Policy on Student Progress

Criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress

The policy regarding satisfactory academic progress in the Masters of Science in Health Policy and Law (HPL) program is as follows:

  • Students must participate actively in all courses and maintain academic integrity (as stated in the UCSF Code of Conduct).
  • Upon entering the HPL program, students will receive an in-depth overview of program expectations for satisfactory academic progress. Each student will be assigned to an Academic Advisor, who will act as the main faculty point person for any questions regarding academic policies. Students are required to meet with their Staff Advisor every quarter to monitor progress.
  • Prior to beginning Capstone work, student progress will be evaluated by the HPL Executive Committee. Once project work begins, students must meet regularly with their capstone mentor.
  • Students must maintain the highest standards of academic integrity and professionalism as reported by program staff and faculty.
  • Students must pass all of their courses (grades of C or higher in any given class) and maintain a cumulative GPA of equal to or greater than 3.0. This is equivalent to a B average.
  • Full-time students are expected to complete all degree requirements within one year; part-time students are expected to complete all degree requirements within two years.

Unsatisfactory Progress Indicators

These include:

  • Falling below a cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Failing grades in any course
  • Unsatisfactory progress on the Capstone project
  • Disciplinary problems and other conduct and professionalism infractions that fall within the scope of the UCSF Code of Conduct and Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline.

Process By Which Failing Students Will Be Notified and Remediated

Internal Warning and Letter of Performance Expectations
Students whose progress is unsatisfactory (according to one or more of the criteria listed above) will be notified by the Program Directors. Depending on the seriousness of the alleged misconduct or academic difficulty, the process may immediately involve the UCSF Graduate Division (see below: Formal Procedure for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress).

A meeting will occur with the student, the Program Directors and the Staff Advisor; depending on the nature of misconduct, other faculty or staff may be included in the meeting. The goal of the meeting is to determine if there are any extenuating circumstances affecting the student, to educate the student about program policies and resources for support, and to provide an internal warning outlining:

  1. The nature of the specific misconduct;
  2. The method of correction; and
  3. The consequences of continued misconduct.

Following the meeting, the student will receive a letter of performance expectations that summarizes the aforementioned meeting, informs the student of future expectations, and educates the student about how to avoid future misconduct or academic difficulty. The letter will be added to the student’s file. If the student successfully completes the remediation plan outlined in the letter of performance expectations, a notice of satisfactory progress will be sent and added to the student’s file.

Formal Procedure for Unsatisfactory Academic Progress
A formal procedure will occur if:

  1. The internal warning and letter of performance expectations is not successful; and/or
  2. Additional incidents of unsatisfactory student progress arise

The Program Directors will provide written notice informing the student that they are being placed on academic probation. The student will be offered the opportunity to provide a written response to the notice. The Program Directors will review the student’s written response, if applicable, and provide a written notice of proceeding with a Memorandum of Understanding.

Memorandum of Understanding
The student will meet with the Program Directors and Staff Advisor to develop an individualized remediation plan to address the deficiencies. The meeting results in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that clearly outlines specific steps and associated deadlines that the student must fulfill in order to receive a satisfactory report; the MOU will also detail the consequences of continued misconduct. Everyone present at the meeting will be responsible for signing the MOU. The MOU is shared with the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and becomes part of the student’s official University record.

Should the student be unable to fulfill the expectations outlined in the MOU, the student will be subject to dismissal from the program.

In-Depth Review of Academic Performance and Consideration of Dismissal
The Program Directors will provide formal notice to the student that his/her performance does not meet Graduate Division standards and is therefore referred to a committee charged with an in-depth review of academic performance and consideration of dismissal. This information will be transmitted in writing and conveyed electronically or in person.

The process for in-depth review of a student’s eligibility for dismissal will follow the UCSF Divisional Procedure for Student Grievance in Academic Affairs, section 4.0, and will be conducted by an in-depth review committee appointed by the Program Directors.

  • The in-depth review committee shall consist of three faculty members within the HPL program who are knowledgeable about the academic program and student performance standards.
  • Members may include faculty advisors, capstone mentors, course instructors or representatives of the HPL Graduate Group who serve on the executive, curriculum or admission committees.

Applications are currently not being accepted.