades of W are not included in calculating the GPA.

Appeal of Grades

Any grade which a student believes to be in error should be appealed, first to the instructor, then to the appropriate department chair, and finally to the appropriate dean. If an appeal is not made within one calendar year after the close of the semester in which the grade was received, the grade will be considered final and no appeal will be heard. Students bear the responsibility for providing documentation related to the grade appeal.  Appeals must be submitted in writing.

Academic Probation and Suspension for Graduate Students in Degree Granting Program

In many graduate programs, average work (i.e., grade of C) may lead to probation, suspension, or dismissal. Students should refer to their graduate program handbooks for details.

Academic Probation

Graduate students will be placed on initial academic probation at the end of any term in which their cumulative graduate program GPA for graduate coursework falls below 3.0. All Graduates placed on academic probation must consult with an advisor before term registration to discuss their plans, academic progress, and GPA repair.

Notification of probationary status is the responsibility of the graduate program director.

The cumulative GPA for graduate academic probation including repeated courses, is computed according to PS 03.B.04 and to individual program guidelines. Students should refer to individual program handbooks for additional information.  

Graduate students remain on probation until their cumulative graduate program GPA is raised to 3.0 or higher. Probationary students may remain in the program if they make satisfactory academic progress as defined by the applicable individual program handbook.

A graduate student who receives grades of I (Incomplete) while on probation will remain on probation until all grades of I are resolved.

A graduate student on academic probation who does enroll in a period specified in the applicable individual program handbook must apply for readmission and, if admitted, the graduate student will retain his/her original academic probation status.  Only courses taken at UHD may be counted in removing a student from academic probation.

Academic probation will be noted on the student’s official graduate transcript.

Academic Suspension

A graduate student who is on academic probation and is not making significant academic progress, as defined by the applicable individual program handbook will be placed on suspension.

A graduate student who is suspended may apply for reinstatement after one year of non-enrollment. Reinstatement is not automatic, but rather is governed by the applicable individual program handbook. If a student is reinstated in the program, he/she will return with the same academic probation status that resulted in the original suspension and be subject to the same rules for maintaining a GPA.

Academic Dismissal

A Graduate student who receives grades of “C” in 9 or more graduate semester credit hours is subject to dismissal. Specific programs may have more stringent requirements.  Refer to applicable individual program handbooks for these requirements. In addition, a grade of “D” or “F” in a graduate course is grounds for dismissal from the program (PS 03.B.04). Notification of student dismissal is the responsibility of the graduate program director.

Graduate students who are dismissed may not take graduate courses at UHD. Any appeals regarding graduate probation, suspension, or dismissal are made to the appropriate program director. Final appeals of the program director’s decision are reviewed by the Academic Dean or Dean’s designated representative. Students who appeal must provide clear, compelling case demonstrating their potential for academic success.   

Academic Probation and Suspension for Graduate Students in Certificate Program

The rules governing probation and dismissal of graduate students who are enrolled in a certificate program are developed by the respective certificate programs.   These standards must be published in the relevant certificate program’s handbook.

Student Records


Requests for official UHD transcripts are made online through the myUHD portal via Student eServices and are processed by the Registrar’s Office. All requests for official UHD transcripts will be processed within 2-3 business days, with the exception of transcripts that include coursework completed at South Texas Junior College, which may take up to 10 business days for processing.

Official transcripts from other institutions which are submitted to the Office of Admissions as part of the admissions process become the property of UHD and will not be re-released to the student unless the request is covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Additionally, UHD does not include completed transfer coursework on the official UHD transcript.

Unofficial transcripts also known as the online grade history is available through the myUHD portal, under the My Transcript & Grades option in Student eServices.

NOTE: Grades for Part of Term (PoT) courses ending prior to the close of the full term will be available online on the dates listed in the Academic Calendar. Part of Term (PoT) official grades will be displayed on the official transcript when grades for the full term are made available. See the Academic Calendar  for grade posting dates at

Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement

Effective October 1, 2013, Texas Senate Bill 1107 has been amended by Senate Bill 62 and requires all students (under age 22) entering an institution of higher education (public and private) and enrolling into courses which meet face-to-face on campus to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination before classes start.

For additional time-sensitive information about this requirement, please visit:

Release of Student Records

UHD has a policy in conformity with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) covering the release of student records. Student rights include the following:

  • Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives the request.
  • Students have the right to request amendment of their education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading.
  • Students have the right to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • Students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Directory Information

At its discretion the University of Houston-Downtown may provide directory information to the general public without student consent. Directory information is defined by University of Houston-Downtown (within the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) as follows:

  • Student’s name
  • Mailing address
  • Primary telephone number
  • University assigned e-mail address
  • Classification
  • Enrollment status
  • Major and minor fields of study
  • Degrees, certificates, awards and honors received
  • Dates of attendance
  • Graduation date
  • Expected graduation date
  • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student (higher education)

Students may request that directory information be withheld from the public by contacting the Registrar’s Office at any time during the semester. Such requests must be made in writing and will remain in place until the student directs the office in writing that it is to be removed. The Confidentiality Request Form is available online, visit the Registrar’s Office website for more information.

Disclosure of Education Records

In accordance with FERPA and at its discretion, UHD will disclose information from a student’s education records without the written consent of the student to school officials who have a legitimate educational or administrative interest in the records. A school official is defined as a person employed by the University who holds an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including the University’s police department and health care staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her official duties. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.

Custodian of Records

The following individuals are designated by the University as custodians of records: Registrar’s Office, Room N330; Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Room S330; Director of the Career Development Center, Room S402; Director of Counseling and Health Services, Room S445; Dean of Students, Room S380; Dean of each College.

Procedure for Inspecting Education Records

A student has the right to inspect his or her education records and challenge the contents. To review records, a student must make a request in writing to the Registrar’s Office. The request must clearly and specifically identify the record or records he or she wishes to inspect plus the purpose of the request. The request must be signed and dated by the student. The University will respond to the student’s request within a reasonable time. A request to inspect (review) education records is not considered the same as a request for copies of the records.

Procedure for Amending Education Records

If a student believes the information in his or her education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, the student should submit a written and signed request for amendment to the Registrar’s Office. The written request should clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. The University will notify the student within a reasonable time regarding whether or not the record will be amended. If the university denies the student’s request for amendment of his or her record, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment. This procedure does not govern grade appeals.

Change of Name and Address

An official change in name must be reported to the Registrar’s Office and when applicable to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Original legal documentation must be presented along with a copy of the Social Security card when requesting a name change or correction (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree, naturalization certificate, etc.) A copy of your state issued driver’s license or government issued photo ID will also be required. Mailing addresses may be changed online through the myUHD portal. Currently enrolled students requesting a name change should refer to the Student Information Change form for important information regarding updates to GatorMail and Blackboard.

Graduation Requirements

General Degree Requirements for Graduation

Students must meet all catalog graduation requirements of their degree programs, as certified by their academic dean.

Grade Point Average

Each graduate student receiving a degree from the University of Houston- Downtown (UHD) must attain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, calculated on grades earned at UHD in completion of the student’s declared graduate program. Repeated courses for graduate students are handled under the provisions of the Grading System Policy (PS 03.B.04,). Colleges may impose more stringent requirements in one or more of their degree programs; however, the requirements may not contradict the stated grading policy of the university and must be approved by the provost. Grades of I are calculated as F in the determination of a student’s cumulative GPA for graduation.


All coursework needed to complete the degree program is expected to be completed at UHD. However, a maximum of six graduate semester credit hours may be transferred from another graduate program to fulfill UHD graduate program requirements, if approved by the graduate program director.

Only the provost may waive any portion of these requirements.

Graduation with Honors

University or college honors are not applied to the graduation and commencement of graduate students, nor the transcripting of UHD graduate programs.

Graduation under a Specific Catalog

A student usually graduates under the degree provisions of the catalog in effect at the time of his or her first completed term of enrollment or any subsequent catalog.


  • No catalog more than six years old may be used. Course credits more than 10 years old cannot be applied towards completion of the degree.

  • Graduation requirements of a student whose enrollment in a graduate program is interrupted for more than two consecutive long semesters for reasons other than military service shall be governed by the catalog in effect at the time of the student’s re-enrollment in the university.

  • A student whose enrollment is interrupted by military service must re-enroll within one year from date of separation from the service and no more than five years from the beginning of military service in order to remain under the provisions of the catalog in effect at the time of original enrollment at the university.

  • Students forced to withdraw for adequate cause before the completion of the degree may, upon readmission, petition the appropriate academic dean to graduate under the catalog in effect at the time of original enrollment.

Application for Graduation

All degree candidates must file an application for graduation with their college and pay the graduation fee by the Official Day of Record for the term of intended graduation. The graduation fee covers the costs of processing the graduation application, printing the diploma and mailing it to the graduate, and other costs associated with the commencement ceremony. If students fail to complete all degree requirements during the term in which they applied for graduation and paid the graduation fee, then they must apply for graduation and pay the graduation fee again when they become eligible to graduate.

Candidates must also place a diploma order, which specifies how they want their name to appear on the diploma, with the Registrar’s Office. The Diploma Order form is available on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

Commencement Exercises

Only students who have completed or are currently enrolled in courses necessary to complete degree requirements and who have filed an application for graduation may participate in the commencement exercises.

Academic regalia must be worn at the commencement exercises.