Academic Expectations

Expectations for Graduate and Professional Study

The major goals of graduate education at Texas A&M are to instill in each student an understanding of and a capacity for scholarship, independent judgment, academic rigor and intellectual honesty. Faculty and graduate students have a shared obligation to work together to foster these goals through relationships that advance freedom of inquiry, demonstrate individual and professional integrity, and encourage common respect.

Graduate student progress is guided and evaluated by an advisor and a graduate committee. These individuals give direction and support for the appropriate developmental and learning goals of a graduate student. The advisor and the graduate committee also have the obligation of evaluating a graduate student’s academic performance. The graduate student, the advisor and the graduate committee constitute the basic core of graduate education. The quality, scope and extent of interaction in this group determines the significance of the graduate experience.

High quality graduate education requires professional and ethical conduct of the participants. Faculty and graduate students have mutual responsibilities in ensuring academic standards and quality graduate programs. Excellence in graduate education is achieved when faculty and students are inspired, have the academic and professional backgrounds essential to function at the highest level, and are genuine in their mutual desire to see one another succeed. Any action that negatively affects this interaction—from either faculty member or student—destroys the whole relationship. Mutual respect is critical to the successful process.

The requirements set forth in this catalog are defined as minimum University requirements. Departments, Colleges, and Interdisciplinary Degree Programs may opt to establish higher standards and/or additional requirements.

Student Responsibility

Each student has a responsibility to:

  1. Know specific degree requirements as established by the University or the student’s department, college, or interdisciplinary degree program.
  2. Enroll in the appropriate coursework to complete the degree plan.
  3. Maintain the appropriate standards to continue in graduate studies.
  4. Know steps and deadlines related to graduation.
  5. Be acquainted with the Texas A&M University Student Rules (refer to the website

Information about general degree requirements is available in this catalog. Specific degree requirements and procedural guidelines are available from the departmental graduate advisor(s).

Scholastic Requirements

Unless otherwise stated, students in graduate degree programs and post-baccalaureate non-degree students (G6 classification) must maintain a 3.000 cumulative GPA (computed as specified in Student Rules Section 10.4.3). Degree-seeking students also must maintain a GPA of at least 3.000 on all courses listed on the degree plan. Departments and colleges may establish higher GPA requirements for their students in graduate degree programs and for post-baccalaureate non-degree students (G6 classification).

A graduate student will not receive graduate degree credit for undergraduate courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis. A graduate student may not receive grades other than satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) in graduate courses bearing the numbers 681, 684, 690, 691, 692, 693, 695, 697 and 791 (except for ALEC 695, BUAD 693, AGEC 695, GEOG 695 and IBUS 692). These officially designated S/U courses may be listed on the degree plan, along with other courses approved and noted as S/U in the graduate catalog.

Graduate courses not on the degree plan may be taken on an S/U basis. Only grades of A, B, C and S are acceptable for graduate credit.

For graduate students, grades of D, F or Unsatisfactory (U) for courses on the degree plan must be absolved by repeating the courses at Texas A&M and achieving grades of C or above or Satisfactory (S). A course in which the final grade is C may be repeated for a higher grade. If the second grade is higher, the original grade will be excluded from the GPA calculation for the degree plan and cumulative GPA, but remain on the student's permanent record. The most recent grade will be used in computing the cumulative and degree plan GPAs.

A student repeating a course in which a grade of B or better has been earned will not receive grade points for the repeated course, unless the catalog states the course may be repeated for credit.

The cumulative GPA (please refer to Student Rule 10.4.3) for a graduate student is computed by using all graded graduate (600- and 700-level) and advanced undergraduate (300- and 400-level) coursework completed at Texas A&M and eligible to be applied toward a graduate degree. Those involving grades of W-drop (W), Satisfactory (S), Unsatisfactory (U) and Q-drop (Q) shall be excluded.

Any eligible coursework not applied toward a prior graduate degree, and not exceeding time limits, will be included in the student’s GPA for the subsequent degree program.

If either of a student’s cumulative GPA or the GPA for courses listed on the degree plan falls below the minimum of 3.000, he or she will be considered to be scholastically deficient. If the minimum GPA is not attained in a reasonable length of time, the student may be dismissed from graduate studies. A degree-seeking graduate student may also be considered scholastically deficient if they fail to show acceptable proficiency in such other requisites for their degree as may be assigned by the graduate committee, department or the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (e.g., qualifying and preliminary examinations, research, writing or a thesis or dissertation, etc.).

A post-baccalaureate non-degree student (G6 classification) who has completed 12 hours of course work is considered to be scholastically deficient when the student’s grade point ratio falls below 3.00 or below a higher standard set by the department or college of affiliation; or the student fails to show proficiency in such other areas as may be specified by his or her department or the Office of Graduate Studies 

For a scholastically deficient post-baccalaureate non-degree student (G6 classification), the student’s home department shall determine eligibility, and the department is responsible for notifying the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies if a registration block is to be placed on the student.

The details of scholastic deficiency and procedures for dismissal are explained in Texas A&M University Student Rule 12 (refer to the website

Departments or colleges may adopt specific guidelines pertaining to scholastic deficiency or dismissal.

New Graduate Student Orientation

Coordinated by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, the New Graduate Student Orientation provides an overview of graduate education and services at Texas A&M University – including information on financial aid, procedures and processes, campus safety, writing services and additional campus services. New graduate and professional students will get the opportunity to meet campus leaders, administrators, and fellow graduate students. Experienced graduate students will be present to answer questions and provide insight about thriving in graduate school, balancing school, work and personal life, and making the most of living in the local communities. Designed to get new graduate and professional students off to a good start in their experiences, students will also have the opportunity to mingle and explore resource booths and meet representatives of campus services and organizations who serve the graduate and professional community.

For additional information about New Graduate Student Orientation, please contact the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at

Message from the President & Provost

March 21, 2020, 1:20 p.m. CDT

Temporary Changes to Grading, Q-Drop and Withdrawal Deadlines

Sent on behalf of President Michael K. Young and Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke

Upon a recommendation from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and approved by President Young, students will have the opportunity to choose Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading for any course in which they are enrolled in the spring semester 2020. Students have until 5pm on Tuesday, April 28th to make changes to their grading options. Details of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee’s proposal are outlined below. Additional guidance to students on how to opt-in to S/U grading will be provided next week. This may not be applicable to students in first professional degree programs who should contact their program for grading information. 

In addition to the S/U grading, the Q-drop and Withdrawal deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 24th. Q-drops after Spring Break will not count toward the institutional limit of 4 nor the state limit on drops. 

Any student considering the change from graded to S/U grading may need to consult with an academic advisor, professional school advisor, athletics advisor, or financial aid advisor to understand the implications of the change on one’s future plans including progress toward a degree or financial aid.

Finally, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee is asking faculty to ensure that students have ample opportunity to engage with them during this shift to online instruction.

We would like to thank the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for their work and deliberation on these important matters.


The Faculty Senate Executive Committee met on March 18, 2020 to discuss options surrounding issues of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading this semester. The recommendations of the Faculty Senate on this issue are:

  1. Retain the course’s current grading scheme as the default (e.g., Letter grade: A, B, C, D, or F).
  2. Students may choose an S/U grading scheme on a course-by-course basis for the spring 2020 semester.
  3. All programs that normally require a course for a letter grade must accept S/U grades for all courses this semester.
  4. Students will be allowed to switch to S/U Grading until the last day of classes by 5 p.m. on April 28th.
  5. Students are strongly advised to talk with their academic advisor before switching any course to S/U grading. If a student is currently not making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid and is on an academic plan, those students should consult with a financial aid advisor prior to switching any course to S/U grading.
  6. The S/U grading will adhere to its current Definition in Student Rule 10 (Student Rule 10; “S: Satisfactory (C or above, hours not included in GPA, U: Unsatisfactory (D or F), no grade points, hours included in GPA), except as noted in number 7 below.
  7. Any U or F grade received this semester will be removed from GPA computations.
  8. S/U grading applies to both Undergraduates and Graduate Students.

Similarly, the Executive Committee also recommends the University consider:

  1. Extending the Q-drop deadline until April 24th. Q-drops requested after Spring Break will not be added to the student’s cumulative Q-Drop total.
  2. Extending the withdrawal deadline to 5 p.m. on April 24th.

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee also makes the following recommendation regarding Instructional office hours this semester:

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee believes it is the responsibility of all Faculty and Instructors of Record to ensure that all students have adequate access to their instructors during this unique semester. Therefore, we implore every Instructor of Record to ensure that they are holding frequent, potentially extended, and published office hours.

This published information, disseminated to their students, should include specific details on the instructor’s preferred method of communication, and how, where, and when that instructor can be contacted.