Ph.D. in Public Health Student Handbook | School of Public Health


Academic and professional standards and policies

Academic standards

The university’s policy on academic standards defines academic dishonesty and imposes specific penalties for violations.

See University Academic Standards Policy: UAM 6,502.

Penalties for violating university academic standards for academic dishonesty may include academic and/or disciplinary sanctions. Academic sanctions for undergraduate and graduate students may include: submission of a final grade of “F”, reduction of the student’s final course grade by one or two full points; give a reduced grade or zero on the course; or require the student to retake or resubmit the course.

Good quality

All graduating students must maintain a GPA of 3.0. If their GPA falls below 3.0, they are either placed on probation or fired from the program. Undergraduate courses will not count towards a graduate’s GPA.

Effective for Ph.D. degree, each graduate course must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. To maintain good standing in the program, students must maintain a 3.0 “B” grade point average in both the Common Core and Honors, individually.

Probation and dismissal

According to the Nevada Higher Education System (NSHE) Code, Title 2, Chapter 11, “a student may be expelled from a program for academic reasons which may include, but are not limited to, inadequate grades or failure to adhere to academic rules as defined by the program, lack of professionalism or contrary conduct ethics, or non-compliance with other specific program requirements. Failure to meet professional and/or ethical standards applicable to the particular discipline or program may be grounds for dismissal from a program.“The School of Public Health has developed a termination policy which includes termination for failure to meet required grades or required grade point average, termination for lack of professionalism, unethical conduct, or breach of other program requirements.Prior to commencing the program, all students must acknowledge that they have read the School of Public Health’s Termination Policy.

Students whose cumulative total marks are between 2.31 and 2.99 are placed on academic probation for one semester. Graduate students on probation are not eligible for graduate assistantships. If they fail to increase their cumulative GPA to 3.0 at the end of a semester, they are expelled from their graduate program. Thesis, dissertation, S/U rated credits, and transfer credits have no impact on a student’s GPA.

If a student’s cumulative grade point average is 2.30 or less, the student will be dismissed from graduate student status. A student terminated from graduate student status due to grade deficiencies may enroll as a special graduate in undergraduate or graduate courses. To enroll in graduate-level courses, prior written approval must be obtained from the lecturer, the department/program concerned and the Doctoral School. Enrolling in undergraduate courses will not increase the cumulative GPA of graduates

Recommendations for dismissal for reasons other than failure to maintain required grades or required cumulative grade point average require written notice of dismissal from the Director of Graduate Studies to the student and the Dean of Graduate Studies, and the scheduling of a review conference, in accordance with Chapter 11 of the Nevada CODE Higher Education System. Students may appeal their dismissal from graduate status by submitting a formal letter to the Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of Graduate Studies. The letter must be submitted within 10 business days of notification of termination (see the School of Public Health Termination Policy for more information).

Doctoral Timeline

All courses must be completed within eight (8) years of graduation. Credits transferred to the doctorate from a completed master’s degree are exempt from this eight-year limit.

Transfer Credits

Doctoral students who have completed a master’s degree in an appropriate discipline from an accredited institution may, with the approval of their director of graduate studies, transfer up to twenty-four (24) units to a doctoral degree. diploma. The twenty-four (24) unit limit does not apply to students earning a master’s degree en route to a doctorate at the University of Nevada, Reno. Transfer credit is requested using the Graduate Credit Transfer Assessment Request Form available on the Doctoral School website (Graduate Transfer Credit Assessment Request) and must be signed by the student, the advisor and the director of graduate studies.

Student unit costs

A full-time graduate student may enroll in no more than sixteen (16) graduate credits in one semester, nor more than six (6) graduate credits in one semester. six-week summer. Audited or undergraduate courses will not count towards the minimum 6 credit requirement. Graduate assistants may enroll in no more than twelve (12) graduate credits per semester.

Students who enroll in nine (9) or more graduate units in a semester are considered full-time students. For graduate assistants on a 20-hour (half-time) contract, six (6) or more graduate units constitute full-time. To be considered full-time for financial aid purposes, all graduate students, including those in assistantships, must be enrolled in nine (9) graduate units; to be considered part-time for financial aid reporting purposes, graduate students must be enrolled in five (5) graduate units. For graduate students who are required to take English Center Intensive Bridge Courses, these courses may be considered part of the full enrollment after approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Continuous registration

To maintain good standing, all graduate students must enroll in a minimum of three (3) graduate credits each fall and spring semester until graduation. International students may be required to enroll in nine (9) graduate credits each fall and spring semester depending on their visa requirements. All students holding assistantships (whether teaching or research assistantships) must enroll in a minimum of six (6) graduate credits each fall and spring semester they hold the assistantship .


Students in good standing may request a leave of absence by completing a leave of absence form available on the Graduate School website (leave form) during which they are not required to maintain continuous enrollment. Usually, a leave is approved for one or two semesters. The leave request can be extended by the student submitting a supplementary leave form. Students applying for leave must not have “incomplete” grades which could be changed to “F” and negatively impact their cumulative GPA. Requests for leave must be received by the Doctoral School no later than the last day of registration for the semester in which the leave is to begin.


When a student has been absent for a semester or more without an approved leave of absence, he or she can request reinstatement through the reinstatement form. This form allows the program to recommend the student’s readmission to their graduate program based on their previous admission OR to require the student to reapply for admission, which would require students to submit a new application for admission and to pay the application fee. . The notice of reinstatement in the graduate ranking must be received by the doctoral school no later than the last day of registration for the semester in which the reinstatement is to begin.

Management of student complaints at the School of Public Health

  1. The University of Nevada, Reno has clear policies either through the Administrative Manual (UAM) or other sources for policies and procedures for handling grade complaints (final grades) and those related to Title IX (Discrimination Based on sex). The following policies and procedures are designed to deal with complaints from students and faculty not covered by these policies. These complaints may relate to grades, course management, faculty and/or student interactions, program issues, and professionalism issues.
  1. Complaints made by a student should follow these steps whenever possible:
    1. Always start with the instructor to see if the problem can be solved at the class level. This is an important skill that students should acquire as they go through their studies and is strongly encouraged at first. If the complaint is related to your advisor, it is best to start at this level.
    2. If the student feels uncomfortable reporting the issue to the instructor/advisor or if the issue is still unresolved, the complaint may be referred to the Associate Dean of SPH who will work with the Dean, Heads appropriate division and/or program director to resolve the issue. A student’s name will not be released during this process.
    3. If the complaint is not resolved at level b, then it will be forwarded to the Dean of SPH for resolution/action.
      1. Important Notes: There is no wrong door to file a complaint. Students can skip any of the steps described above. While it is best to work directly with the instructor first, some complaints about professionalism or other sensitive concerns may be best handled by the Associate Dean or Dean first.
      2. Students can file a complaint using the complaint form on the School of Public Health website. Such complaints will be forwarded directly to the Associate Dean of SPH unless the student requests that the complaint be submitted directly to the Dean of SPH. Complaints can be submitted with your contact details or anonymously. Although anonymous complaints can be more comfortable, it can make resolution more difficult if additional information is needed.
      3. Students who choose to share their contact details will receive an individual response within one week for individual complaints. Students who submit a complaint anonymously will only receive an acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint.
      4. Concierge service through the Provost’s Office is also available to all students if that is more comfortable. Complaints submitted through the Concierge Service will generally be forwarded to the Associate Dean and Dean of SPH.


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