As an SMP student, you have access to career coaching, mentorship programs, seminars, academic assistance and more services to enrich your experience in the classroom and beyond. You can also use the Georgetown Biomedical Graduate Education student resources to support you in your studies, career and wellness.
You’ve accepted admission; now, get ready to start in the SMP.
Students should follow the general guidelines outlined in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Bulletin. Important guidelines for the Special Master’s Program, including some specific to our program, are listed below:
Academic Requirements for Graduation: To graduate and receive your M.S. degree, you must have a 3.0 GPA when all coursework is completed. Any change in prescribed course work must be approved by the Director. The student is responsible for applying to graduate.
Student Accounts: Students must check that there are no outstanding charges on their student accounts, and reconcile any issues prior to registering for spring courses, or applying to graduate. Unreconciled accounts will place a hold on registration and/or graduation. The student will contact student accounts for help.
Registration: Fall registration will be done by the SMP Office. Students must register for the spring semester of classes, as well as continuing registration in the summer semester (so their degree can be conferred). As they complete the final courses, they also need to apply to graduate, with anticipated graduation in July.
Advising: Students will be assigned a faculty Team Leader for advising and a faculty letter writer for recommendation letters. If the student is not applying to medical (or other) schools during their graduate year, they will contact the SMP office for future letters.
Student Support: Students will contact their Team Leader if there are personal, medical, or academic problems affecting their well-being and/or performance in the Program. The Team Leader (or Director, if appropriate) will help construct a plan for the student to move forward (tutoring; counseling; academic changes; leave of absence, etc).
Change in Course or Program Status: Withdrawal from a course or leave of absence (LOA) from the Program must be discussed with the Director, if the student wishes to remain in the Program. The SMP Office will help with course withdrawal. For LOA, the official Student Petition for Change in Graduate Program form must be completed and signed by appropriate administrators, and the requirements for return to classes (if any are noted) must be met prior to reentry and registration.
Grading Policies: Please refer to the grading policies in the syllabus provided for each course. For the medical courses that allow competency exams, successful completion in the exam will result in a final grade of C for the course.
Academic Warning: Students who fall below a 3.0 GPA in the fall semester will receive a “GPA warning” email from the Director, as a reminder of the 3.0 requirement for graduation, and with suggestions to speak to their Team Leaders and consider tutoring if needed. If the student remains under a 3.0 GPA during the spring semester, they will continue to receive warning emails that stipulate what grades they need to graduate, and to see the Director about their performance.
Borderline performance: Students may continue in the Program after receiving multiple grades of “C” as long as they have the ability to have sufficient credits of B+ or better to attain a 3.0 at the end of the year.
Unsatisfactory performance: Failure in one course: the student will be allowed to retake the course (in the summer, if offered by GSMI, or during the next school year), and the new grade will be incorporated into the student’s GPA: the GPA will reflect the x credits of F, and x credits of the new grade. If the make-up course is taken through GSMI, the credits will have to be transferred to the student’s graduate transcript. The student will work through the SMP office to initiate the transfer.
Unsatisfactory performance in the fall semester: Failure in more than one course in the fall semester will result in dismissal from the program, as per Graduate School guidelines.
Unsatisfactory performance in the spring semester: In the spring semester, two failing grades, or the projected inability to attain a 3.0, will not lead to immediate dismissal. Continuing in coursework will be allowed if approved by the SMP Director.
Staying Healthy in the SMP
Professor Tom Sherman shares his top tips for SMP students to stay healthy and have fun around Washington, D.C., while pursuing their graduate studies.