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Academic Policies

Web Catalog Information Subject to Change

The web version of the ESF Catalog is updated as needed throughout the year. To view the version officially associated with a particular date of entry to the College, please refer to the appropriate catalog of record.

Academic Policies

Statement of Academic Integrity

The College of Environmental Science and Forestry is an institution of higher learning where growth and development are fostered, excellence is pursued and the highest standards of academic integrity are expected. The Code of Student Conduct (“the Code”) outlines the behaviors that are expected of all students at the College. As a condition of enrollment, all students are required to acknowledge that they have (a) received a copy of the Code; (b) read the Code; (c) understand the provisions of the Code; and (d) agree to abide by the provisions of the Code.

The ESF Student Judicial Handbook and Code of Student Conduct are available online:

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College-wide Academic Policies

General Requirements

A student seeking a degree must be in matriculated status. All degree requirements must be completed through a combination of formally accepted transfer credits and/or courses taken at ESF and Syracuse University.

Attendance

Students are expected to adhere to the attendance policy stated by each course instructor. Instructors may make attendance part of the course requirement.

Timely Feedback

Faculty shall provide all students with timely and appropriate feedback regarding their performance and progress toward meeting prescribed learning outcomes on all assigned coursework, projects and examinations.

Course-numbering System

Courses at ESF are numbered according to the following system:

  • 100-499 Undergraduate courses for which no graduate credit may be given.
  • 500-599 Graduate courses designed expressly for areas of specialization in post-baccalaureate programs. Qualified undergraduate students may enroll with permission of the instructor.
  • 600-699 Graduate courses designed expressly for advanced levels of specialization. Undergraduate students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.000 or better may enroll in these courses with an approved petition.
  • 700-999 Advanced graduate level courses for which no undergraduate students may register.

Shared resources courses, designated as 400/500 or 400/600, are designed when the topic coverage of both courses is the same. Separate course syllabi are developed expressly differentiating the requirements and evaluative criteria between the undergraduate course and the graduate course. No type of cross listing may be offered unless approved by the ESF faculty.

Courses listed are offered subject to the availability of instructional faculty and sufficient student enrollment. Students and advisors should consult the actual schedule of courses published each semester to determine the availability and time of courses.

Dropping or Adding Courses

For those students receiving financial support through the College, dropping courses that result in the student being less than full time will have an impact on support received. Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for more detailed information.

Students may add courses with the approval of both their academic advisor and the course instructor and may drop courses with their advisor/major professor’s approval and notification to the course instructor using an appropriate drop/add form until the last day for program adjustments as listed in the ESF academic calendar. Courses dropped during this time will not appear on the student’s transcript. Courses that begin after the published add date may be added prior to the start of the course. Courses that last for less than one semester may be dropped no later than halfway through the course. In either case, the student must submit a completed drop/add form. Following the last day to add a class, students may withdraw from individual courses. Withdrawal policies and deadlines are described in the Withdrawal from Individual Courses section below.

Incomplete and missing grades

A temporary grade of I may be assigned by an instructor only when the student is passing and has nearly completed the course but because of circumstances beyond the studentís control the work is not completed. A temporary grade of NR may be assigned by the college registrar when the course grade is not received from the course instructor by the grade deadline. Grades of I or NR must be resolved prior to the end of the semester following that in which the grade was received. At the request of the instructor and under extraordinary conditions, an I grade may be extended for one additional semester. If the incomplete is not resolved by the appropriate deadline, it will be changed to a grade of I/F or I/U. If the NR grade is not resolved by the appropriate deadline, it will be changed to a grade of NR/F or NR/U. No degree will be conferred until all the grades of I or NR have been resolved.

Exceptions to Curriculum and Academic Policy Requirements

Exceptions to academic policies stated in this document and curriculum requirements may be made by the Faculty Subcommittee on Academic Standards, which also may delegate this authority. Exceptions may not violate standards established by the State University of New York or the New York State Education Department.

Exceptions must be requested on a petition form and must have a recommendation from the student’s advisor and department chair or designee. In those cases where an action is requested involving a specific course, the petition must also have a recommendation from the course instructor.

Withdrawal from ESF

Students who withdraw from matriculation at the College on or before the deadline to drop a class for a semester will have their records marked: “Withdrew on (date).” Courses will appear for that semester with the grade of W.

Students who withdraw after the end of the 4th week of the semester, but on or before the last class day before the final examination period, will have either WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) listed after each uncompleted course. Students who do not withdraw on or before the last class day will have a grade on a scale of A-F, an I (incomplete), or I/F (unresolved incomplete) assigned by the instructor for each registered course.

Students who wish to withdraw from ESF should schedule an interview in the Office of Student Support with the SWS Counselor. www.esf.edu/students/support/services.htm

Withdrawal from Individual Courses

Students may drop individual courses up until the last day to add as set by the Registrar in the ESF Academic Calendar using an add/drop form. Dropped courses during this period will be completely removed from the transcript when dropped on or before this deadline.

Deadlines and actions to be taken after the last day to add deadline are:

  • Last day to add – Week 4: After the last day to add (as per the academic calendar), students may drop a course without record of registration, until the end of the 4th week of classes.
  • Weeks 5-9: A student who withdraws from a course after the last day of the 4th week and by the last day of the 9th week will receive a W (Withdraw) grade on his or her permanent transcript, and the student will remain on the course roster. The W grade will not affect the GPA, and is not replaceable with an R grade.
  • Weeks 10-14: A student who withdraws from a course after the last day of the 9th week and by the last day of the 14th week will receive a W or a WF (withdraw failing) on his or her permanent transcript, and the student will remain on the course roster. The WF grade will not count in the student’s GPA. W and WF grades are not replaceable with an R grade. The W (when assigned after the last day of the 9th week) and WF grade will be assigned by the instructor at the end of the semester.

Precise deadline dates noting the official end of weeks above shall be listed on the ESF Academic Calendar found on the Registrar’s webpage (www.esf.edu/registrar/calendar.asp)

Readmission to ESF

Students wishing to return to ESF must apply for Readmission by scheduling an interview with the Senior Counselor in the Office of Student Support. Readmission applies to those students returning from a leave of absence (medical or military), change in educational plan, or academic and/or disciplinary dismissal. www.esf.edu/students/support/services.htm

Resumption of Degree Programs

Students who have withdrawn from matriculated status in a degree program at ESF may seek to resume or complete a degree program with the following conditions:

  1. A former student must apply for either:
    • Readmission and resumption of the student’s original degree program and curriculum as described in the college catalog at the time of the student's original matriculation; or transfer of additional credit from another university sufficient to complete content or credit-hour requirements of the student’s original degree program.
    • Readmission to complete a current ESF degree program and curriculum as described in the current college catalog; or transfer of additional credit from another university sufficient to complete content or credit hour requirements of a current ESF degree program.
  2. Resumption and completion of original degree programs is permissible only if application for readmission is made no more than 10 years after the student’s original matriculation at ESF.
  3. Degree completion will be posted to the academic record in the term when the last program requirement was completed.  Degrees may not be conferred retroactively.
  4. Students whose case exceeds the statute of limitation for degree resumption (i.e. 10 years as noted in (2.) above) will be advised by the department regarding those current programs that the student may pursue that most closely match his or her previously completed coursework.  Past coursework may be accepted toward completion of a current degree program at the discretion of the department.

In the event of a dispute resulting from departmental or administrative review of a returning student’s academic record, final authority regarding the completion of curricular requirements for degree programs rests with the college President, within the limits prescribed by the New York State Department of Education (such as those requiring a minimum number of total credit hours, etc.).

Statement of Good Academic Standing

The term “in good academic standing” means that a student is maintaining satisfactory progress toward a degree with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (Cum GPA) of at least 2.000. Students earning less than a 2.000 Cum GPA shall be placed on Academic Probation.

Syracuse University Courses

Courses offered at ESF should be taken at Syracuse University only under extraordinary conditions authorized by the department chair or designee. Students who propose to register for Syracuse University courses and no courses at ESF during any semester may do so only upon acceptance to special ESF-SU cooperative programs that require block registration. Students who are in their final semester may register for no more than six credits of Syracuse University courses beyond those necessary to meet ESF requirements.

Syracuse University courses may be audited only under extraordinary conditions that must be approved by the department chair or designee. Physical education courses, when taken, must always be for credit and never audited. Students may not retake Syracuse University courses in which credit has been previously earned.

Upper-division undergraduate students are normally expected to take upper-division courses and graduate students are normally expected to take graduate-level courses at Syracuse University.

Religious Beliefs Law

Students unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend classes on certain days are guided by Section 224a of the New York State Education Law, which is as follows:

  • No person shall be expelled from or be refused admission as a student to an institution of higher education for the reason that one is unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day or days.
  • Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absence on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements.
  • It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to make available to each student who is absent from school because of religious beliefs an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirements which may have been missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such equivalent opportunity.
  • If classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Friday after four o’clock post meridian or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so. No special fees shall be charged to the student for these classes, examinations, study or work requirements held on other days.
  • In effectuating the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher education to exercise the fullest measure of good faith. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of implementation of the provisions of this section.
  • Any student, who is aggrieved by the alleged failure of any faculty or administrative officials to comply in good faith with the provisions of this section, shall be entitled to maintain an action or proceeding in the supreme court of the county in which such institution of higher education is located for the enforcement of rights under this section.

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Undergraduate Academic Policies

General Requirements

While a student is matriculated at ESF, all courses taken at ESF and Syracuse University to meet degree requirements must be graded on a scale of A-F, and the grades will be computed in the grade point average. As an exception, at the discretion of the instructor, courses numbered 132, 496 and 497 may be graded on a Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory basis. This must be announced on the first day of class and will apply to all students enrolled in that course section.

Curriculum Requirements

The development and administration of course offerings, prerequisites, sequencing and program requirements are primarily the responsibility of each program with the approval of the ESF faculty.

Students must satisfy the requirements for graduation presented in the catalog in effect as of the date they first matriculated at ESF. Students may graduate under the requirements stated in any catalog issued subsequent to the one in effect the date they matriculated, but they may not use a prior catalog.

Supplementary courses are available to ESF students at Syracuse University. However, these courses may be limited only to those specifically required by a particular program.

Students who change majors are required to submit a completed change of curriculum form approved by representatives of both programs and must complete all the requirements of their new major.

Dual Majors

Students who are pursuing undergraduate degrees may pursue dual majors. Program requirements must be satisfied concurrently (i.e., a student cannot graduate from ESF and return later to complete coursework for a second major). The diploma will state the completion of a single degree. The transcript will state the completion of two majors. Admission to a dual major will be accomplished by petition to the primary degree department or academic unit that has been endorsed (approved) by the secondary degree department.

Inter-department dual majors

Students must satisfy requirements of both majors.

Intra-department dual majors:

  • SCME: Construction Management and Wood Products Engineering allowed with each other;
  • PBE:  Bioprocess Engineering allowed with either Paper Engineering or Paper Science;
  • FNRM: no dual majors between the three majors (FRM, NRM, and FES); forest technology and surveying technology degrees allowed for A.A.S. degrees;
  • EFB: Only Biotechnology with other EFB majors except environmental biology.

Students may petition for admission to a dual major A.A.S. degree after completing 18 credits and before 45 credits with an unambiguous GPA of 2.000 or greater (no grades of incomplete or missing grades).

Students pursuing the B.S. degree may petition admission to a dual major after completing 30 credits and before completing 90 credits in the primary major with an unambiguous GPA of 2.000 or greater (no grades of incomplete or missing grades).

Physical Education and ROTC

Physical Education and ROTC course credits may be used to satisfy elective requirements with the permission of the student’s academic advisor.

General Education

Resolution 98-241 (December 1998) of the State University Board of Trustees requires general education coursework for all University baccalaureate candidates in specific knowledge and skill areas and in two competencies. Each ESF undergraduate program meets or exceeds the general education requirements. These general education requirements are in effect for all students who began college courses during or after the fall semester 2000, exclusive of any courses taken while in high school. A complete listing of ESF and Syracuse University courses that meet the general education standards established by SUNY is available on the Internet at  www.suny.edu/provost/generaleducation/courselist/coursefiles/ESFGERCourses.pdf

Credit-Hour Load

To be classified as full time, a student must register for at least 12 credit hours during a semester. A student may not register for more than 18 credits during a semester unless permission from the student’s advisor is obtained.

Audits

Students may audit ESF courses informally with the permission of the course instructor. No record will be maintained of the informal audit nor will any grade be assigned. No fee is required for informal audits.

Students may audit courses formally with the permission of their academic advisor and the course instructor. Formally audited courses may not be used to satisfy any graduation requirements. They will appear on a student’s transcript and will be graded either SAU (satisfactory audit) or UAU (unsatisfactory audit). The grade will be assigned based on the criteria for audit established by the course instructor. Registration guidelines for audited courses are the same as for courses taken for credit.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat any course previously taken, either to earn a higher grade or because of a previous failure.

Any course taken at SUNY-ESF may be repeated. Any course taken at Syracuse University in which a grade of F was assigned may be repeated. Upon successful completion of the repeated course, the grade earned will be included in the semester and cumulative grade point averages, but the original grade in that course will revert to a grade of R (course that was repeated) on the transcript and will not be included in the current cumulative grade point average. The original grade received in the course will be shown in parentheses following the R [e.g. R (C)]. The cumulative grade point average will reflect the grade for the second time the course was taken if the course was repeated once. Grades for all subsequent times that the course is taken will be included in calculations of grade point average. Semester and cumulative grade point averages will be calculated in accordance with SUNY and college policies. The course's credits can count only once toward degree requirements. The “R” grade may be applied to replace initial course grades higher than “F” only if the initial course was taken in the Fall 2009 semester or later.

For state-based financial aid, repeated courses in which students have received a passing grade will not count toward full-time status. Students retaking courses may find their financial aid reduced if they fall below 12 credits when the retaken courses are not included. The Financial Aid Office and students' advisors can help counsel students on the impact of retaking courses on their financial aid.

Evaluation

For each course completed, one of the following grades will be awarded:

Grade Definition Grade Points
A Excellent 4.000
A-   3.700
B+   3.300
B Good 3.000
B-   2.700
C+   2.300
C Passing 2.000
C-   1.700
D Minimum Passing 1.000
F Failure 0.000
I/F Unresolved Incomplete 0.000

In order to receive a bachelor’s degree, a student must complete all courses taken as a matriculated student at ESF with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

Under conditions defined elsewhere, the following grades may be assigned, none of which yield grade points:

Grade Definition
S Satisfactory (equal to C or better)
U Unsatisfactory (equal to below C)
W Withdraw
WP Withdraw Passing
WF Withdraw Failing
SAU Audit (Satisfactory)
UAU Audit (Unsatisfactory)
I Incomplete
R Failed course which was repeated
NR [Grade] Not Received
Grade Point Averages

Semester and cumulative averages are computed by dividing the total grade points earned by the total credit hours completed for all courses graded A-F.

Academic Advising

Each undergraduate student is assigned a faculty academic advisor in the student’s major. The advisor assists the student in developing a program of study and approves course registration each semester. The advisor serves as a mentor and counselor and makes referrals to appropriate offices and resources as needed. The curriculum coordinator of each of the departments also assists the student by clarifying program and course requirements and providing additional advising and career-planning information.

Academic Honors

Dean’s List
Students who carried 12 or more credits of coursework graded on a scale of A-F, with no grades of I or F in that semester, with a minimum grade point average of 3.500 will be placed on the Dean’s List for that semester. Any grade changes, resolution of grades, or repeated courses after Dean's List Honors are awarded do not qualify a student to be placed on the Dean's List retroactively. A commendation is sent by the Dean to the student.

President’s List
Students who carried 12 or more credits of coursework graded on a scale of A-F with no grades of I or F in that semester, with a grade point average of 3.850 or better will be placed on the President's List for that semester. Any grade changes, resolution of grades, or repeated courses after President’s List Honors are awarded do not qualify a student to be placed on the President's List retroactively. A commendation is sent by the President to the student.

Students who carried 12 or more credits of coursework graded on a scale of A-F with no grades of I or F in that semester, with a grade point average of 4.000 will receive an additional commendation from the President.

Graduation Requirements

Students are responsible for meeting the following requirements for graduation:

  • Matriculated status as an undergraduate student;
  • All program requirements must be satisfied;
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 (4.000=A) for all courses taken as a matriculated student at ESF;
  • At least 24 of the last 30 credits must be registered for through ESF;
  • Successful completion of a total of at least 120 appropriate college-level credits.

Graduation Honors

Students will be graduated with the appropriate honor if the following criteria have been met:

  • Students have completed a minimum of 30 credits of ESF and Syracuse University courses as a matriculated, upper-division student, and
  • Students have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.000-3.333 (cum laude); 3.334-3.829 (magna cum laude); or 3.830-4.000 (summa cum laude).
Academic Performance

Students who earn less than a 2.000 cumulative grade point average are placed on academic probation and are subject to suspension from ESF. A student may be academically suspended only after having been placed on academic probation for at least one semester*. Students will be suspended if they have been on academic probation for two successive semesters without achieving a 2.000 cumulative grade point average, or when their cumulative grade point average falls below the minimum values in the following index:

Total Hours applied Toward Degree (credit earned while matriculated at ESF, including SU courses) Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (includes credit hours accepted for transfer to ESF degree program and courses taken while matriculated at ESF)
0-30 1.700
31-60 1.850
61-120 or more 2.000

Each student suspended will be given the opportunity to appeal this action based on any extraordinary conditions that may have contributed to the unsatisfactory performance. This appeal must be made in writing and submitted within the stated time limit in accordance with guidelines provided by the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies. Every appeal will be reviewed by the Faculty Subcommittee on Academic Standards, which will recommend to the dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies either to accept the appeal or sustain the suspension. The dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies will inform the student in writing of the Subcommittee action. There is no appeal beyond this process.

Students who have been suspended for unsatisfactory academic performance may not enroll in any courses at ESF or Syracuse University until at least one semester has elapsed. If suspension occurs following the spring semester, suspended students may not enroll in a summer program at ESF or SU. Suspended students who wish to be reinstated must apply for readmission through the Office of Career and Counseling Services.

Students suspended a second time for unsatisfactory academic performance without successful appeal will be dismissed from the College and may not normally be considered again for readmission. If, however, after a period of not less than 10 years has elapsed, a previously dismissed student should desire to return to ESF, he or she may then apply for readmission. Candidates for readmission under these unusual conditions will be considered on a limited, case-by-case basis, and may be required to provide substantial additional justification for readmission.

ESF students who receive Federal, State and/or ESF financial aid must be achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree completion. The standards review a student’s Grade Point Average as well as successful completion of credit hours attempted. These standards can be found in the Financial Aid section of the College catalog.

Students who fall below these standards will be reviewed by the Associate Provost for Instruction and the Financial Aid Director. Students who are in jeopardy of losing their financial aid due to poor academic performance will be notified by the College.

*Due to the unique accelerated nature of programs offered at The Ranger School in Wanakena, students matriculated in these programs are not subject to these policies and may be placed on probation or suspended at any time their Cum GPA falls below 2.000.

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Graduate Academic Policies

General Requirements

While a student is matriculated at ESF, all coursework taken at ESF and Syracuse University to meet degree requirements must be graded on a scale of A-F, and the grades will be computed in the grade point average. As an exception, at the discretion of the instructor, courses numbered 796 and 797 may be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. This must be announced on the first day of class and will apply to all students enrolled in that course section. Courses numbered 898, 899 and 999 are graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.

Curriculum Requirements

The development and administration of course offerings, prerequisites, sequencing and program requirements are primarily the responsibility of each program with the approval of the ESF faculty.

Students must satisfy the requirements for graduation presented in the catalog in effect as of the date they first matriculated at ESF. Students may graduate under the requirements stated in any catalog issued subsequent to the one in effect the date they matriculated, but they may not use a prior catalog.

Transfer Credit

Credit hours appropriate to the graduate degree in which a minimum grade of B was earned from an accredited institution can be transferred to the College, but grades and grade points cannot be transferred.

Up to six credits of graduate coursework not used to complete another degree may be accepted toward completion of a master’s or doctoral degree as approved by the steering committee.

Up to 30 credits of graduate level coursework earned as part of a conferred master’s degree may be transferred (by petition) to a doctoral degree with approval of the steering committee.

Students may transfer no more than nine credits of credit-bearing non-degree ESF coursework to graduate degree programs.

All transfer credit will remain tentative until official, final transcripts are received. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that official, final transcripts are sent to and received by the College.

Credit-Hour Load

To meet academic requirements, graduate students must be registered for at least one credit each semester, excluding summers, from the first semester of matriculation until all degree requirements have been completed. Failure to register for each semester will result in the student being withdrawn from graduate study and, if the student wishes to return in the future, a new application must be filed and reviewed prior to readmission. Students are required to register for at least one credit of thesis/dissertation research, professional experience, or independent study in the summer if they will complete all requirements during that time. Graduate students who hold an assistantship and/or a tuition scholarship must be in full-time status each semester while holding such an award. Registration for nine credits usually equates to full-time status for a student holding an assistantship. Graduate students not holding an assistantship are considered full-time if they are registered for at least 12 credits each semester. To maintain valid F-1 or J-1 student status in compliance with SEVIS, international students are required to maintain the institutional equivalent of full-time enrollment status during all required academic semesters. Audited courses may not be used to satisfy full-time status. Undergraduate courses may not be used to satisfy full-time status requirements for federal and state financial aid (TAP) but may be applied toward full-time status requirements for SEVIS. Student loan deferrals may be maintained by achieving half-time status for graduate students, or approximately 6 credit hours, if full-time status is not required for other reasons.

Doctoral candidates (i.e., those who have successfully completed their doctoral candidacy examination), master's students (M.P.S., M.L.A., and M.F.) who have met all academic coursework requirements, and master of science (M.S.) students who have requested the appointment of a defense committee and intend to defend a thesis may be considered full time if registered for at least one credit of thesis/dissertation research, professional experience, or independent study and submit a “Request for Full-time Certification Form” to the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies.

Part-Time Study

During any semester, students who are enrolled in part-time graduate degree programs (M.F. or M.P.S.) may register for the equivalent of full-time study. Graduate students who are enrolled in part-time degree programs are held to the policy for continuous registration, but not to the policy for time to degree (delimitation).

Audits

ESF Courses may be audited formally or informally, and informally with special audit status.  Each is defined as follows:

  • Formal Course Audit: A course may be audited formally by registering for a course using the standard course registration process. Formally audited courses do not carry course credit and may not be used to satisfy any graduation requirements. They will appear on a studentís transcript and will be graded either SAU (satisfactory audit) or UAU (unsatisfactory audit). The grade will be assigned based on the criteria for audit established by the course instructor. Both matriculated and non-matriculated students may formally audit courses.
  • Informal Course Audit: A course may be informally audited by gaining permission of the instructor. No record will be maintained of the informal audit nor will any grade be assigned. No fee is required for informal audits. Only matriculated ESF students may informally audit courses.
  • Special Informal Course Audit: “Special audit status” is granted to all New York state citizens of age 60 and over. Courses may be audited informally with special audit status by requesting confirmation of available space from the Office of Outreach and Instructional Quality. A record of the number of special auditors participating in each course is kept, however, no individual transcript is maintained of special informal audits nor will any grade be assigned. No fee is required for informal special audits.
Evaluation

For each course completed, one of the following grades will be awarded:

Grade Definition Grade Points
A Excellent 4.000
A-   3.700
B+   3.300
B Satisfactory 3.000
B-   2.700
C+   2.300
C   2.000
C- Minimum Passing 1.700
F Failure 0.000
I/F, I/U Unresolved Incomplete 0.000

Under conditions defined elsewhere, the following grades may be assigned, none of which yield grade points:

Grade Definition
W Withdraw
WP Withdraw Passing
WF Withdraw Failing
S Satisfactory (equal to B or better)
U Unsatisfactory (equal to below B)
SAU Audit (Satisfactory)
UAU Audit (Unsatisfactory)
I Incomplete
NR [Grade] Not Received
Grade Point Average

Semester and cumulative averages are based on graduate-level courses only and are computed by dividing the grade points earned by the credit hours completed in all courses graded A-F.

Time Limits

Graduate students must complete all requirements for the master of forestry, master of professional studies, the master of landscape architecture, and the master of science degree within four years of the first date of matriculation or they may be withdrawn from graduate study. For the doctoral degree, students must complete the candidacy exam within three years of the first date of matriculation. Students must pass the doctoral candidacy examination covering selected fields of study at least one year prior to dissertation defense. Doctoral candidates must successfully defend the dissertation and complete all degree requirements within seven years of matriculation, or they will be required to retake the candidacy examination or be withdrawn from their program of graduate study.

Graduation Requirements

Students are responsible for meeting the following requirements for graduation:

  • Matriculated status as a graduate student;
  • All requirements for the appropriate program and degree level must be satisfied, and
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.000 (4.000 = A) for all courses taken as a matriculated student at ESF.
Academic Performance

Students who earn less than a 3.000 cumulative grade point average for graduate-level courses, or who receive two or more grades of Unsatisfactory (U) for work on their thesis or dissertation shall have their records reviewed by the dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies. These students shall be either placed on academic probation or suspended from ESF. The action taken will be based on recommendations from the students’ major professors, department chairs and other appropriate faculty and staff. The dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies will inform each student in writing of actions taken.

Each student suspended will be given the opportunity to appeal this action based on any extraordinary conditions which may have contributed to the unsatisfactory performance. This appeal must be made in writing and submitted to the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies within the stated time limit. Each appeal will be reviewed by the Faculty Subcommittee on Academic Standards which will recommend to the dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies either to sustain the suspension or place the student on probation. The dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies will inform each student in writing of the Subcommittee action. There is no appeal beyond this process.

Students who have been suspended for unsatisfactory academic performance may not reapply until at least one semester has elapsed. Students may not take any courses at ESF or Syracuse University during this first semester following suspension. Suspended graduate students who wish to be readmitted must apply for readmission through the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies.

Students suspended from a graduate degree program for a second time for unsatisfactory academic performance may not be considered for readmission.


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