Academic Regulations and Policies

Credit and Tuition Requirement

Satisfactory results in courses totaling 48 credits and four semesters of full tuition are required for the two-year master’s degree programs. Satisfactory results in courses totaling 24 credits and two semesters in residence are required for completion of one-year master’s degree programs.

For joint degree candidates: three semesters of full tuition and a minimum of 12 full courses (36 credits, equivalent to one and one half years in residence) must be taken while enrolled at F&ES eight courses of which must be taken at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The student’s course schedule must meet the curriculum requirement of one of our programs that should be so designated on the registration form.

Only work completed under the supervision of a Yale University faculty member is accepted as credit toward these degrees.

A full semester course load normally consists of four courses totaling 12 or more course credits. Taking more than five courses in a semester is strongly discouraged and rarely approved. Anyone seeking to take more than five courses must have approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Audit Policy

The basic requirement for recording an official Audit is attendance at a minimum of two-thirds of the class meetings, but the instructor may make additional requirements and may, in fact, require that the student do all of the work of the class including exams. However, if the instructor requires more than two-thirds attendance, auditing students should be so informed early in the semester. Part-time students are permitted to audit one course per semester.

At the end of the semester, the instructor is asked to certify whether or not auditing students have satisfactorily completed the course. Satisfactory completion is defined as meeting the two-thirds attendance standard and the work requirements (if any) set by the instructor. Only audits certified as satisfactory are entered on the student’s transcript.

Grading System

The system used at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies to evaluate the work done in regular and project courses provides for grades of H (Honors), HP (High Pass), P (Pass), and F (Fail). This is a subjective classification, based on the professor’s overall appraisal of the student’s work.

Honors Work of exceptional character, not only as indicated by examinations, reports, and project work, but coupled with assurance of the student’s ability to perform work of similar character in association with professionals, following graduation. (Approximate numerical range 90–100)

High-Pass Work of outstanding character, as indicated by examinations, reports, and project work, coupled with an indication of interest, attitude, and ability decidedly above average. (Approximate numerical range 80–89)

Pass Work of acceptable professional character, as indicated by examinations, reports, and project work, including satisfactory completion of all work assigned. (Approximate numerical range 70–79)

Fail Work below professional character, or failure to complete assigned work on time without adequate reason. If a student fails a course, it may not be made up. (Approximate numerical threshold 69)

Satisfactory Completion (sc) Is used to record the required summer training modules and any modules taught during the academic year by a faculty member.

Course Withdrawal (w)

Credit/Fail (cr)

Grade point averages and class rank are not calculated nor are any numerical equivalents assigned to grades.

Incomplete Grade Policy

It shall be generally understood that all of the work to be done by any students in a given semester shall be completed, with all reports, papers, and examinations in the hands of the instructor, on or before the final day of that semester. No exceptions may be granted in the case of students expecting to receive any degree at the conclusion of the semester involved. Any course recorded as incomplete (TI) must be completed in the next semester or the TI becomes a failure.

A student who wants an extension of time beyond one semester must apply, before the end of the semester, in writing, to the instructor for permission to use all or part of the ensuing vacation for the completion of specific named items of work. The granting of any such extension of time shall be at the discretion of the instructor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Extensions beyond the end of a given vacation period can be made only in the event of illness or other problems beyond the control of the student. Failure to comply with these procedures will result in reduction of grades or failure in the courses involved.

An Incomplete grade can only be recorded in cases where permission for an extension of time has been granted. If an extension has not been granted, incomplete work shall be recorded as fail.

The practice of reporting temporary minimum grades shall be restricted to cases in which a student has finished all required work but there has not yet been time for the instructor to evaluate it.

Appeals for departure from these procedures involving unfinished required work shall be to the faculty Masters Program Committee.

Incomplete Grade Policy

It shall be generally understood that all of the work to be done by any students in a given semester shall be completed, with all reports, papers, and examinations in the hands of the instructor, on or before the final day of that semester. No exceptions may be granted in the case of students expecting to receive any degree at the conclusion of the semester involved. Any course recorded as incomplete (TI) must be completed in the next semester or the TI becomes a failure.

A student who wants an extension of time beyond one semester must apply, before the end of the semester, in writing, to the instructor for permission to use all or part of the ensuing vacation for the completion of specific named items of work. The granting of any such extension of time shall be at the discretion of the instructor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Extensions beyond the end of a given vacation period can be made only in the event of illness or other problems beyond the control of the student. Failure to comply with these procedures will result in reduction of grades or failure in the courses involved.

An Incomplete grade can only be recorded in cases where permission for an extension of time has been granted. If an extension has not been granted, incomplete work shall be recorded as fail.

The practice of reporting temporary minimum grades shall be restricted to cases in which a student has finished all required work but there has not yet been time for the instructor to evaluate it.

Appeals for departure from these procedures involving unfinished required work shall be to the faculty Masters Program Committee.

Scholastic Requirements

If a student has failed two or more courses (regardless of credit weight), he/she will be considered ineligible for the master’s degree based on that record, and will be obliged to withdraw. This applies to students enrolled in all F&ES degree programs including joint degree programs. All students receiving F grades will have their case reviewed by the Masters Program Committee. This Committee will make recommendations to the full faculty on a case-by-case basis.

If a student receives a Fail grade for any semester, a copy of his or her transcript will be sent to the Academic Advisor and to the Masters Program Committee. The student will be consulted about the reasons for substandard performance and counseled regarding corrective action that may improve academic achievement.

A student who has one “Incomplete” course will be in the same category as one with one “Fail” course, except that the faculty may give the student the option either to complete the work or to obtain a degree immediately with the “Incomplete” shown as a “Fail” on the record.

Continuation of studies by a masters student who has failed to qualify for the degree at the end of the approved program of study is subject to the following rules: (a) the masters degree will be awarded only upon completion of satisfactory work done in residence at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies–other evidence of professional competence or graduate course work at other institutions will be considered irrelevant for this award; (b) a student whose course requirements are unfulfilled for any reason may be allowed to complete the work by vote of the faculty. Each case will be considered separately, and voted upon when the student’s master’s degree is first withheld. Students who have failed two or more courses will not be eligible to continue in residence.

Field Trip Policy

School-sponsored field trips shall be regarded in the same way as conventional classes but as ones which are in session, day and night, from beginning to end. It shall be the special duty of faculty members on such trips to encourage the kind of professional attitude and responsible behavior that will bring credit to the School, all participants, supporting entities, and the hosts of the tours.

Leave of Absence Policy

Students are expected to follow a continuous course of study at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. However, a student who wishes or needs to interrupt his or her study temporarily may request a leave of absence. There are three types of leave–personal, medical, and parental–all of which are described below. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:

  1. Any student who is contemplating a leave of absence should see the Assistant Dean: Student Services to discuss the necessary application procedures. All leaves of absence must be approved by the Assistant Dean: Student Services and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Medical leaves also require the written recommendation of a Yale Health physician, as described below.
  2. A student may be granted a leave of absence of one to two years. Any leave approved by the Assistant Dean: Student Services and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will be for a specified period.
  3. A student on leave of absence may complete outstanding work in any course for which he or she has been granted extensions. He or she may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.
  4. A student on leave of absence is not eligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases student loans are not deferred during periods of non-enrollment. International students who apply for a leave of absence should consult with OISS regarding their visa status.
  5. A student on leave of absence is not eligible to use any of University facilities normally available to enrolled students.
  6. A student on leave of absence may continue to be enrolled in Yale Health by purchasing coverage through the Student Affiliate Coverage plan. In order to secure continuous coverage from Yale Health, enrollment in this plan must be requested prior to the beginning of the term in which the student will be on leave or, if the leave commences during the term, within thirty days of the date when the leave is approved. Coverage is not automatic; enrollment forms are available from the Member Services Department of Yale Health, 203.432.0246.
  7. A student on leave of absence must notify the Assistant Dean: Student Services in writing of his or her intention to return at least eight weeks prior to the end of the approved leave. In addition, if the returning student wishes to be considered for financial aid, he or she must submit appropriate financial aid applications to the School’s financial aid office to determine eligibility.
  8. A student on leave who does not return at the end of the approved leave, and does not request and receive an extension from the dean, is automatically dismissed from the School.

Personal Leave of Absence

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is current with his or her degree requirements is eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.

To request a personal leave of absence, the student must apply in writing before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave and the address at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. If the Assistant Dean: Student Services and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs find the student to be eligible, the leave will be approved. In any case, the student will be informed in writing of the action taken. A student who does not apply for a personal leave of absence, or whose application for a personal leave is denied, and who does not register for any term, will be considered to have withdrawn from the School.

Medical Leave of Absence

A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the Assistant Dean: Student Services and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs on the written recommendation of a physician on the staff of University Health Services. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward his or her degree requirements is eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation. The final decisions concerning a request for a medical leave of absence will be communicated in writing by the Assistant Dean: Student Services.

The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies reserves the right to place a student on a medical leave of absence when, on the recommendation of the chief of Student Health or the chief of the Department of Mental Health and Counseling, the dean of the School determines that the student is a danger to self or others because of a serious medical problem.

A student who is placed on medical leave during any term will have his or her tuition adjusted according to the same schedule used for withdrawals (see Tuition Rebate and Refund Policy). Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return from a Yale Health physician.

Leave of Absence for Parental Responsibilities

A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward his or her degree requirements is eligible for parental leave any time after student matriculation.Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with the Assistant Dean: Student Services to discuss leaves and other short-term arrangements. For many students, short- term arrangements rather than a leave of absence are possible. Students living in University housing units are encouraged to review their housing contract and the related policies of the Graduate Housing Office before applying for a parental leave of absence. Students granted a parental leave may continue to reside in University Housing to the end of the academic term for which the leave was first granted, but no longer.

Grades & Transcript Policy

Requests for transcripts must be in writing to the Registrar indicating the correct mailing address. Typically, a week’s notice is required. There will be a charge of $5 per transcript.

24-Hour Processing Charge

An additional $10 per address will be added to the transcript and delivery charges for all requests that require processing in a less than 24-hour period.

Unofficial transcripts also will be issued upon written notice of one week; no payment is required.

Requests for copies of undergraduate or other graduate school transcripts in student files will not be honored unless they will be used within the Yale University community. To obtain copies, a week’s notice is required.

Letters of Recommendation that are used to gain admission to the School may not be used for any other purpose in compliance with the Buckley Amendment.

F&ES Forms

All forms used by the Registrar’s Office — Transcript Request, Change of Advisor, Add/Drop, and Program Review — can be picked up in Kroon Hall, Room 108, or printed from the web at http://environment.yale.edu/current/registrars_office_forms.