Grading Policies

(See general graduate policies)

Repeating a Course

Doctoral students may repeat a 5000- or 6000-level course if the original grade earned was a C, D, F or NC. The course may be repeated only once and the original grade continues to be included in the computation of the graduate point average. There is no grade replacement at the doctoral level. Individual programs may have limits on the number of times a student may repeat courses.

Probation/Suspension for Doctoral Students

Academic Probation

A doctoral student who has a cumulative grade-point of less than 3.0 will be placed on probation. Students on academic probation must earn a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 or above in each subsequent semester of enrollment (including summer, if registered) until the cumulative grade point deficiency is removed.

Students have two semesters to remove themselves from probation. Failure to do so results in academic suspension. A student on probation should not register for more than six hours and must obtain his/her advisor’s approval on a Graduate Probation Petition for Readmission to register.

Grade points earned at other institutions are not used in computing the grade-point average and may not be used to remove a deficiency. A doctoral student who leaves the University on probation will be readmitted on probation even if he or she has attended another institution in the interim. However, readmission as a degree-seeking student is not guaranteed.

Academic Suspension

A doctoral student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress may be dismissed from the doctoral program. Failure to make satisfactory progress may be the result of, but not limited to, failure to raise grade point average to 3.0 within the subsequent two semesters, poor performance on preliminary exams, unsatisfactory research progress, or inability to meet other degree requirements.

Although cases of improper conduct of research or unprofessional behavior are addressed according to other University procedures, these behaviors may also result in dismissal from the University.

For details regarding doctoral committees, preliminary examinations, dissertation and dissertation defense, etc. please refer to the UT Tyler Graduate Handbook at

Application for Candidacy

Provided that the student has completed all required coursework, has no “incomplete” grades, has satisfactorily completed all portions of the preliminary examination, and is in good academic standing, the student is admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. Candidacy is effective at the end of the semester in which the signed Recommendation for Candidacy form is submitted to The Graduate School. A notation-- “Advanced to Candidacy for Doctorate”--will appear on the student’s transcript.


All doctoral candidates are required to complete and defend a dissertation. Only students who have been admitted to candidacy may register for dissertations hours. The University requires a minimum of 9 hours of dissertation credit; however, most doctoral programs require more hours.

The dissertation is an independent scholarly contribution to knowledge in the student’s area of specialization. By researching, writing, and defending a dissertation, the student demonstrates a high level of knowledge in the chosen field and the ability to conduct independent research.

Dissertations are regarded as publications and will be made available to the public once they are approved and submitted to the Graduate School. In order to protect patent or other intellectual property rights, the Dean of The Graduate School may, upon request, delay for a period of up to one year the binding, distribution, and/or publication of the dissertation. This request must be supported by a written recommendation of the Supervising Professor.

Doctoral candidates are required to register for a minimum of 3 credits of dissertation during each semester until the dissertation is accepted by the The Graduate School. (See, Enrollment Requirements)

Animal and Human Subject Approval

Federal regulations and University policy require that all investigations using animal or human beings as subjects of research be reviewed and approved by the appropriately constituted committees before such investigations may begin.

No dissertation based on the use of animals or human beings as subjects can be accepted without prior review and approval handled in accordance with University procedures. The faculty advisor requests such a review, where needed; however, each student should check to ascertain whether the review is required, and if so, the requirements for the review.