Skip to main content

Academic and Professional Behavior Policies

MSW Student Standards Policy
Foundation Semester Policies
Enrollment Status
Final Course Letter Grade
Academic Probation and Suspension
Three "C" Rule
Incomplete Grades
Continuous Enrollment
Time Limitation
Transfer Credit Policy
Enrollment Limit Policy
Academic Honesty
GCSW Statement on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism
Disciplinary Action and Termination
Grievance Policy and Procedures


MSW Student Standards Policy

The faculty of the GCSW is responsible for creating a teaching-learning environment that fosters student growth and professional development. The Standards Policy includes criteria used to evaluate each student in five general areas: professional readiness, professional commitment, scholastic performance, attendance and punctuality, professional behavior, and ethical conduct. Evaluation is ongoing, from admissions to program entry, program entry to candidacy, and candidacy to graduation. Students are expected to demonstrate continuous progress in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, judgment, and behaviors to assume the responsibilities of a competent professional social worker. When students confirm their admission to the GCSW, they are provided a copy of the Standards Policy, and they are required to sign a statement indicating that they have read the policy, and agree to be bound by the provisions therein.
Student Standards Policy

return to top

Foundation Semester Policies

return to top

Enrollment Status

Applicants request admission into either Face to Face, Hybrid, or Online status. Face to Face students complete the program in 2 years or 3 years. This requires enrollment in 15 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters, plus 6 credit hours of enrollment in the summer (first year only). Hybrid students complete the program in 3 years, attending 50% online and 50% face to face either at the Main Campus or the Sugar Land Campus. Online students complete the program in 3 years. See Enrollment Model section for detailed courses of study.

Most students are admitted into the specific enrollment status to which they have applied; however, the GCSW reserves the right to limit the number of students admitted in each enrollment model in a given year. Students who wish to change their status prior to their initial enrollment may have to postpone starting the program for a full year if all slots are full. Once enrolled officially (i.e., tuition and fees are paid), students may change their status only if they reapply through the admissions office and space is available in the desired enrollment model. 

return to top

Final Course Letter Grade

Grade Scale
GradePercent %
A 96-100% of the points
A- 92-95.9%
B+ 88-91.9%
B 84-87.9%
B- 80-83.9%
C+ 76-79.9%
C 72-75.9%
C- 68-71.9%
D 64-67.9%
F Below 64%
return to top

Academic Probation and Suspension

A student whose grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 (B) will be placed on academic probation. Students have 12 semester credit hours to bring their GPA to a 3.0. 

return to top

Three "C" Rule

Any course in which a grade of less than C- is received must be repeated. Students who receive a grade of C+ or lower in 9 semester credit hours of graduate credit, whether or not in repeated courses, will be terminated from the M.S.W. program.

return to top

Incomplete Grades

The grade of I (Incomplete) is a conditional and temporary grade given when students are passing a course but, for reasons beyond their control, have not completed a relatively small part of all requirements. Students are responsible for informing the instructor immediately of the reasons for not submitting an assignment on time or not taking an examination as scheduled. The grade of I must be changed by fulfilling the course requirements by the deadline set by the instructor, but no more than one year from the date awarded, or, in conformance with university policy, it will be changed automatically to F or U (in S-U graded courses).

return to top

Continuous Enrollment

Students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their course of study. A temporary, time limited leave of absence may be granted for compelling reasons with the recommendation of the advisor. However, students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment without initiating an official leave of absence will be considered as having withdrawn from the M.S.W. program. In such cases, students may be required to reapply for admission.

return to top

Time Limitation

As an explicit accreditation policy of the Council on Social Work Education, all requirements for the M.S.W. degree must be completed no more than four years from the date of the student's first enrollment at the GCSW.

return to top

Transfer Credit Policy

Students admitted to the GCSW who have previous graduate course work or wish to take classes outside the college may discuss transfer of credit with their academic advisor; typically no more than six hours of graduate course work may be applied to the MSW degree. Course reviews for previously taken graduate classes will not be initiated until the student has successfully completed foundation. Students who wish to take classes outside the college must have the syllabus preapproved before enrolling in the class. Approval is subject to successful completion of foundation. A grade of B or better is required for credit to be transferred. 

return to top

Enrollment Limit Policy

The maximum MSW student course load in the Fall or Spring is 15 Semester Credit Hours and 6 Semester Credit Hours in the Summer semester.

return to top

Academic Honesty

All members of, and participants in, the academic life of the university are governed by the University of Houston Academic Honesty Policy. The policy and procedure can be found at the links below:
Graduate Catalog Policy
UH Academic Honesty Policy

return to top

GCSW Statement on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

Students are expected to demonstrate and maintain a professional standard of writing in all courses, do one’s own work, give credit for the ideas of others, and provide proper citation of source materials. 

All presentations, papers and written assignments must be fully and properly referenced using APA style format (or as approved by the instructor), with credit given to the authors whose ideas you have used. If you are using direct quotes from a specific author (or authors), you must set the quote in quotation marks or use an indented quotation form. For all direct quotes, you must include the page number(s) in your text or references. Any time that you use more than four or five consecutive words taken from another author, you must clearly indicate that this is a direct quotation. Please consult the current APA manual for further information.

Academic dishonesty includes using any other person’s work and representing it as your own. This includes (but is not limited to) using graded papers from students who have previously taken this course as the basis for your work. It also includes, but is not limited to submitting the same paper to more than one class. It also includes securing another person to complete any required activities, assignments, quizzes, papers, or exams in any online environment. If you have any specific questions about plagiarism or academic dishonesty, please raise these questions in class or make an appointment to see the instructor. This statement is consistent with the University Policy on Academic Dishonesty that can be found in your UH Student Handbook.

Graduate Catalog Policy
UH Academic Honesty Policy

Please refer to the links provided above for the full and detailed policy and process on Academic Honesty. Below are the general guidelines for the Academic Honesty Process with the Graduate College of Social Work.

Then an instructor has reasonable grounds to believe that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall notify the college hearing officer, in writing, within five class days of discovery. Students who believe they have observed an act of academic dishonesty shall report the incident to the instructor, as soon as possible, who shall then report the incident in writing to the college hearing officer within five class days.

Upon notifying the college hearing officer of the alleged violation, the faculty member shall suggest to the college hearing officer a sanction for the alleged violation of the Academic Honesty Policy that would if acceptable to the student, instructor, and college hearing officer, preclude a college hearing. Such sancitons would normally include reduced or zero credit for a test assignment, a grade of "F" in a course, or other such as agreed upon sanctions. SAnctions involving disciplinary probation or sanctions requiring a college level hearing cannot be used. The student will be asked to select bewtween the choice of:

(1) admitting the alleged academic honesty violation, waiving the formal departmental hearing, and accepting the associated sanction; or (2) proceeding to a formal departmental hearing.

If the student chooses (2), the departmental hearing officer shall, within 10 class days of receiving the instructor's report, schedule a departmental hearing. To schedule a departmental hearing, the college hearing officer shall notify the instructor, the accused student and the accusing party, if other than the instructor, of the nature of the alleged violation and the time and date of the hearing as provided in Article 1.13. Should any of the parties fail to appear, without good cause, at the departmental hearing, the college hearing officer may render a decision in their absence.

The college academic honest panel shall consist of two faculty members and three students. The panel will be selected by the college hearing officer from faculty and currently enrolled students from the accused student's academic peer group in the college.

return to top

Disciplinary Action and Termination

The nature of social work dictates that practitioners use sound professional judgment. The college reserves the right to terminate enrollment of any student at any time for what the college faculty and administration may believe to be good and sufficient reason(s), such as cheating, plagiarism, misuse of university property, or unprofessional conduct. Explicit policies are found in the GCSW Student Standards Policy, as well in the UH Graduate School Student Handbook.

return to top

Grievance Policy and Procedures

Students have the right to appeal any action they feel is unfair or in error. The Graduate College of Social Work Policy for Student Grievance is available in the GCSW Student Handbook. It is the responsibility of all students to become familiar with the various policies and regulations of the university and the GCSW and to meet the conditions they impose.

Student Grievance Policy
Grievance Cover Sheet
Notice of Intent to File a Grievance

return to top