Academic Standards

Scholastic Suspension

Journalism students, both majors and pre-majors, are subject to suspension if they do not maintain a cumulative university GPA of 2.250 and a cumulative journalism and mass communication GPA of 2.500.

Students whose GPAs fall below either of these levels are normally placed on probation for one semester, during which they have an opportunity to raise their averages to the required levels. Students whose averages continue below the required levels are subject to suspension from the Journalism and Mass Communication Program and will be notified in writing.

Scholastic records will be reviewed as soon as possible after each semester, and students will be informed in writing if they are to be placed on probation or suspension.

The normal period of suspension is two regular semesters (one academic year, excluding summer sessions). The period of suspension will be stated in the suspension notice to the student. A student suspended a second time will be reinstated only on the basis of unusual circumstances, which the student should state in a petition to the assistant dean of JMC.

Academic Dishonesty

The Journalism and Mass Communication Program maintains the highest standards of intellectual honesty. Acts of academic dishonesty are referred to the Honor Council. The policies and procedures governing acts of academic dishonesty can be found on the Web at

Policy on Grade Appeals

The following shall be the official policy of the Journalism and Mass Communication Program regarding grade appeals.

When a student believes that a grade has been improperly assigned, and discussions between the instructor and the student have not led to any resolution of the problem, then:

  1. The student shall have the option of making a formal written appeal to the assistant dean of JMC. The appeal must specify the remedy desired by the student, and it must be submitted within 45 days of the end of the academic term in which the course was taken.
  2. The assistant dean will meet with the student and with the faculty member who taught the course. The instructor will be asked to submit a formal, written response to the student’s written appeal. If the assistant dean is unable to broker a solution mutually acceptable to both student and instructor, then:
    a. The director shall appoint an ad hoc Student Ethics committee, which will review the dispute. The committee shall consist of two impartial faculty members competent in the subject matter of the course in question. The assistant dean will chair the committee and provide the committee with the student’s written appeal and the written response from the faculty member.
  3. Within 45 days, the committee will submit a report and recommendation to the director, and the director will recommend to the instructor either 1) that the originally assigned grade stand; or 2) that a new grade be assigned.
  4. In cases where a change of grade is recommended and the instructor does not wish to accept the recommendation of his/her colleagues, the director shall make the final decision.