Students who have been granted admission to the GSBS are expected to register for course work whether or not they contemplate degree work. Failure to register in the term for which admission is granted will require the student to reapply for admission.
Registration information is provided during new student orientation prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. Graduate students are permitted to register at any time beginning the first day of advance registration. Online registration is available to all admitted students. Instructions for registration and add-drop procedures can be found on the registrar's website.
Students are required to register for appropriate courses in every semester (including summer) in which they expect to receive assistance, use the facilities of the university, or take comprehensive examinations.
The number of hours for which students must enroll in each semester depends on their level of involvement in research and their use of university facilities and faculty time. Students in residence who are devoting full-time to research should enroll for 9 to 12 hours.
Registration by Undergraduates
With the exception of participants in approved early acceptance programs, undergraduate students may not enroll for courses carrying graduate credit unless they are within 12 hours of graduation and have at least a B average in their major subject. The Approval for Graduate Credit form must be approved by the GSBS Office prior to registration. Courses taken without this approval will not be granted graduate credit. With the approval of the GSBS Office, students may take graduate courses for undergraduate credit.
The maximum amount of work that may be scheduled by an undergraduate who is taking courses for graduate credit is 16 hours in a semester or 6 hours in the summer term, including graduate and undergraduate work. Undergraduates permitted to enroll for graduate courses are expected to receive their bachelor’s degree within one year of the first semester of graduate enrollment.
With the exception of participants in approved early acceptance programs, an undergraduate may not receive credit for more than 12 semester hours of GSBS coursework completed prior to admission to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as an applicant for a graduate degree.
Registration by Faculty and Staff
Full-time members of the faculty and staff of Texas Tech University or Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) may enroll for courses by permission of the course director, and by completion of the GSBS application. In registering for graduate work, they become subject to the regulations of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. However, no member of the faculty who has held rank higher than instructor at TTUHSC is eligible to pursue a graduate degree program at this institution unless prior approval of the GSBS Office is given. TTUHSC Employees may also utilize the tuition assistance program as outlined in OP 70.47 to receive tuition waivers for one course per semester. To be eligible, employees must be full-time benefits-eligible and seeking a degree or certification.
General GSBS Requirements
Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE) Core Curriculum
All TTUHSC students, regardless of school affiliation, will be required to complete the IPE core curriculum prior to graduation. The IPE core curriculum is composed of two components including successful completion of a non-credit online course (>70% accuracy on the knowledge post-test) and successful participation in at least one registered IPE learning activity. Failure to complete the IPE core curriculum will result in delayed graduation.
Ethics/Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Course
All GSBS students are required to complete a course in ethics (Responsible Conduct of Research).
Each program/concentration has specific requirements of graduate students outside the general requirements of GSBS. Graduate students may petition to waive a specific requirement (a course) if the student has taken a similar course; however, GSBS 5174 and GSBS 5275 will not be waived. Approval for waiving requirements is considered within each academic area. General guidelines for this process are as follows (check with the graduate advisor for specific guidelines):
- The student petitions their graduate advisor in writing, describing the course he or she wishes to waive and the pertinent details on the course previously taken (the course must have been completed within a certain amount of time as determined by the faculty within the academic area).
- The student must provide an original transcript from the previous institution clearly displaying that the course was taken and satisfactorily passed with a “B” or better.
- The student must also provide a complete syllabus for the previously taken course in order for the graduate advisor to determine if the content of the course is substantially similar to the course in which a waiver is being requested.
- For courses outside the core curriculum, the graduate advisor will present all of this information to the CCC committee or program/concentration faculty who will decide if the request is to be granted or denied.
- In cases where the graduate faculty committee cannot decide the appropriateness of the request, they may require the student to take and pass a comprehensive examination on the contents of the course.
Courses that are waived do not reflect on the student’s HSC transcript nor do the credit hours count toward the degree. Documentation for waiving a course will be maintained in the GSBS office.
PROBATION AND DISMISSAL
GSBS students are required to maintain a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. If a student fails to maintain the required minimum GPA, she or he will be placed on academic probation. Refer to program guidelines for specific guidance.
Group tutoring is available through the GSBS. Once tutoring dates have been scheduled, the GSBS will notify students. Some group tutoring is also available and conducted by course directors or organized through the graduate student association (GSA).
All GSBS students are required to take the ethics course (GSBS 5101, Responsible Conduct of Research) and GSBS 5000 Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. Most programs/concentrations also have a statistics course requirement; GSBS offers the GSBS 5310 Introduction to Statistical Methods course, though other courses may meet the requirement.
Registration Without Credit (Auditing)
Persons who wish to audit a course for no grade must obtain written permission from the GSBS Office and the instructor using the Permission to Audit Course without Credit form. Those who audit a course do so for the purpose of hearing or seeing only and will not receive a grade or credit in the course. Students auditing a course will not be listed on the class roll, will not participate in exams, and no notation of the audit will be made on the student's transcript.
There is no automatic transfer of credit from another university toward a graduate degree within the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In general, all such work is subject to review and approval by the graduate advisor within the academic area and by the GSBS Office. No work completed with a grade of less than B will be considered (a grade of B is defined by the numerical range 80-89) and no more than 30 hours of an earned Master’s degree from another institution may be transferred. All students must submit an official U.S. transcript and syllabus for each course along with the request for transfer at the time the degree plan is submitted to the GSBS office.
Students may petition for approval of a graduate level course taken at another institution to satisfy a program/concentration requirement by providing documentation that the course is equivalent to a GSBS course which satisfies the requirement. The request to substitute a course should be submitted to the graduate advisor in the first semester after matriculation. If approved by the graduate program committee, the request will be forwarded to the GSBS Office for final approval.
Experiential credit is only approved in advance for matriculated GSBS students who may spend a semester learning research techniques in an approved laboratory outside of the institution and this must be requested in writing to the GSBS Office on a case-by-case basis. For credit to be awarded the GSBS Office will determine how much credit may be earned and it will be awarded under a Special Topics course number.
Graduate credit is not granted for courses taken by correspondence.
GSBS semesters are 15 weeks (45 contact hours for a 3 semester-credit-hour course). The general rule is that a student may not earn more than 1 hour of credit for each week of the enrollment period. Any exceptions to this rule must have the prior approval of the GSBS Office. Students on fellowships, assistantships, or other appointments designed for the support of graduate study must meet full-time enrollment requirements each semester. The following table details full-time registration requirements for doctoral, masters, and temporary students.
|Doctoral Students||Masters and Temporary Students|
|Term||Minimum Enrollment||Maximum Enrollment||Minimum Enrollment||Maximum Enrollment|
|Fall||9 credit hours||13 credit hours||9 credit hours||16 credit hours|
|Spring||9 credit hours||13 credit hours||9 credit hours||16 credit hours|
|Summer||6 credit hours|
If a student is devoting full time to research, using university facilities and faculty time, the schedule should reflect at least 9 hours enrollment (6 hours in the summer term).
Registration in an individual study, research, or similar course implies an expected level of effort on the part of the student comparable to that associated with an organized class with the same credit value.
A doctoral student not on campus who is required to register solely for the purpose of satisfying a continuous enrollment requirement need not register for more than 1 credit hour during each term (a
doctoral student not on campus who is involved in internship, research, or another type of academic study should register for credit hours in proportion to the teaching effort required of the graduate faculty).
Changes in Schedule and Withdrawal. A graduate student who wishes to add or drop a course must initiate such action with their graduate advisor. Students should follow the academic calendar for deadlines associated with add/drop and withdrawing from a course. A student who no longer attends a course without an official withdrawal will receive an F in that course.
Transferring within GSBS Programs/Concentrations. Students who wish to change their academic area – that is, transfer from one program/concentration to another within GSBS – should first notify their current graduate advisor of their intent to transfer. Once notification has been given, the student should contact the graduate advisor of the new program or concentration they wish to enter. If the program/concentration is willing to accept the student, the student should have the new graduate advisor approve the transfer by signing the Application for Change in Major form. Once the form has been signed by the new graduate advisor, the form must be approved by the GSBS Office.
Students can change their academic major at any time during a term; however, it will not be effective until the beginning of the following term. Only students in good standing may transfer into another academic area within GSBS. Students who have been dismissed may reapply to another graduate program through the application process; however, they are not eligible to utilize the Application for Change in Major form.
Maximum Allowable Graduate Hours. Students not making timely progress toward completion of a graduate degree are subject to termination by the GSBS Office. The Texas Legislature has capped formula fundable graduate hours and imposed sanctions upon universities permitting registration for excess hours. Doctoral students beyond the maximum allowable graduate hours as determined by the Texas Legislature (129 hours) may be required to pay out-of-state tuition, regardless of residence status. The GSBS Office must approve exceptions or extensions in advance. (See 129 Hour Rule).
Scholarships. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) seeks to continually recruit and retain the best quality students. In support of that goal, GSBS offers various scholarships throughout the year. Information about all GSBS scholarships can be found on the Scholarships page of the GSBS website. Please note, students must be in good academic standing and have a FAFSA or TASFA on file with financial aid to receive scholarships.
Expectations of Professionalism
Professionalism Statement. All Students must adhere to the TTUHSC Student Handbook Code of Professional Conduct. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in all interactions with TTUHSC students, faculty, staff, guests, and administration. Though not exhaustive, examples of unprofessional conduct include: late tuition payment; disrespectful email communication, including failure to respond to email communications; or obstructive or disrespectful behavior in the classroom, laboratory or workplace.
Responsibility of Students. Each graduate student is expected to become thoroughly familiar with academic guidelines, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences regulations, and degree requirements. Failure to follow the regulations and requirements may result in disciplinary action.
Annual Review. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences requires faculty to conduct a formal review of their students’ progress at least once a year. The “Record of GSBS Committee Meeting Form” should be filed with the GSBS office within 7 days of the meeting. Along with the form, the student’s committee minutes may also be provided as proof of the meeting. Any student not making satisfactory progress toward the degree may be placed on probation and given conditions to stay in the GSBS program. Continued unsatisfactory progress in any area of a student’s work will be cause for dismissal.
Attendance. Whenever attendance and/or participation forms a basis for a portion or all of a course grade, students must be provided with explicit written information (within the course syllabus) 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). Excused absences are determined by the course director.
Extracurricular Activities. Graduate students may participate in extracurricular activities within university policies. The Graduate Student Association and the Student Government Association offer many opportunities for participation. Students are also encouraged to participate in the annual Student Research Week during the first week of March. This consists of three consecutive days of poster competitions and guest seminars. Faculty will not hold classes or exams (unless an exception has been granted prior to the beginning of the Spring semester, by the GSBS Dean) during this week so that all GSBS students can participate and gain experience presenting a poster. Off-campus sites will make reasonable accommodations so that GSBS students on distant campuses may also participate.
Leave of Absence. Any student who fails to register for three consecutive semesters (12 months) and who does not have an official leave of absence from study is subject to review for readmission by the standards in effect at the time of reconsideration. Official leave of absence, which is granted by the GSBS Office upon recommendation of the graduate advisor or advisory committee Chair, may be granted only in cases of serious medical conditions and other exceptional reasons.
Normally, leaves of absence will not exceed one year. Leaves of absence do not extend the maximum time allowed for completion of the degree.
TTUHSC Electronic Mail. To facilitate communications, GSBS solely utilizes the TTUHSC- assigned e-mail account (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). It is the student’s responsibility to check this account for important information and notifications.
Computers. A number of GSBS courses require a laptop computer and therefore it is strongly recommended that all incoming students obtain an appropriate laptop computer. You can see recommended configurations requirements page here.
CV Maintenance. Students are required to maintain a current CV including scholarly activity such as publications and poster presentations. Doctoral students are provided with a Digital Measures account for entering and organizing CV information. Masters students receive an annual CV submission request.
The grades used in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) are: A, B, C, D, and F. All grades are used in computing grade point averages. Instructors may NOT choose to add a plus or a minus to the grade. Graduate credit is given for courses completed with grades of A, B, and C; however, individual program/concentrations may require a student to retake courses in which a “C” was obtained.
Graduate faculty have the option to use pass-fail grades (P and F) for individually arranged courses, professional seminars, and certain other courses. Student committees and/or the advisor (if student committees have not been established) may approve graduate students to take elective courses as pass-fail, however, no more than one-fourth of a student’s course work may be graded pass-fail.
Students wishing to take a course pass-fail must get approval from their committee and notify the GSBS office prior to registering for the course. A student must declare the intent to take a course pass-fail no later than the last day on which a grade of W is automatically given for courses dropped. A student who has chosen to take a course pass-fail may not subsequently change to a letter-graded basis. Graded courses that students elect to take pass-fail will be converted using the following scale: A, B = Pass; C, D, and F = Fail. A grade of F received on a course taken pass-fail will be computed into the grade point average. The names of students taking a course pass-fail will not be made known to the instructor.
The graduate faculty within the program/concentration in which the major will be declared will decide whether courses taken under the pass-fail system will count toward satisfying the degree requirements.
Grading Symbols CR, I, W, and WF. The symbol “CR” (credit) is normally assigned for every enrollment in a master’s thesis or doctor’s dissertation section until the completed document has been approved by the student’s committee and accepted by the GSBS Office. At that time a letter grade will be entered for the final enrollment. Faculty may elect to grade the last 6 hours of thesis (12 hours of dissertation) by preparing a grade change form if a portion of those hours were taken in a previous semester.
“CR” may be given by a professor when a student’s work in other individual research courses is not completed but is satisfactorily in progress at the end of a semester. When the research is completed, a standard letter grade should be entered for the final semester.
The symbol “I” (incomplete) is given only when a student's work is satisfactory in quality but, due to reasons beyond their control, has not been completed. It is not used as a substitute for an F. Only the Registrar’s office can enter a grade of “I”. The course director must complete the Grade of Incomplete form which requires the student, instructor, Chair or Advisor, and GSBS Dean signatures. The assigned work must be completed and a change of grade must be recorded within one calendar year from the date the I was recorded. Failure to do so will result in the Registrar's Office assigning an F for that course and will cause it to become ineligible for a grade change.
A grade of "In Progress" (PR) is given only when the work for a course extends beyond the semester or term. It implies satisfactory performance. Assigned work must be completed and a change of grade must be recorded by the end of the following term from which the PR was assigned. Failure to do so will result in the school requesting either a “Failure” (F) an Incomplete (I) be assigned by submitting a Change of Grade Form and submitting to the Registrar’s office.
When a student officially withdraws from a course by the specified date early in the term, a grade of “W” (withdraw) will be assigned. A withdrawal after the specified date will result in a grade of “W” or “WF” (withdraw/fail), according to the assessment of the student’s work in the course up to the time of the official withdrawal. A student who no longer attends a course without an official withdrawal will receive an F in that course. The grade of “W” does not affect GPA, but “WF” is calculated into the GPA.
Academic Probation Policy
Purpose: To ensure understanding of the academic performance standards set forth by the GSBS.
Every student enrolled in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), whether working toward a degree or not, is required to maintain a high level of performance and to comply fully with policies of the institution. The GSBS reserves the right to place on probation or to dismiss any graduate student who does not maintain satisfactory academic standing or who fails to conform to the regulations of TTUHSC.
- If a student's graduate GPA for a particular semester falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student must make a 3.0 GPA or better in each subsequent semester in which he or she is enrolled. Failure to maintain a 3.0 GPA in each succeeding semester, may result in academic dismissal from GSBS. Regulations governing scholastic probation are based on semester grade-point averages and will be applied regardless of overall grade- point average.
- Academic programs or concentrations may apply standards for probation and suspension higher than those established by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Such standards are to be approved by the GSBS Office, and actions based thereon are to be recommended by the graduate advisor and forwarded to the GSBS Office. Program and concentration specific standards can be found in the guidelines for each program and concentration.
- The minimum requirement for graduation is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken for graduate credit, exclusive of the credits for the thesis/dissertation.
Students that are placed on academic probation will lose their tuition & fee scholarships for the semester immediately following the semester that they are placed on academic probation. The
student must make a 3.0 GPA or better in the semester that the scholarship is forfeited to regain the tuition & fee scholarship. Students on academic probation will not be eligible for scholarships.
Any student who has been suspended must appeal to the GSBS Office if reinstatement is desired. Refer to the Complaint Policy for specific details and procedures.
Students who have been dismissed must appeal to the GSBS if reinstatement is desired. Procedures to appeal academic dismissal are found in the Complaint Policy. A student may also be dismissed for unprofessional conduct such as cheating or plagiarism. Appeals for this type of dismissal are subject to the provisions under the Code of Student Conduct. See the TTUHSC Student Handbook and the Dismissal Policy for further information.
Purpose: To outline conditions or circumstances that may provide sufficient cause for dismissal of graduate students.
The following conditions or circumstances may provide sufficient cause for dismissal of a student from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Graduate students who:
- do not make adequate academic progress as defined by the program/concentration guidelines;
- do not maintain an acceptable GPA as defined by the Academic Probation Policy
- engage in academic or research misconduct;
- engage in illegal, fraudulent, or unethical behavior as defined in the Student Handbook
- Code of Professional Conduct;
There may also be other unusual situations in which a student may be dismissed. In each case, the dismissal should follow the following procedures:
Lack of Adequate Academic Progress
Failure to maintain an acceptable GPA will result in academic warning, probation or dismissal according to the GSBS Academic Probation policy. In addition, students who have not been placed on probation, but who are not making adequate academic progress, must be warned in writing of the possibility of dismissal. They will be given a clear statement about what must be done within a specified time period to alleviate the problem. These expectations must be reasonable and consistent with expectations held for all students. If the student does not meet the requirements within the time frame specified, he/she may be dismissed. Upon recommendation from the graduate advisor, the GSBS Office will notify the student of his/her dismissal. Students may appeal this dismissal following the procedures outlined in the Complaint Policy.
Academic or Research Misconduct/Illegal, Fraudulent, or Unethical Behavior
The process for dismissing students as a result of academic or research misconduct; or as a result of illegal, fraudulent, or unethical behavior is outlined in the Student Handbook - Code of Professional Conduct.
Allegations of scientific misconduct (fraud, dishonesty, scientific misconduct, or misconduct in science) will be investigated by the TTUHSC Research Integrity Officer as outlined in HSC OP
73.07 Honesty in Research & Allegations of Scientific Misconduct. Scientific misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that materially deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific and academic communities for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It also includes other material deviations from accepted scientific practices such as failure to report unethical research practices, obstruction of another’s research, violation of confidentiality, intentional deception, omission or research dishonesty, repeated incidents of regulatory noncompliance and misuse of research funds. It does not include honest errors or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.
A regularly admitted graduate student who has not been registered for three consecutive semesters (including the summer term) will be dismissed unless a leave of absence has been approved.
Any student who does not complete all requirements for a graduate degree within the time limit will be dismissed.
|Graduate Degree Time Limits|
Graduate Advisors may recommend dismissing students for situations other than those specified above. When doing so, the graduate advisor must notify the student in writing of the possibility of dismissal. If it is possible for the student to rectify the situation, he/she must be given a clear statement about what must be done within a specified time period to alleviate the problem. These expectations must be reasonable and consistent with expectations held for all students. If the student does not meet the requirements within the time frame specified, he/she may be dismissed.
If the situation cannot be rectified, the graduate advisor will send justification for the dismissal to the GSBS Office. If warranted, the GSBS Office will notify the student in writing of the grounds for dismissal and the date when the dismissal will be effective. This will normally be the end of the semester in which the student is enrolled, but the circumstances of the dismissal will be important in determining this date.
Students may appeal their dismissal by following the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook - Code of Professional Conduct.
This section covers two areas of complaints: Grade Appeals and Non-Grade Grievances. It is the policy of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences to affirm the right of its students to a prompt and fair resolution of a complaint or grievance.
Purpose: To provide the student with a safeguard against receiving an unfair final grade, while respecting the academic responsibility of the faculty.
This policy recognizes that:
- Every student has a right to receive a grade assigned based on a fair and unprejudiced evaluation of the student’s performance using a method that is neither arbitrary nor capricious; and,
- Faculty have the right to assign a grade based on any method that is professionally acceptable, submitted in writing to all students, and applied equally.
The following procedure provides students with a system by which to file an appeal of a final grade they believe was based on arbitrary or capricious action by the faculty. Only the final course grade as entered into the official TTUHSC system may be appealed. The burden of proof that such an influence has affected a final grade rests with the student.
* Throughout this document, the phrase “business days” refers to days when the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences administrative offices are open, and excludes weekends and holidays.
Prior to filing an official grade appeal, the student must meet with the course director to review how the faculty arrived at the final grade. If after the meeting with the faculty the student wishes to pursue filing a final grade appeal, the following procedures shall be followed.
A. GRADE APPEAL
- Students must file a Grade Appeal Form within three (3) business days of the date the final grade is posted in Banner. The Grade Appeal Form is to be filed with the GSBS Office. All documents to support the appeal must accompany the Grade Appeal Form. Documents received after the log-in date of the Grade Appeal Form will not be accepted.
- The GSBS Office will forward the appeal and all supporting documents to the appropriate programmatic graduate advisor/program director. Note: If the course director is also the graduate advisor/program director, the appeal will go directly to the GSBS Assistant Dean.
- The Graduate Advisor/Program Director shall meet with the faculty and student separately and review all materials pertinent to the grade appeal.
- After review of all materials, the Graduate Advisor/Program Director shall, within five (5) business days from receipt of the formal grade appeal, render a decision. The student shall be notified of the decision via electronic correspondence to the student’s TTUHSC email address. A copy of the decision is forwarded to the GSBS Assistant Dean. The grade appeal decision is deemed received by the student when received electronically by the student at his/her TTUHSC email address. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the university advised of any change in contact information such as email or mailing address.
- If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Graduate Advisor / Program Director, she/he may appeal to the GSBS Assistant Dean by submitting a detailed written explanation setting forth each and every reason why she/he believes the grade is unjust. Any reason not set forth in writing will not be considered. Such explanation must be submitted within two (2) business days from the receipt of the written decision of the Graduate Advisor/Program Director. The Assistant Dean will review the written responses from the student, Course Director and the Graduate Advisor/Program Director. The Assistant Dean must provide a written response to the
student via TTUHSC student email account within two (2) business days from receipt of the appeal.
The decision of the academic substantive review by the GSBS Assistant Dean is final.
- All records related to the appeal are retained by the GSBS office for a period of three (3) years.
- The student may only appeal issues of procedural due process to the GSBS Sr. Associate Dean.
B. PROCEDURAL APPEAL
- The student may file an appeal on procedural grounds following receipt of the final decision on the appeal of the grade. A procedural appeal should be filed with the GSBS Office within two
(2) business days of the student receiving the GSBS Assistant Dean’s decision on the grade appeal. A memo stating justification for the procedural appeal should be emailed to the Sr. Associate Dean.
- Upon review of all materials and meeting with the student, graduate advisor/program director, assistant dean and course director, the Sr. Associate Dean shall render a decision on the procedural appeal within three (3) business days from receipt of the procedural appeal.
- The decision of the Sr. Associate Dean will be sent to the student via electronic correspondence to the student’s TTUHSC email address. The decision of the Sr. Associate Dean is final.
- All records will be retained by the GSBS office for 3 years.
Non-Grade Grievance Policy
Purpose: To define the process for students to resolve and/or file a complaint regarding all academic issues except for Academic Dishonesty (see the Student Handbook - Code of Professional Conduct.)
It is the policy of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences to affirm the right of its students to a prompt and fair resolution of an academic complaint or grievance. The Student Hearing committee will administer the GSBS’s policies regarding student grievances and will insure that due process is afforded to all concerned.
All student disciplinary hearings are closed, and for purposes of release of information regarding such hearings, such information is protected from public disclosure as allowed by law.
PROCEDURE (Non-Grade Complaints):
A. Early Resolution
- Prior to filing a request for a hearing, the student must attempt to resolve the issue with the individual(s) involved.
- If not satisfied with the outcome of the effort described in item 1, the student must contact the Graduate Advisor/Program Director. The graduate advisor/program director will investigate the complaint, attempt to reconcile differences, and find an acceptable solution. (If the grievance is against the graduate advisor, the student should contact the Department Chair).
If the complaint originates in Amarillo or Abilene the student must contact the regional Associate Dean. A complaint against the Regional Associate Dean should be filed with the Sr. Associate Dean.
If not satisfied with the outcome of the first two efforts, the student must contact the Assistant Dean. The Assistant Dean will investigate the complaint, attempt to reconcile differences, and find an acceptable solution. The Assistant Dean will provide a written statement of his/her recommendation to all parties, who will then have ten (10) business days* to respond. (If the grievance is against the Assistant Dean, the student should contact the Sr. Associate Dean). If the grievance is satisfactorily resolved by any of the above discussions, the terms of the resolution shall be reduced to writing and signed by the graduate student, respondent, and administrative superior involved in negotiations. Every effort should be made to resolve the issue without going beyond this level.
B. Formal Complaint
- If the student is not satisfied with the Assistant Dean’s recommendation, he/she may pursue the matter further by contacting the Sr. Associate Dean. The grievance must be submitted to the GSBS Office within twenty (20) business days from the time that the graduate student knows of the matter prompting the grievance, or the graduate student relinquishes any opportunity to pursue the grievance. The grievance must include a specific statement of the student’s complaint, a clear and concise statement of the policy or procedures violated, an explanation of what remedy the student seeks, and a copy of the Assistant Dean’s recommended resolution.
- The Sr. Associate Dean will attempt to resolve the appeal within ten (10) business days through conferencing with the respondent and student appellant. If not resolved within 10 business days, the Sr. Associate Dean will appoint a Hearing Committee that will consider the appeal.
- If a Student Hearing committee is appointed, they must convene within thirty (30) business days.
- The Sr. Associate Dean will forward the request for a hearing to the appropriate faculty member who has been appointed by the Dean to serve as the Chair of the Student Hearing committee.
C. Student Pre-Hearing Procedure
- Grievances shall be heard by the GSBS Student Hearing committee, which shall be composed of members of the GSBS Graduate Faculty:
One faculty member who is appointed by the GSBS Dean to serve as chair;
Two students from programs/concentrations not directly involved;
Two faculty members from programs/concentrations not directly involved;
The GSBS Dean will appoint an administrative staff person to take minutes of the meetings. This staff person will not be a voting member. Both parties can petition to have individuals selected to the Student Hearing committee.
- At least fifteen (15) business days prior to the student hearing, the Chair of the Student Hearing committee will provide written notice to the parties of the following:
a. Date, time and place for the hearing,
b. Name of the members of the Student Hearing Committee
c. Summary statement of the Hearing Request(s) and respondent's response.
- Either party may challenge in writing the impartiality of any member of the Student Hearing Committee up to three (3) business days after receiving the Hearing Notice by submitting their reasons for the challenge to the Chair of the Hearing Committee.
Any member of the Student Hearing committee whose participation is challenged shall be required to establish to the Chair of the Student Hearing committee that the member can serve with fairness and objectivity. If the member cannot establish his or her fairness and objectivity to the satisfaction of the Chair of the Student Hearing Committee, the member in question shall be removed and a substitute will be appointed by the GSBS Dean.
- At least seven (7) business days prior to the student hearing, all parties will provide to the Chair of the Student Hearing Committee:
a. A copy of all written supporting documentation that the party will present at the hearing
b. A list of witnesses to be called by the party. Each party is responsible for ensuring that witnesses are at the hearing, and
c. The name of any advocate who will accompany the party to the hearing and whether the advocate is an attorney.
The Chair of the Student Hearing Committee will provide all such information to the hearing committee at least five (5) days before the hearing.
- A student hearing will be conducted in closed session. Any request for an exception must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Student Hearing Committee, who shall render a final written decision.
D. Hearing Procedure
- Both parties shall attend the hearing and be offered an opportunity to state their positions, and present testimony and other evidence relevant to the case. The responsibility of establishing the validity of the grievance shall rest with the student. The evidence shall be presented by the graduate student and then by the respondent.
- The student may have an advisor present at the hearing. The advisor must be a member of the TTUHSC community. However, if the student is also the subject of a pending criminal investigation, indictment or charge arising out of the same circumstances, he or she may be allowed to have an attorney serve as his or her advisor, at his or her own expense, to participate in the same manner as any other advisor. If an advisor for the student is an attorney, an attorney from the Office of General Counsel shall attend the Student Hearing on
behalf of the Health Sciences Center. The Health Sciences Center will provide legal counsel for the student hearing if the Student Hearing Committee Chair deems it necessary.
- The student is responsible for presenting her or her own information, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any student hearing before the Student Hearing Committee. A student should select as an advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the student hearing, as delays will not be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an advisor, except at the discretion of the Student Hearing Committee Chair upon written request seven business days in advance of the date scheduled for the student hearing.
Members of the Student Hearing committee may question all witnesses, followed by the parties. Questioning by both parties may be limited by the sole discretion of the Chair of the Student Hearing Committee for such issues as preserving the civility of the hearing, avoiding redundant and irrelevant questioning, and/or providing for the efficient administration of the hearing. Witnesses are permitted to attend the student hearing only during the time they are providing testimony, or are being questioned by either party or the committee unless the Student Hearing Committee Chair, in his/her sole discretion determines otherwise.
- Both parties may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information to the Student Hearing Committee. Both parties are responsible for arranging for the voluntary attendance of his or her own witnesses.
- In its sole discretion, the Student Hearing Committee may call other witnesses not identified by either party. If prior to the hearing the Student Hearing Committee anticipates calling additional witnesses, the committee shall notify the Student Hearing Committee Chair. The Student Hearing Committee Chair will then arrange for the voluntary attendance of the witnesses identified by the Student Hearing Committee. The Student Hearing Committee Chair shall notify both parties of the additional witnesses. If any witness call by the Student Hearing Committee intends to present written information to the Student Hearing Committee, the Student Hearing Committee Chair is responsible for forwarding such information to both parties and the Student Hearing Committee prior to the hearing.
- Following the presentation of evidence, the committee will permit each party to present a brief closing statement.
- The GSBS shall record, either digitally, through audiotape, or otherwise as deemed appropriate the hearing committees proceeding until such time that the student hearing committee begins discussion and deliberation and prepares its Findings and Recommendations. Deliberations shall not be recorded. The record is university property. Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, the student will be allowed to review, but not to copy, the hearing record 34 C.F.R 99.10 (2003). Neither party nor any witnesses are permitted to make any independent record of the proceedings.
- The Student is expected to attend and participate in the Student Hearing committee. If either party elects not to attend a hearing after appropriate written notice, the case will be reviewed as scheduled on the basis of the information available, and a recommendation will be made by the committee. Although no inference may be drawn against the student for failing to
attend a hearing or remaining silent, the hearing will proceed and the conclusion will be based on the evidence presented. No decision shall be based solely on the failure of the student to attend the hearing or answer the charges.
E. Hearing Committee Findings and Final Disposition
After completion of the hearing, the hearing committee shall adjourn and meet in closed session to discuss, deliberate and prepare the Finding and Recommendations. The Student Hearing Committee will determine the recommendations by a simple majority (more than half of the votes cast) of members present at the hearing. The Hearing committee’s Findings and Recommendations Report shall be forwarded to the Dean, a copy is also sent to both parties for review and determination of necessary action. The Dean will forward a letter to all concerned parties, enclosing copies of the Hearing committee report, and directing what action will be taken within 10 business days from the conclusion of the hearing. This letter will be sent via certified mail to the student’s last known official, mailing address as provided by the student to the Registrar’s Office and electronically to the student’s HSC email account. The decision of the Dean regarding the hearing committee’s findings of fact and recommendations will be final.
Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the decision of the Dean, if either party believes that the due process procedures have been violated, an appeal may be made, in writing, to the Provost's Office. The Provost will review the case and notify all parties of his or her decision within ten (10) business days. If a written appeal is not submitted within ten (10) business days following receipt of the Dean’s letter, the right to appeal is thereby waived and the Dean’s decision is final.
Either party may only raise, or the Provost shall only consider, the following:
a. Whether a procedural deviation occurred that substantially affected the outcome of the case;
b. Whether there is new information sufficient to alter the Findings or other relevant facts not available or mentioned in the original hearing, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original Student Hearing committee.
The Provost will review the Findings and Recommendations and, at his or her sole discretion, the record from the Student Hearing committee and supporting documents, and transmit his or her decision in writing to both parties, the Student Hearing Committee Chair, and the Dean. The Provost's decision shall be final.
The Student Hearing Committee shall not retain in their possession any personal files, materials received during the appeal procedure, or notes taken during the hearing. The administrative staff person will collect all materials and return them to the GSBS office to retain in a confidential file. No part, committee member, or other participant or observer in the hearing procedure shall reveal any facts, documents, or testimony gained through participating in or observing the hearing to any other person, unless required by a court of law to do so or upon the advice of the TTUHSC’s legal counsel.
* Throughout this document, the phrase “business days” refers to days when the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences administrative offices are open, and excludes weekends and holidays.
To outline the qualifications and selections process for the GSBS Graduate Awards: K. Wyatt McMahon Outstanding Graduate Student and the Dean’s Recognition Award.
Requirements to qualify:
The graduating student must be nominated by his or her respective program /concentration.
The student will be selected by accomplishments in the following areas:
- Educational merit (e.g. GPA, coursework, course load, etc.)
- Contributions made to TTUHSC and its students
- Contributions made to GSBS
- Contributions made to the student’s laboratory
- Contributions made to the scientific discipline evidence by peer reviewed publications and meeting presentations
- Receipt of research funding and/or scholarships
- Community service
- Other awards received
- Attends GSBS Commencement
- Each nomination will require a complete C.V./resume; two letters of recommendation; and a brief narrative describing the accomplishments they have made during their graduate career.
From nominations submitted by GSBS students, the Dean will appoint a selection committee composed of seven members: five faculty and two students. The selection committee will choose two award recipients based on the criteria listed above. The Senior Associate Dean serves as a non-voting member representing the GSBS.
Award recipients may receive a plaque, a medallion, and /or a monetary or travel award. The amount of a monetary award will be determined by the GSBS office.
K. Wyatt McMahon Outstanding GSBS Student – selected from doctoral nominations
- Required to attend the GSBS Commencement
- Serves as GSBS Commencement speaker
- Must provide text of speech for GSBS approval of content
Dean’s Recognition Award – selected from master of science nominations
- Required to attend the GSBS Commencement
- Reads the description of the GSBS seal at Commencement
Grade Requirement for Graduation.
- The minimum requirement for graduation is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken for graduate credit, exclusive of the credits for the thesis/dissertation. Procedures to appeal a grade may be found in the Complaint Policy.
- No final grade assigned for a graduate-level course may be raised unless an error has been made. Substituting another course for one completed with a low grade is not permitted.
- Work completed at another graduate school with a grade less than B will not be accepted, nor will grades of Pass or Satisfactory. Grades on transferred work will not contribute to the grade average on courses completed at TTUHSC.
Semester of Graduation.
There are three official graduation dates: May, August and December. Every GSBS candidate for a graduate degree must be registered in the semester of graduation. Failure to graduate at the expected time requires additional registrations as necessary until graduation. Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy and accumulated 120 hours may be eligible to reduce hours during their last year (see 129 Hour Rule). Masters students are required to register for 9 hours in the fall and spring and 6 hours during the summer. Off-campus students may register for 1 hour of thesis, dissertation, or research until graduation. Students receiving financial assistance should consult financial aid prior to reducing hours. International students may also want to check with the DSO and payroll prior to reducing hours.
Statement of Intention to Graduate.
A student planning to graduate must file a Statement of Intention to Graduate with the GSBS office at the beginning of the semester of intended graduation. No candidate’s name will be placed on a tentative list for graduation for any graduation date unless this statement has been received in the GSBS Office by the specified deadline. The deadline to file the intent to graduate is posted on the GSBS website under Graduation Deadlines.
A candidate who fails to graduate at the expected time is required to file a new Statement of Intention to Graduate for any subsequent graduation.
Students are required to complete the HSC Intent to Graduate form on the Student Affairs website.
Early in the semester of graduation, the candidate will pay a graduation fee to cover the cost of printing the diploma. This fee is paid again if the student does not graduate in the semester in which the fee was paid.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is committed to providing and strengthening an educational and working environment where students, faculty, staff, and visitors are free from sex discrimination of any kind. TTUHSC prohibits discrimination based on sex, which includes pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as other types of sexual misconduct.
TTUHSC's Title IX and Sexual Misconduct policy and complaint procedures may be found in TTU System Regulation 07.06 and TTUHSC OP 51.03. Additionally, Part IV of the TTUHSC Student Handbook relates to complaints including students. Links to these resources are below:
TTU System Regulation 07.06 | https://www.texastech.edu/offices/cfo/system-regulation-07.06-sexual-misconduct.pdf
HSC OP 51.03 | https://www.ttuhsc.edu/administration/documents/ops/op51/op5103.pdf
Part IV of the TTUHSC Student Handbook | https://www.ttuhsc.edu/student-affairs/handbook.aspx
If you have been involved or are aware of sex discrimination or sexual misconduct in any form, please use the online report form available at:
Additionally, please feel free to reach out to the TTUHSC Title IX Coordinator directly at TitleIXCoordinator@ttuhsc.edu to assist you with your concern.
FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
To inform the students and parents of Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."
- Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records
unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
- Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
- Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies;
State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
TTUHSC or specific Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. TTUHSC must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of TTUHSC.
For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (202) 260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
Or you may contact the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
To outline the Texas Education Code and to list benefits provided to research assistantship positions.
Texas Education Code Statute: Section 54.063.
A teaching assistant or research assistant of any institution of higher education, and the spouse and children of such a teaching assistant or research assistant, are entitled to register in a state institution of higher education by paying the tuition fees and other fees or charges required for Texas residents under Section 54.063 of this code, without regard to the length of time the assistant has resided in Texas if the assistant is employed at least one-half time in a teaching or research assistant position which is related to the assistant’s degree program under rules and regulations established by the employer institution.
Students employed as teaching or research assistants employed at least half time by any public institution of higher education in a degree program-related position may pay the same tuition while attending any public institution of higher education as a resident of Texas for themselves, their spouses, and their dependent children, regardless of the length of residence in the state. The institution which employees the students shall determine whether or not the students’ jobs relate to their degree programs. If the spouse or children attend an institution other than the one employing the research or teaching assistant, they must provide proof of his or her current employment to the college they attend. It is the intent of this rule that employment be for the duration of the period of enrollment for which a waiver is awarded.
Students on research assistantships must be full-time students. The minimum enrollment for full-time graduate status is 9 hours in the regular semester and at least 6 hours in the summer term. Students on assistantships must matriculate every semester or the assistantship will be temporarily suspended until the next semester of matriculation. All doctoral students upon acceptance into GSBS will be employed as a research assistant funded either by the GSBS or the department. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Dean. The research assistantship will be funded for a total of 5 years with the GSBS paying 2.5 years. Students that matriculated prior to 6/1/19 are funded at 40 months from GSBS and 20 months from the PI or 34% of the total funding. Any funding past the 5th year for a doctoral student or students accumulating over 129 semester credit hours, will be the responsibility of the department/PI. For continuation of the research assistantship from year to year, the student must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward a degree.
Students must be appointed before the 12th class day of the fall or spring semester (4th class day of the summer term) as a benefits eligible research assistant with employment of at least one-half time to be eligible for fee waivers. The student must be employed for 4 ½ months in a semester to qualify for the waivers. If the student leaves early or does not meet the 4 ½ month criteria, the fee waivers will be revoked and the student will be required to pay the balance due.
GSBS Students that are employed as Research Assistants that are also taking TTU courses will not be eligible for fee waivers for the TTU Tuition and fees. Fee waivers are only guaranteed for GSBS courses.
- Fee Assistance Program: Exempts, by Board of Regents action, the student from the payment of Institutional Tuition, Student Services Fee, Information Technology Fee, Library Fee, University Fee, Recreation Center Fee, and Course Fees.
- Non-Resident State Tuition Exemption Form: Exempts a student from the payment of non- resident tuition over and above the state resident rate.
- Medical Services Waiver Form: Waives the student from payment of the Medical Services Fee.
For additional information on student employment, please refer to HSC OP 70.27 - Appointment of Student Employees
Research Assistants are expected to work in the lab 20 hours per week. Additional hours in the lab (those over 20) are required for fulfillment of coursework and/or dissertation preparation. Students that have RAs may work a flex schedule to cover 10 work days out of the lab per academic year. Any time taken beyond 10 work days each year will be considered leave without pay. Work days are defined by the GSBS calendar and exclude holidays. The 10 flex days may not be accumulated and shall not be carried forward to the next year.
Research Assistant positions are not entitled to vacation or sick leave. Student employment is governed by the Governed Code, Chapter 661 of the Texas Statutes. Excerpts from the Code are provided below to assist the GSBS Faculty and Students. The complete verbatim document may be viewed at: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/pdf/GV.661.pdf
Leave of Absence
Full-time students must be registered every semester. In extreme circumstances it may be necessary for a student to be absent from their studies or research for an extended time. If a student desires leave exceeding 10 days and the leave is not medically necessary, the leave must be officially approved by the advisor/mentor and Assistant Dean prior to such time as the leave has been taken. Students planning any leave should promptly consult with their faculty mentor/advisor, meet with the GSBS Student Affairs Advocate, and submit the GSBS Leave of Absence form for approval. No
leave shall be granted during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters unless medically necessary; exceptions to this policy must have GSBS approval. Leave should be taken between semesters: after the last day of class and prior to the first day of class for the next semester. It is the student’s responsibility to notify their mentor of any time out of the lab. Any student who fails to register for three consecutive semesters (12 months) and who does not have an official leave of absence from study is subject to review for readmission. Normally, leaves of absence will not exceed one year and do not extend the maximum time allowed for completion of the degree. If extended leave is taken that is not officially approved by the Assistant Dean or is not medically necessary, the student employee is subject to disciplinary actions including but not limited to termination.
The following Leaves of Absence may be requested:
- Personal and Planned Educational Leaves of Absence: Defined as a planned interruption or pause in a student's regular education during which the student temporarily ceases formal studies. Such activities may be for the purpose of clarifying or enriching educational goals or to allow time to address personal matters and thus enhance the prospect of successful completion of the student's academic program. The student must plan to return to the GSBS at the end of the approved leave period.
- Medical Leave of Absence: The student must provide documentation from a health care professional confirming that the student is unable to engage in graduate study; such documentation should include a statement as to when the student may be expected to resume classes. Students on Medical Leave are not allowed to attend GSBS classes or participate in student organizations, programs and/or activities. Pregnant or parenting students, please see additional information below.
- Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, absence for pregnancy, childbirth, or parenting responsibilities will extend the maximum time allowed for completion of the degree equivalent to the length of the leave. Upon return from leave, the student will be reinstated to the academic status held when the leave began. Absences because of pregnancy or childbirth will be approved for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences is medically necessary. Students must notify the GSBS of leave via the Leave of Absence form.
Student Health Information
To define the availability of health services to graduate students.
- STUDENT FEES: All master's students are required to pay the TTUHSC Medical Services Fee each semester, and Ph.D. students may opt-in to pay the fee. With this fee students can access healthcare in the clinic and see a nurse or physician at no charge for minimal or limited minor problems. The Medical Services Fee is automatically waived for students who hold research assistantships. For PhD students to gain access to this service, they would need to opt-in to pay the fee. More information on this fee and its benefits can be located at the TTUHSC Student Affairs Site.
- MANDATORY STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE AND WAIVER PROCESS: All GSBS students are required to have health insurance. In order to ensure coverage, all TTUHSC students are automatically enrolled in the University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) unless an approved waiver is submitted. Academic Health Plans (AHP) administers the Students Health Insurance Plan for TTUHSC. Students without an approved waiver for health insurance are billed directly by AHP. Options for health insurance include:
a. Research assistantships are eligible to pay for employee health benefits. You must visit Human Resources to sign up for this insurance.
b. Students may purchase the HSC Academic Health Plan. For more information on this plan see the Student Life Site.
c. Students may purchase health insurance outside of the HSC.
d. Students may be covered by their family insurance plan.
- IMMUNIZATION AND SCREENING FEE: Each Fall students are assessed an Immunization and Screening Fee that includes the initial validation and maintenance of immunization records as required for Healthcare Personnel. Immunization records are kept up to date through the Office of Institutional Health. Annual services provided are TB screening, Influenza Vaccine, and completion of Hepatitis B vaccine post matriculation. The Office of Institutional Health also provides follow up for any blood borne pathogen exposure that may occur while you are a student at TTUHSC.