Academic Catalog

Academic Regulations

Graduate Status

Continuance in graduate status is contingent upon the student keeping informed of and abiding by all guidelines, rules, regulations and requirements and complying with all official procedures of the university, the Graduate School, the individual college or school, and the department or program. The student is responsible for fulfilling all course and degree requirements in proper sequence with satisfactory scholarship. In case of doubt regarding any matter affecting their standing as a graduate student, students should consult with their advisor. The primary responsibility of keeping informed of policy and procedures rests with the student. Regulations contained herein should not be construed as exhaustive.

Graduate Courses

Graduate work is classified either as course work, in which students meet as an assembled group, or as research. Generally, courses numbered 5000 and above may be considered graduate level; in some departments, certain 5000 and 6000-level courses are not permitted for graduate credit and are so designated. Courses numbered 7000 and above are open only to graduate students.

Graduate Course Numbering Systems

— For the College of Education

5000-6999 — Undergraduate or graduate credit.
7000-8999 — Open to graduate students exclusively.
9000-9999 — Open to doctoral students exclusively.

— For the Faculty of Pharmacy

6000-6999 — Undergraduate/Graduate Courses.
7000-8999 — Graduate Courses.
9000-9999 — Ph.D. Courses.

— For all other Schools and Colleges

5000-6999 — Junior- and senior-level courses; also may be taken for graduate credit by students admitted to a graduate program, except where expressly prohibited.
7000-8999 — Open to graduate/professional students exclusively.
9000-9999 — Open to doctoral students exclusively.

Mike Ilitch School of Business: All courses numbered 6000-6100 and 7000 or higher are open only to students formally admitted to a Wayne State graduate program, or to qualified guest students. Enrollment in these courses must be approved by a graduate advisor or be consistent with a student's Plan of Work. Students in an undergraduate, post-bachelor, or non-matriculated status are not eligible.

Law School: In addition to the above approvals, graduate students must obtain the written permission of the Law School Dean to elect Law School courses or directed studies.

Directed Study

Independent study may be authorized provided the area of interest is an integral part of the student's graduate program and is not covered by courses scheduled while completing one's course requirements. Before Ph.D. students may register in directed study, they must complete the Ph.D. directed study petition form, Doctor of Philosophy Petition and Authorization for Directed Study, and obtain the written permission of his/her department’s graduate director. The petition must contain information about the nature, scope, and significance of the course, and indicate the major requirements the student must fulfill. Master's students must provide the same information and obtain the written permission of their college/school Graduate Officer.

Definition of Credits 

A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. at least an equivalent amount of work for other activities, including laboratory work, internships, practicums, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Graduate Credits

Major Credits

Credits earned in the student's major field are designated as major credits. The dissertation, thesis, or essay must be in the major field.

Minor Credits

Credits earned in departments other than the major are classified as minor or cognate credits. Election of minor credit is encouraged to enable the student to broaden his/her program. In doctoral programs, minor courses should be related to the major and six or more graduate credits approved by the unit graduate director will constitute a minor.

Program Load

Normal Program Load

A full-time graduate student is one who is enrolled for eight or more credits during academic-year semesters; graduate students are considered full-time during the spring/summer term if they enroll for at least two credits. The definition of normal course load will vary depending upon the requirements of each program.

Maximum Credit Load

A student with a strong academic record who is devoting full-time to graduate study may register for a maximum of sixteen credits per semester. Graduate Assistants are required to register for at least six credits each semester. The University considers a program of eight graduate credits per academic-year semester and two credits per spring/summer semester to be full-time study. Note that students are not required to enroll over spring/summer to continue their full-time status. For students who have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy, 7.5 credits is considered as full-time study.

Dual Enrollment

Graduate Election of an Undergraduate Course 

Graduate students may register for undergraduate courses, however these courses will be recorded on the undergraduate transcript. All courses elected under this status will be assessed at the graduate rate. These courses cannot be used as graduate credit nor to meet requirements for any graduate degree.

Undergraduate Election of a Graduate Course

Highly qualified undergraduate students may, under special circumstances, take a 7000-level course for undergraduate credit only (these credits may not be transferred in to a graduate program at a later date). A written petition initiated by the student’s advisor must be approved by the graduate officer of the School or College, the professor teaching the course, and the Dean of the Graduate School. The petition, with all required signatures, must be turned in at the time of registration.

Accelerated Graduate Enrollment Program (AGRADE)

Several Colleges have established an accelerated combined undergraduate and graduate program (AGRADE) in which highly qualified seniors in the college may enroll simultaneously in some undergraduate and graduate programs of the College. A maximum of sixteen credits may be applied towards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a student’s major field if that program is an AGRADE participant. Those who elect the AGRADE program may expect to complete the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in five years of full-time study. AGRADE may not be used in conjunction with Senior Rule.

AGRADE Credits: Students may elect a minimum of three and a maximum of sixteen AGRADE credits. These will be used to complete the baccalaureate degree as well as to serve as the beginning of graduate study. Upon formal admission to a master’s program, AGRADE credits are transferred as if they were graduate credits transferred from a graduate program at another university.  The remaining graduate credits required for the master’s degree will be earned in the conventional manner following formal admission to the graduate program.

Eligibility: AGRADE applicants must have an outstanding overall g.p.a. and have performed at a superior level in their major, as determined by the major department. The earliest date by which a student may apply for the AGRADE program is during the semester in which he/she completes ninety credits toward the undergraduate degree.

Application: A student seeking AGRADE status should present to the Graduate Admissions Committee of his/her major department all of the materials which that department requires for normal admission (except the GRE; where required, the GRE scores should be forwarded at the normal point in the formal graduate admission process).

Admission and program requirements are described in the respective School and College sections of this bulletin, the Undergraduate Bulletin, and department advising offices.

Senior Rule Graduate School Admission

In their last undergraduate semester, Wayne State students with a 3.0 (or above) upper division grade point average have the option of taking a limited number of graduate credits. Graduate credit is awarded only for those courses taken in excess of baccalaureate degree requirements. Undergraduate and graduate courses combined may not exceed sixteen credits for the final semester of baccalaureate degree course work. A Senior Rule student must register for at least one credit which is required for the undergraduate degree in order to be eligible for this status. Students who have completed all required registrations for the baccalaureate may not obtain Senior Rule status. Completion of the Application for Graduate Admission is required, and students are advised to consult their advisors and the Office of Graduate Admissions. Application deadlines for Senior Rule admission are the same as for regular graduate admission. Students who qualify and are recommended by the Department or College will be admitted for one semester. Graduate admission will be regularized upon evidence that the student has completed all requirements for the bachelor's degree; it is the student's responsibility to provide this transcript.

As a courtesy, the University permits a student to pay undergraduate fees for the graduate courses elected in a Senior Rule status. It is recommended that students elect only courses numbered 5000-6999 in their Senior Rule semester. Senior Rule may not be used in conjunction with AGRADE.

Dual Registration at the University of Michigan

A student enrolled at either Wayne State University or the University of Michigan may elect a course or courses in the other institution if the course fits his/her program but is not available in his/her home institution. The student must have written approval of the department chairperson in his/her major area at the home college and the approval of his/her Dean. The election must also be approved by the department which offers the course. Students desiring to participate in Wayne State University - University of Michigan dual registration should obtain the necessary forms from the Office of the Registrar and pay the appropriate tuition at their home institution.

Enrollment in Online Programs

A select number of programs have received authorization from the university to be offered in a fully online format. All students who are eligible to enroll in a fully online major will be assessed regular Michigan resident tuition rates. Students enrolled in a fully online major are limited to registering for courses listed in the Schedule of Classes with the Instructional Methods: Online — No Scheduled Meetings or Online — Scheduled Meetings. The limits on course registration apply to both Michigan residents and non-residents.

International students residing outside of the United States can enroll in and complete online programs, and these students would qualify regular Michigan resident tuition rates. International students on F-1 or J-1 visas are ineligible for fully online programs

A list of the university's approved fully online programs is available in the annual Statement on Tuition and Fee Regulations.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average (g.p.a.) is the numerical index of the student’s scholastic average across all transcript credit earned at a given student level (i.e. undergraduate or graduate). Points are assigned to each letter grade (see University Grading System, above) for each hour of credit. To compute your grade point average, multiply the grade points assigned to each course grade by the number of credits for each course; add the results and divide by the total number of credits.

For example, a grade of A in a class carrying 3 credits would be assigned 12 grade points (3 x 4), and a grade of C in a class carrying 4 credits would be assigned 8 grade points (4 x 2). In this example, the grade point average is: 20 (total grade points) divided by 7 (total credits attempted) = 2.85 g.p.a.

Credit for special examinations, transfer credit, and courses in which a mark of I or W  or a grade of S, U, M, P, and N, has been earned are excluded from grade point average computation.

Law School: This grade point system does not apply to Law School students.

Graduate Grading System

Final grades are available on Academica. Grades are not mailed to students. Final grades are recorded under the following system.

The graduate grading system is intended to reflect higher standards of critical and creative scholarship than those applied at the undergraduate level. To receive a graduate grade in courses open to both undergraduate and graduate students, the graduate student is expected to do work of superior quality and is required to do any additional work specified by the instructor.

To be awarded a graduate degree, a student must have achieved at least a 'B' (3.0) overall grade point average. Grades of 'B-minus' and below are unsatisfactory for graduate level work. A limited number of 'B-minus', 'C-plus,' or 'C', though unsatisfactory, may be applied toward a graduate degree provided they are offset by a sufficient number of higher grades to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 Grades below 'B' can constitute reason for dismissal from a program at the department or program's discretion. Students should consult with their departments and advisors regarding unsatisfactory grades and their impact on good academic standing. All graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in order to continue their assistantship appointments. Every effort is made to assist students whose work suffers as a result of a condition beyond their control, or interruption of study for military service.

Law School and School of Medicine: This grading system does not apply to Law School students in the J.D. program or students in the four-year M.D. program of the School of Medicine. Students enrolled in those programs should see the appropriate sections of this bulletin and should consult with appropriate Program Directors for more information.

Final grades for graduate courses are recorded under the following system.

A Excellent 4.0 per credit hour
A - 3.67 per credit hour
B + 3.33 per credit hour
B Good 3.0 per credit hour
B - Below Graduate Standards 2.67 per credit hour
C + Below Graduate Standards 2.33 per credit hour
C Below Graduate Standards 2.0 per credit hour
F Failure 0 per credit hour
M Marginal Pass in designated courses such as field work, practicums and internships (not considered in calculation of grade point average)
S and U Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory performance in non-degree courses and in certain designated courses such as field work, practicums and internships. The grade of ‘S’ is given for all dissertation credits upon final acceptance of the dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. and Ed.D. degrees. ‘S’ and ‘U’ grades are not considered in the calculation of the grade point average but courses completed with an ‘S’ grade may count toward a degree

The mark of I (Incomplete) is given to a student when he/she has not completed all of the course work as planned for the term and when there is, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student will complete the course successfully without again attending regular class sessions. The student should be passing at the time the grade of I is given. A written contract specifying the work to be completed should be signed by the student and instructor. Responsibility for completing all course work rests with the student.

The mark of I will be changed to a letter grade when the student completes the course work as arranged with the instructor or, if the instructor has left the University, with the Chairperson of the department or other instructional unit. Work must be completed within one calendar year. There are NO extensions.

The mark of I will not be awarded if, in the instructor's judgment, it is necessary for the student to attend subsequent sessions of the class. If regular attendance is necessary to complete coursework, the student must register for the class for the semester in which attendance is planned. The student will be assessed tuition and applicable fees for the second registration. If the student decides to register for the course, subsequent to the assignment of an I, then the mark of I for the original election will be changed to a W (Withdrawal), and the student will be responsible for tuition and applicable fees for the second registration. Students are responsible for notifying their department and the department offering the course that they have reregistered for the course so that the I is not changed to an F.

Any unchanged mark of I will, within one calendar year from the time it was received, be changed to a grade of F or failure. This will not be changed after the I is replaced.

The mark of W is given when a student voluntarily withdraws from a class during the official withdrawal period for that class as denoted in the Schedule of Classes. The mark of W is not used in the calculation of grade point average.

The mark of Y (Deferred) is given when the student is up-to-date in the work of a course planned to continue beyond the semester (i.e., essay, thesis, dissertation and certain courses taken in sequence).

The mark of Z (Auditor) is given when the student has formally registered for the course for audit. The student's Academic Dean or his/ her designee must provide written audit authorization to the student at the time of registration.

Retaking Courses

Graduate Students: A graduate program may, if it wishes, allow a student to retake a graduate course in which the student earned a grade of ‘B-minus’ or lower. This prerogative is exercised by the program through the use of the override provisions in the University’s registration system which will prevent students from independently retaking courses. The number of courses and the number times a course may be retaken is determined by the program. The original grade for the course will remain on the student's transcript, but only the final grade received in retaking of the course will be used in computation of the student's  grade point average. Students  will not receive University financial aid for courses that are retaken. It is the student’s responsibility to be apprised of his/her program’s repeat policy.

Mike Ilitch School of Business: No course in which a student has received a passing grade or mark may be retaken without the prior written approval of the Director of Student Services of the Mike Ilitch School of Business.

College of Engineering: No course may be retaken without the prior written approval of the respective department's Graduate Program Chairperson and the Associate Dean of Engineering for Graduate Studies. Students may not retake any course in which a grade of ‘A’ or ‘B’ was received.

Auditing Courses

To audit a course, a student must indicate that they wish to audit the course rather than receive academic credit, at the time of registration. Registration to audit a course is subject to the following regulations:

  1. Students must pay the tuition assessment for the course, which is the same as if it were taken for academic credit;
  2. A student is not permitted to take quizzes and examinations in audited courses;
  3. A student may not normally change from audit status after registering for the course. In some cases, exceptions may be permitted during the term with the written recommendation of the instructor and the written approval of the Dean of the college/school in which the student is enrolled. The instructor's recommendation and Dean's approval must be included with the student's Drop/Add Form indicating the desired change.

The Graduate School does not encourage students to audit graduate-level courses.

Change of Grades and Marks

Once recorded in the Office of the Registrar, grades/marks will be changed only if the instructor posts the grade change in the online grade/mark change system in Academica. Most changes must be posted within one calendar year. (Deferred (Y) grades are the exception.) Failure grades that are posted as a result of a student not completing an incomplete course may not be changed. After a degree has been awarded, the grades associated with that degree may not be changed. Other change of grades or marks older than a year must be approved by the department chair and the Associate Dean of the school or college that offered the course.

Credit by Examination

A student wishing to obtain credit toward an advanced degree for knowledge essential to his/her program of study, acquired by means precluding formal transfer to Wayne State University, may petition for an advanced credit examination in a course or courses covering the relevant area of study. The petition requesting such advanced credit shall state the basis for the request in terms of the student's competence at the graduate level in the particular academic area. The established examination fee must be paid before the examination is taken. All grades will be recorded on the student's transcript. Such grades will not be used in computing the grade point average. The fulfillment of any requirement through credit by examination does not relieve the student of the residence requirement for degree.

Transfer of Credits — Graduate

Transfer Credits for the Master’s degree

In work toward the master's degree, credit beyond the twenty-four credits which must be earned in residence may be transferred from accredited graduate schools, provided such credit is ‘B’ or better and certified as graduate-level credit on an official transcript; ‘B-minus’ and credit earned with ‘S’ and ‘P’ (satisfactory or pass) grades are not acceptable for transfer. Up to nine credits may be used from a non-degree program at WSU or another institution. Up to 8 graduate credits from a graduate degree program (at WSU or another institution) may transfer to a student’s WSU master’s degree. Those 8 in addition to a maximum of twenty-four earned in residency will be transferred toward the Ph.D. Departments and schools/colleges may further restrict the number of credits that may be transferred.

Transfer Credits for the Ph.D. Degree

The Graduate School allows a maximum of 32 credits to be transferred to the Ph.D. These 32 credits may include up to eight master’s degree transfer credits as noted above. Departments and schools/colleges may have additional requirements and restrictions. A student wishing to transfer graduate credit toward the Ph.D. degree must file a petition with the Graduate School via the Transfer of Credit form, approved by his/her advisor and departmental graduate director, requesting such transfers. The petition must be supported by a transcript showing a minimum grade of ‘B’ for the courses to be transferred; ‘B-minus’ grades are not acceptable for transfer. Ungraded courses, evaluated as “pass” or equivalent, may be transferred if approved and assigned ‘S’ credit by departmental graduate director. When students would like to transfer credits from institutions without course codes, the closest WSU equivalents must be listed. When students would like to transfer credits from institutions without letter grades, a conversion chart must be provided and used. Transfer credits must be appropriate to the student's degree program. Doctoral dissertation credits will not be transferred. Courses accepted for transfer credit from outside or within Wayne State University cannot have provided credit toward a prior degree except when the master's or another pre-doctoral certificate or degree is applied to the doctoral degree. Admission to Wayne State University based upon a previously earned master's degree does not guarantee that those credits are applicable to a graduate degree at Wayne State University.

Up to thirty-two semester credits of 'B' or better graduate credit earned prior to the student's admission as a doctoral applicant may be applied toward the Ph.D., whether the graduate credit was earned at Wayne State University or another institution, degree without regard to lapse of time. Credit earned with ‘B’ minus or ‘S’ or ‘P’ (satisfactory or pass) grades are not acceptable for transfer.

Extension Credits

Extension credits earned at other than Michigan institutions cannot be applied toward a graduate degree or an education specialist certificate.

Short-Term and Travel-Study Courses for Graduate Credit

Short-Term, Workshop-Institute-Conference, and Travel-Study courses offered for graduate credit must be proposed, approved and authorized well in advance via the appropriate form (obtainable from the Graduate School). After an initial authorization, courses to be repeated with no substantial change may be petitioned and approved by memorandum on the basis of the original on file.

Short-Term Courses: These are created or adapted to meet for a time period of less than one-half an academic semester— i.e., less than 7-1/2 weeks. Such courses offered for graduate credit will provide for at least fifteen contact hours and the requisite proportion of outside preparation for each hour of credit. It is assumed that short-term courses will not differ from regular fifteen-week courses in terms of objectives, content, contact hours, or academic expectations, unless such a difference is reflected by a proportioning of graduate credits.

Workshop-Institute-Conference Courses (WIC): WIC courses are those specially formulated experiences which, because of their usually ‘applied' nature, lend themselves to an exceptionally brief but intensive time span. They differ from short-term courses in their concentration, usually spanning from a single day to two or three weekends. Offered for graduate credit, these courses provide for a minimum of twenty-five contact hours and an appropriate proportion of additional work for each hour of credit. Since these  experiences vary  greatly in  their purposes  and the degree of participation expected of the student, they are offered for credit only infrequently and enroll only those students for whose academic programs they would be directly relevant. Graduate grading will be on an ‘S’ and ‘U’ basis only.

Travel-Study Courses are courses created or adapted to take special advantage of the opportunity to relate a particular course of study to the cultures, mores, or institutions studied. Such courses may involve either domestic or foreign travel. All are offered through the Educational Outreach Division. Graduate credit for travel-study courses will be graded on an ‘S’ and ‘U’ basis only.

CREDIT RESTRICTIONS: Graduate students may not register for any course or combination of courses in these categories that permit the accumulation of graduate credits at a rate greater than one credit hour per week. Registrations that exceed this rate will be canceled in advance if discovered and, in no case will the excess credit be counted toward the requirements for a Wayne State graduate degree.

Attendance Policy

Whenever attendance forms a basis for a portion or all of a course grade, students must be provided with explicit written information concerning that fact during the first week of classes. Such information shall be specific with regard to the penalty incurred for each absence and the means, if any, to compensate for the absence. It should be recognized that there may be certain situations where the student may not be permitted to make up the absence(s). This policy shall be applicable to all courses within the University, regardless of setting.

Responsible Attendance and Performance

Students must show diligence and are normally expected to complete the courses they elect. Irresponsible attendance is wasteful of both student and University resources. Those students who consistently receive excessive marks of I (Incomplete) or W (Withdrawal) may be refused the privilege of further registration by the dean or the dean's designee of their school or college.

Religious Holidays

Because of the extraordinary variety of religious affiliations of the University student body and staff, the Academic Calendar makes no provisions for religious holidays. However, it is University policy to respect the faith and religious obligations of the individual. Students with classes or examinations that conflict with their religious observances are expected to notify their instructors well in advance so that mutually agreeable alternatives may be worked out.

Appeal Procedures

In matters where a College's signed final decision is based upon the evaluation of a student's academic performance, and when review procedures available to him/her within the College have been exhausted, the student may request the Associate Provost for Academic Programs to review that decision on the record. The academic appeal form must be submitted by the student himself/herself, within thirty calendar days of the postmark of the College's final decision, which is to be sent to the address provided by the student in the College's review procedures. The Associate Provost's review of the College's decision will proceed as soon as practicable after submission by the student of his/her wish to seek review.

Grade Appeal Procedure

Students should first seek to settle grade disputes informally with the instructor. The dean's office of each school/college has established formal grade appeal procedures. Links to these procedures are also available on the Office of the Provost website. In most instances, formal grade appeals must be filed within thirty (30) calendar days of the time the student has or should have received their final grade. Note that the college of record for Ph.D. students is the Graduate School. For all other students, the college of record is the college or school in which the degree program is housed.

Academic Appeal Procedure

Ph.D. program dismissals should begin in the program or department and should be made on the basis of evidence, existing policy, and must follow due process procedures. Graduate directors must communicate with students in writing about the dismissal including a description of the evidence used to justify the dismissal.  Students begin the appeal process in writing, following their unit’s grade appeal procedures. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the response, the student may then appeal in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the program’s decision.  A decision by the Dean of the Graduate School is final and ends the appeal process.

Academic Misbehavior Appeal Procedure

Where the Ph.D. program dismissal is based upon academic misbehavior as defined in Section 2.1 of the Student Code of Conduct, as opposed to poor academic performance, the procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct under Section 10.1 (a) and (b) must be followed.  Students begin the appeal process for academic misbehavior in writing as defined in Section 10.1 (a), within ten (10) school days of oral or written notice of action taken by a faculty member under 10.1(a).

In addition to any action taken under Section 10.1(a), if a charge is also filed for academic misbehavior under Section 10.1(b), the procedures set forth in section 13.0 of the Student Code of Conduct are followed.  The student may initiate an appeal under Section 18.1 of the Student Code of Conduct within twenty (20) school days of the school or college’s final decision.  The appeal is before the Provost, who is the President’s designee for all purposes under the Student Code of Conduct.   A decision by the Provost is a final decision and ends the appeal process. 

Disputes Regarding Graduate Student Contractual Employment

Disputes concerning contractual employment including GTA/GSA assignments should be resolved in accordance with the Graduate Employees Organizing Committee (GEOC) contract in effect. Note that for non-Ph.D. students, academic appeals move from the department/program to the college or school in which the degree program is housed.

Student Ethics 

Academic Records: The submission of fraudulent academic records for admission or transfer of credit by a student may be cause for the student’s dismissal.

Academic Work: Academic work submitted by a student for credit is assumed to be of his/her own creation, and if found not to be, will constitute cause for the student’s dismissal.

Student Code of Conduct

High standards of student conduct play a major role in creating an environment of excellence and the Student Code of Conduct is used to maintain these standards. The code:

  1. establishes the expectations that students are accountable for their behavior;
  2. describes acceptable student conduct, both academic and non-academic;
  3. describes disciplinary policies and procedures;
  4. specifies the rights of students and other parties; and
  5. specifies prohibited conduct and sanctions to be imposed if such conduct occurs

Examples of prohibited conduct subject to the Student Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to, academic misbehavior, knowingly furnishing false information to the University, disorderly behavior, theft, damage of property, illegal drugs, weapons on campus, physical assault, unauthorized entry, violation of criminal law, etc.

The University Student Conduct Officer, housed in the Dean of Students Office, monitors the student disciplinary process and is responsible for coordinating matters involving student discipline; describing the disciplinary procedures; and informing students and other parties of their rights. The Student Code of Conduct is published by the Dean of Students Office.

Obligations to the Instructional Process

Education is a cooperative effort between teacher and student, and both parties must fulfill obligations if the integrity and efficacy of the instructional process are to be preserved. In some cases, however, students are unable to meet goals, and programs must make difficult decisions about whether the student should continue in the program. These guidelines are designed to help programs define satisfactory academic progress and respond when students are not advancing appropriately.

Program responsibilities

  • Definition of what constitutes academic progress and lack of progress: the expected timeframe for achieving degree milestones, enrollment expectations and the number of stopped-out terms that will lead to probation and dismissal, and the acceptable number of unchanged Y grades
  • Statement of any requirement for a minimum 3.0 grade in specific courses or restrictions on the number of grades below 3.0 that will be accepted, as well as a statement of how many graduate courses may be repeated
  • Statement of research and scholarship, professional and other criteria students must meet to remain in good standing in the program

Faculty responsibilities 

  1. To contribute to and remain abreast of the latest developments in their fields;
  2. To continually pursue teaching excellence;
  3. To treat all students with respect and fairness without regard to ancestry, race, color, religion, political belief, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or veteran status;
  4. To encourage differing viewpoints and demonstrate integrity in evaluating their merit;
  5. To attend regularly and punctually, adhere to the scheduled class and final examination times, and arrange for notification of absence and coverage of classes;
  6. To establish and maintain appropriate office hours;
  7. To present, early in the semester, the following course information:
    1. course objectives and general outline;
    2. classroom procedures to be followed, expectations concerning class attendance, and proposed dates of major evaluations (including examinations, papers, and other projects);
    3. grading policy;
    4. where appropriate, a schedule of class-related activities, including class meetings and laboratory sessions;
    5. lists of texts and/or other materials needed for the course;
    6. late enrollment, withdrawal, and other special policies.
  8. To provide and adhere, within reasonable limits, to the written syllabus of the course;
  9. To know course matter thoroughly and prepare and present the material conscientiously;
  10. To be informed of University services and recommend their use to students when advisable;
  11. To follow these policies concerning written work and grades:
    1. grade and return written work promptly;
    2. submit final grades by the scheduled time;
    3. retain written materials not returned within the semester (e.g., final examinations, major term papers) for one academic semester in accordance with unit policy and allow students to examine such materials;
  12. To implement unit procedures for student evaluation of faculty teaching, with attention to preserving student anonymity;
  13. To behave appropriately in dealing with students so as to maintain a scholarly atmosphere.

Student responsibilities 

  1. To inform themselves of and to fulfill all requirements of the University and those of the College and Department from which they expect to receive their degree;
  2. To fulfill conscientiously all assignments and requirements of their courses;
  3. To attend classes regularly and punctually;
  4. To maintain a scholarly, courteous demeanor in class;
  5. To uphold academic honesty in all activities;
  6. Meeting degree milestones (e.g. candidacy, prospectus approval) in a timely manner so that completion within the degree time limit appears likely
  7. For Ph.D. students, passing the Qualifying Exam within two attempts 
  8. Maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average 
  9. To notify the instructor as early as possible if prevented from keeping an appointment or carrying out an assignment;
  10. To discuss with the instructor any class-related problem and follow established procedures in the resolution of these problems;
  11. To adhere to the instructor’s and general University policies on attendance, withdrawal, or other special procedures.

It is expected that faculty and students will fulfill their obligations to the instructional process. If, however, a complaint does arise, the parties should meet in an effort to resolve the matter. When such a discussion fails to resolve the problem or is inappropriate given the circumstances, the head of the academic unit should be contacted. If this contact fails to satisfy the complaint, the College’s published procedures should be followed. Although the University Ombudsperson is not a direct part of the appeal process, students and faculty may consult the Ombudsperson at any point during such proceedings.

In cases of lack of academic progress, programs  may place a student on probation for a specified time, during which time the student works to achieve the goals set for the probationary period.

  • Enrolled students: Programs should notify (in writing) students who are not making adequate progress of the specific issues involved and set up a timetable for the student to achieve them. This period is considered probationary, and a copy of the notification letter is to be placed in the student's program file and the college file (master's students) or Graduate School file (Ph.D. students).
  • Stopped-out students: The program should contact students who stop enrolling to determine the student's intent to continue in the program. The program determines the number of allowable stop-out terms and the number that constitutes grounds for dismissal from the program.
  • GPA: Students with GPAs below 3.0 are placed on probation systemically and automatically have a hold placed on their registration. Such students are required to confer with their advisor to develop a plan and timetable for elevating their GPA. If the advisor approves the plan, they should notify the school/college to release the GPA registration hold so the student can register for the agreed upon course(s).

If the student meets the expectations of the probationary period, the program should notify the college (master's students) or Graduate School (Ph.D. students) that the student who was on probation has returned to good standing. If the student does not meet expectations, the program should notify the student of their dismissal in writing and send the college (master's students) or Graduate School (Ph.D. students) a copy of the dismissal letter. These offices will place a hold on the student's future registration.

The student may appeal the dismissal. Such appeal will follow the grade appeals procedures, as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, ending in review by the provost.

If the program readmits a dismissed student, the program should send a copy of the readmission letter to the college (master's students) or Graduate School (Ph.D. students) so the registration hold can be removed by these offices.

If a student withdraws from the program, the program should acknowledge the withdrawal in writing and put the student's withdrawal letter and the program's response letter in the student's program file. It should send copies to the college (master's students) or the Graduate School (Ph.D. students). These offices will place a hold on the student's future registration.

Guidelines for Assigning Graduate Students to Teach Graduate Courses

Wayne State University strives, as part of its mission, to achieve academic excellence in all graduate programs and to provide opportunities for graduate students to teach. When selecting instructors for courses, three key issues should be considered:

  1. Competence and credentials of the instructor
  2. Maintaining confidentiality of the student 
  3. Avoidance of potential conflict-of-interest situations.

When graduate students are employed in any teaching capacity (e.g., graduate assistants, part, fractional or full-time instructors or lecturers, etc.), certain rules and guidelines are needed.

General guideline

Students enrolled in graduate programs at Wayne State University should not ordinarily be given sole or major responsibility in the instruction and final grade evaluation of any course in which other graduate students are registered for credit. These guidelines are not intended to apply to the legitimate assignment of qualified graduate students as laboratory assistants or aids in courses that are taught by a graduate faculty member. In such cases, the responsibility for instruction, supervision and grading rests with the graduate faculty member.


If, under extenuating circumstances, a graduate student enrolled at WSU must be assigned teaching duties that place that student in a teaching role with regard to other graduate students, the following restrictions will typically apply:

  1. Only doctoral students who have attained candidacy may be assigned to teach graduate courses and only provided that no doctoral candidates are enrolled in the course for credit.
  2. A graduate student may NOT be assigned for more than two semesters to teach graduate level courses in which other graduate students are registered.
  3. A graduate student may be assigned to teach graduate-level courses in which other graduate students are registered only in a specific area of special competence. Graduate students who teach must otherwise fulfill all of the credentialing, licensing, degree and experiential requirements of faculty assigned to similar courses.


All exceptions to the general guideline shall be petitioned by the department, approved by the college dean and authorized by the dean of the Graduate School. 

Academic Nepotism

Faculty members are not to place themselves, or allow themselves to be placed, in situations amounting to ‘academic nepotism,’ i.e., teaching or otherwise directing the credit study or research of a student who is also a close relative. Concomitantly, students are not to take courses from close relatives or engage in research for academic credit under the direction of close relatives. All such credit will be disallowed.

Fraud and Misuse of Documents

Intentionally furnishing false information to the University is explicitly prohibited, as is forgery, alteration, unauthorized possession, or misuse of University documents, records and identification cards. The University reserves the right to rescind degrees if the award of the degree was based in whole or in part on deception, fraud, other unacceptable academic conduct, or misuse of University documents.

Data Access, Retention, and Ownership Guidelines

These guidelines provide graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty, staff, and research volunteers information about their rights and responsibilities and the ethical and legal framework applicable to research data produced by students and employees at Wayne State University. These guidelines are of particular importance for collaborative work involving multiple stakeholders or investigators. Download guidelines as PDF


Research Data are the aggregated, recorded, retrievable information created or obtained through research, scholarly or creative work. Data include but are not limited to research and/or laboratory records created or maintained in the course of a research project (including paper or electronic files, interview notes, survey results, etc.), whether prepared on campus, off campus or at a research site pertaining to a research project.

Principal Investigator is a University employee or other researcher with primary responsibility for the conduct and administration of a research project.

Employee is any individual who receives salary, fellowship or other forms of remuneration for work produced or supervised at the University.

Students are individuals who are enrolled in courses at the University or are enrolled in a program of study, including individuals who have ABD status but are not registered for classes, during the period in which the research data covered under this policy is created, recorded, developed or manipulated.

Volunteers are individuals working without pay on research projects guided or directed by University staff or employees. Volunteers may be, but do not have to be, students.

Stakeholders include the Principal Investigator, Employees (including faculty and staff and administrators), Students, and Volunteers who participate on the research team or work on any aspect of the research project that produces the Research Data.


University Responsibilities

  • Research Data ownership and/or access rights may be addressed by agreements between research sponsors and the University. In particular, researchers engaged in scholarly work that is carried out under external grants and/or contracts are required to follow the policies and guidance of the funding agency and the University and any relevant contract provisions.
  • In the absence of such contractual requirements or specific policies mandated by the research sponsor, Wayne State University asserts ownership of, and the right of access to, Research Data arising from all research conducted on the premises of or under the auspices of the University or supported by University resources. When necessary to assure appropriate access, the University may take physical custody of Research Data in a manner specified by the Vice President for Research or his/her designee.

Principal Investigator Responsibilities

  • The Principal Investigator is the steward of Research Data and is responsible for its collection, management and retention, and has authority to make decisions regarding its dissemination. The Principal Investigator is also responsible for the maintenance and retention of research records and for compliance with any requirements of a research sponsor or funding agency related to Research Data. Appropriate record-keeping includes assurance of sufficient detail to allow replication of the research, response to questions about unintentional error or misinterpretation, establishment of the Research Data's authenticity and confirmation of validity. The Principal Investigator must communicate in writing to all Stakeholders at the outset of a research project (and at appropriate intervals during the ongoing research) these guidelines and the applicable system of Research Data organization and retention selected by the Principal Investigator and any determinations as to the method and timing of dissemination of the Research Data.

Access by Stakeholders

  • All Stakeholders participating in a research project have the right to access Research Data from the project and are responsible for complying with all requirements of a research sponsor or funding agency related to the Research Data and with applicable procedures for Research Data management, protection, security and dissemination communicated by the Principal Investigator. Access to data does not necessarily grant a right to disseminate or disclose data.

Research Data Retention

  • Research Data must be preserved for a reasonable length of time, as determined by the Principal Investigator, to allow an answer to questions from the scientific community regarding the research. Based on various sponsoring agency requirements and statutes of limitation, Research Data must be retained for a minimum of six years after the conclusion of a research project: an agreement with a research sponsor may require a longer retention period.
  • If a Principal Investigator leaves the University, the Principal Investigator must make arrangements prior to leaving with his/her department chair or dean regarding the disposition of Research Data. In those cases in which data is appropriately transferred to the Principal Investigator's new institution, the University reserves the right to access the data for at least five years, unless there is an agreement between the two institutions providing otherwise.
  • When a Stakeholder other than the Principal Investigator leaves the University, Research Data must remain at the University unless specific written agreements are made between the Stakeholder, the Principal Investigator, and the department chair or dean. Federal regulations including those related to HIPAA prohibit the transfer of personally identifiable health or other information without the appropriate authorization from the Human Investigation Committee, which serves as the University's Privacy Board.
  • In the event the research project results in intellectual property rights such as patents, strict documentation of Research Data—including, as applicable, original Research Data such as signed and dated original laboratory notebook pages—must be retained indefinitely for so long as the University may need such documentation to address protection and ownership issues. Stakeholders (including students and trainees) may retain copies of research notebooks only if that arrangement is consistent with any contractual agreements and arrangements with the funding agency, HIPAA restrictions, and determinations of the Principal Investigator and unit administrators such as the department chair and School or College dean. Stakeholders must meet with the Principal Investigator to discuss Research Data access and retention arrangements upon leaving the University and before pursuing any significant research and development activity in respect of the Research Data after leaving the University.

Creative Work

  • Creative work (including but not limited to musical arrangements/recordings, pieces of art, novels, etc.) resulting from collaborations between students and faculty can raise issues similar to Research Data retention and dissemination in some disciplines. It is recommended that faculty address ownership and rights of usage in advance of pursuing such collaborations, including development of written agreements outlining the intended nature of the collaboration and the roles of faculty and student Stakeholders, to ensure credit is not disputed at a later date.

Authorship and Disputes regarding Research Data Access

  • Scholarly work is typically intended for publication. Various journals and organizations associated with scholarly publication abide by authorship guidelines, such as the International Committee on Medical Journal Editors guidelines and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) that provide for broad feedback on publication and authorship issues. Each individual who has made an intellectual contribution to a body of work has a reasonable expectation to be listed as a co-author on papers, publications and other disseminations of the work.
  • At the time that any dissemination project involving Research Data is initiated, Stakeholders must discuss co-authorship status among those who contributed to the work and reach a consensus regarding those who will be listed as co-authors. All co-authors must be provided the opportunity to provide input on the content and publication timelines for the work and be notified prior to submission of the work. It is the responsibility of the advisor/Principal Investigator for a project to ensure that these discussions happen in a reasonable timeframe so as not to hinder the dissemination of the work (including timely graduation for students) and that equitable decisions are made regarding publication/dissemination.
  • If a graduate thesis is one of the potential forms of publication and agreement cannot be achieved among Stakeholders, the publication issue may be appealed first to the relevant dissertation committee for resolution and, if the parties remain at odds, to the graduate officer and department chair. If the matter cannot be handled within the department, the final arbiter of such disputes is the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • If other situations arise in which the Stakeholders involved in the generation, analysis, and/or reporting of Research Data cannot agree on the proper action, such disputes may be appealed to the department chair and, if the dispute remains unresolved, to the dean of the college or school. Either the dean or the Stakeholders may request that the Vice President for Research assist with a recommendation.  The Dean's decision is final.


  • Doctoral and Masters theses are important publications associated with the scholarly work of the University's students. Research Data that is included in these publications are expected to be predominantly the result of work by the primary author. A thesis may use Research Data from other Stakeholders in a research project only if the Principal Investigator or research supervisor provides a signed statement explicitly acknowledging the use as appropriate and setting forth any applicable limitations on use of the other Stakeholders' Research Data as necessary to protect those Stakeholders' interest in the research project.
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