Graduate Student Relations

Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Faculty About Academic Policies and Procedures

Here, you will find the information you need regarding academic policies, grading, student grievances and other issues pertinent to graduate faculty.


What is UMUC’s approach to academic integrity and plagiarism?

The UMUC Graduate School upholds the highest standard of academic integrity. Faculty are expected to establish classroom environments conducive to academic integrity. Students are expected to maintain and demonstrate academic integrity in all classwork.

Incidents of academic dishonesty or plagiarism are handled according to UMUC’s Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism policy. If you believe there may be an occurrence in your class, request a conference with the student to discuss. All cases of academic dishonesty or plagiarism must then be forwarded to the Dean’s Office via the Assistant Director for Graduate Student Relations for follow-up action. Consult your program director or Graduate Student Relations with any questions about the procedures.

Additional resources about preventing academic dishonesty and plagiarism are available through:

What should I do if a student disagrees with a grade?

UMUC graduate faculty assign grades that accurately reflect the work students have completed in their classes. The grading standards are explained to students through the course syllabus. Only the faculty for a class have the right to review and grade student work.

If a grading issue arises, students may request a conference with you to discuss. You may be able to resolve the issue with the student. If the issue is not resolved through this initial conference, you may then refer the student to the program director.

For guidance about the policy on Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary & Capricious Grading, consult your program director or Graduate Student Relations.


What should I do if a student has a question or concern about the curriculum or instruction in my class?

If a student has a question or concern about the curriculum or instruction in your class, the student may request a conference with you to discuss and try to resolve the issue. If the problem cannot be resolved, you or the student may contact the program director.

For detailed information about the Student Grievance Procedures policy, contact your program director or Graduate Student Relations.


What is a grade of Incomplete ("I") and what should I do if a student requests it?

A grade of Incomplete ("I") may be assigned for students who are doing satisfactory work, but have been unable to complete a course’s requirements because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control. The grade of Incomplete allows these students to complete the requirements by a later date and earn a new grade.

To be eligible for consideration for an Incomplete grade, the student must currently have a grade of "A" or "B" in the course and have completed at least 60 percent of the coursework. The student must contact you to make the request for an Incomplete grade prior to the end of the semester.

If you approve the request, set an appropriate late deadline for completing the remainder of the coursework that is no more than four months from the last day of the term. Post the late deadline and work required on your Grade Roster in the MyUMUC faculty portal.  The student will then be able to see this information through the MyUMUC student portal. 

View the Policy on Grade of Incomplete policy or contact your program director for detailed information about the steps to take for an Incomplete grade.


What is the difference between a grade of "F" and a grade of "FN," and when should I assign an "FN"?

The grade of "F" means a failure to satisfy the minimum academic requirements of a course. The grade of "FN" means a failure in the course because the student stopped attending or participating in course assignments and activities during the first 60 percent of the term. Both grades carry no credit for the course and are included in calculating the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Assign the grade of "FN" when a student has stopped attending class but has not officially withdrawn.

For more information about grades and quality points, see the Calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA) for Inclusion on Transcripts policy.


What is a "no-show" student, and what should I do if I have one?

"No-show" students are enrolled in a class, but have not appeared in class at all and/or have not participated in class activities or submitted any assignments.These students sometimes mistakenly believe they have taken some action to disenroll. Their continued enrollment in the course may result in academic probation or dismissal.

If you have any "no-show" students enrolled in your class, complete the form in the MyUMUC faculty portal. You will be notified each semester when the form is available. Advisors from the Office of Graduate Advising will contact these students for follow-up action.


What is a "missing" student, and what should I do if I have one?

"Missing" students stop attending a class, but do not officially withdraw. These students may have extenuating circumstances or may mistakenly believe they have taken some action to disenroll.

If you have any "missing students" in your class, send them an e-mail informing them that they should consult with a graduate advisor. These students will be informed of their alternatives, which may include requesting a "W" in the class to avoid an "F" on their transcript. All students on the grade roster at the end of the semester will receive a final grade.


Is the information in my students' records confidential, and what steps do I need to take to protect students' privacy?

UMUC complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (also known as the Buckley Amendment), which protects the privacy of student education records. Education records may be in electronic or in paper form, and include any record related to a student, such as those in WebTycho and MyUMUC. Faculty must adhere to the FERPA requirements to keep these records confidential. Do not share any information about a student with anyone (including other students and faculty), other than your program director, the Dean’s Office, the Office of the Registrar, or the Office of Legal Affairs.

For detailed information, see the Disclosure of Student Records policy or contact your program director.


Where can I find more information about UMUC academic policies and procedures?

Find more information on the Academic Policies Web site and in the Faculty Handbook. If you have a question or concern about a policy matter, contact your program director, course manager, department chair or the Graduate Student Relations in the Dean's Office.