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Section 8: Academic and Professional Standards

Students are responsible for being aware of and meeting all University, Graduate School, and program requirements and deadlines.


A student’s status in the program is based upon performance in their coursework and in their research.  Students will be considered to be in good standing as long as their graduate cumulative grade point average is 3.0 or higher and they are deemed to be meeting the research expectations of the NGP, their advisor, and their Dissertation Advisory Committee.  Failure to maintain good standing can result in the student's dismissal from the University.  A doctoral student who has had two unsatisfactory attempts at the Candidacy Examination or the Final Oral Examination is not in good standing and is automatically dismissed from the University.

For the core courses, Foundations in Neuroscience I and II (Neurosc 7001 and Neurosc 7002), students who do not earn a satisfactory grade of B must either retake the course or remediate their grade, based on the following procedure:

At the end of the course, the grade posted for the student is the grade they earned.

Grade earned was less than B-: Retake

  • Student must register for and repeat the entire course the next time it is offered and ear a B or above to remain in the program.
  • Both the original grade earned and the new grade earned will be on the transcript.

Grade earned was a B-: Remediation

  • The next time the course is offered, the student does not need to register for the course.
  • The student should contact the course coordinator no later than the first week of class about their need to remediate the course that semester.
  • The student must take exam(s) on which performance was below that semester's equivalent of a B- and earn an overall grade of a B- averaged over exams they retake and exams on which they performeed well during the original class session.
  • Student is not required to attend class, but attendance is encouraged. They may study on their own but will take the required exam(s) when scheduled for the rest of the class.
  • The grade originally posted (B-) does not change as they are not registered for the course.
  • Course director verifies the student has successfully remediated the course by sending note to the NGP Program Manager. This goes into the student file.

 A student who receives a grade of D or E in any NGP core course will not be considered to be in good standing and may be dismissed from the NGP.


A student will be considered to be making “reasonable progress” if he/she maintains a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above, has been enrolled continuously, and is meeting the research expectations of the NGP program, his/her advisor, and his/her Dissertation Advisory committee.  All post-candidacy students, in addition to the criteria listed above, must meet at least once a year with their Dissertation Advisory Committee in order to maintain reasonable progress in the program.


It is the policy of the NGP that all students will be reviewed annually by faculty members of the NGP Committee to determine that reasonable progress is being made.  Student members of the NGP Committee may not participate in student reviews.  At the review, the student will be asked to provide an update of their progress with respect to course work, candidacy exam, selection of advisor, research progress (e.g., projects completed, publications, meetings attended, presentations given, etc.).  The student may also discuss any questions, problems, or concerns they may have at that time.  The student’s advisor must not be present at this annual review.  A written summary of the meeting will be sent to the student and their advisor and a copy will be maintained in the student’s file in the NGP office.  If the committee determines that reasonable progress is not being made, it will issue a written Letter of Warning to the student which will include a timetable for corrective action to be taken.  If sufficient improvement is not demonstrated within the specified time frame then the student will not be considered to be in good standing and may be dismissed from the NGP.


Full-time doctoral students should normally complete the Candidacy Examination by the end of their second year in the PhD program.  Candidates must complete all degree requirements and defend their dissertations in not more than five (5) years after completion of their Candidacy Examination, though it is normally expected that this period will not exceed three (3) years.  If a student fails to submit the final copy of the dissertation document to the Graduate School within five years of being admitted to candidacy, his or her candidacy is cancelled.  In such a case, with the approval of the advisor and the NGP Committee, the student may take a supplemental candidacy examination.  If the student passes this supplemental candidacy examination, the student is readmitted to candidacy and must then complete a dissertation document within two years.


Only courses taken within five years of the date of successful completion of the Candidacy Examination and ten years prior to the completion of the Final Oral Examination may be applied toward the degree.

Should a student depart the campus before completing all requirements for the degree, the five-year clock on course work continues to run.  Early during the semester (no later than the second Friday of the semester) in which the student is NOT in continuous enrollment, the student must send a letter of petition to the Director(s) of the NGP Graduate Studies Committee to request a leave of absence. 


A student with fewer than nine earned hours of graduate credit whose cumulative grade point average is below 3.0 will receive a “poor performance” letter from the Graduate School urging consultation with the advisor and Program Director(s).


A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 after nine graduate credit hours have been attempted is placed on probation by the Dean of the Graduate School.


A student who is on probation in the Graduate School may not be appointed or reappointed as a graduate associate.


A student who raises the cumulative grade point average to 3.0 or better is removed from probation and is placed in good standing by the Dean of the Graduate School.  Course work used in raising the GPA must be a part of normal degree requirements and approved by the NGP Committee.


A student on probation whose record continues to deteriorate will be warned that dismissal is likely if the record does not improve.  Special warnings include performance criteria tailored to the individual student.


A student who does not make reasonable progress toward a degree or who does not fulfill other NGP requirements, including those regarding professional standards and misconduct, and who has not shown improvement within a specified time period may be denied further registration in the NGP.

A student who is on probation and who does not raise his/her graduate grade point average to 3.0 or better at the end of the next semester or summer session of enrollment in the Graduate School may be dismissed from the University at the discretion of the Graduate School following consultation with the Director(s) of the NGP.  The student is automatically dismissed from the University at the end of two consecutive semesters or sessions (including the May session if enrolled) on probation, unless good standing is achieved.  If there are extenuating circumstances, the NGP Committee may petition the Graduate School for an exception to this policy.

A doctoral student who has had two unsatisfactory attempts at the Candidacy Examination or the Final Oral Examination is automatically dismissed from the University.


No student in the NGP may be denied further registration or be dismissed without first being warned by the Graduate School that such action is pending.  The Director(s) of the NGP will send a copy of any letter of warning to the student’s advisor.


NGP students are required to observe professional ethical standards in their graduate studies and research as detailed in the Graduate Student Code of Research and Scholarly Conduct available on the Graduate School web site.  The Graduate School and the NGP expects that students will demonstrate responsibility and integrity in pursuing their research.  NGP students are responsible for learning and following all standards and policies related to ethical research and scholarly conduct.

When NGP students join the Ohio State community, they become members of disciplinary, scholarly, and professional communities that extend beyond the university.  NGP students are expected to learn, respect, and abide by the professional codes of ethics and responsibilities that are commonly accepted in their field of neuroscience research.  These codes include but are not limited to the following: a responsibility to contribute an original body of work to one’s chosen discipline and the recognition that one’s work is based on the work of others which must be respected and properly acknowledged.  Graduate students also have the responsibility to treat university faculty, staff, research subjects and other students respectfully and professionally.  A student who fails to exhibit ethical and scholarly conduct may be dismissed from the NGP and denied further registration.