M.S.N./D.N.P. Students in Academic Difficulty

In the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) programs, satisfactory academic progress is defined as a grade of Pass or higher in all required courses or a grade of Pass in Pass/Fail courses. Satisfactory completion of all required courses in a given term is a prerequisite for progression in the program of study. Required courses are defined in the program’s plan of study. These program requirements are listed in the YSN Bulletin in the chapters Master’s Program (M.S.N.) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) Programs, and on the YSN website (https://nursing.yale.edu/masters-specialties). There are two possible actions that may be taken when a student is in academic difficulty. They are separate actions as defined in this policy. The first is an academic warning, which may or may not lead to the second, academic probation.

Academic Warning

Written warning of the risk of failure must be provided to the student as soon as course evaluation procedures provide evidence that there is a risk. The purpose of the academic warning is to provide the student notice of the risk of failure. Academic warning applies to students at risk for failure in classroom, clinical, or research activities. It is a faculty responsibility to maintain ongoing documentation of each student’s progress in courses. In academic courses, documentation of a student’s progress may be evident in written work grades, faculty comments on exams/projects, and faculty notes on classroom participation if that is part of the grade. In clinical practica, documentation may be evident in clinical objective checklists, comments on progress evaluations, faculty notes about observed practice, supervisory sessions, or reports of clinical staff working with the student.

The warning should clearly detail deficit areas and, where appropriate, spell out the objectives the student is at risk for not meeting. The written warning should be sent to the student with a copy to the program chair, the specialty director or program director, the academic adviser, and the associate dean of student life. The faculty member who issued the warning may request a meeting with the student. The faculty member and the student, in consultation with the clinical preceptor if applicable, should plan corrective action.

Students who fail a required course may not continue with any academic or clinical course work until notified by the specialty director or program director of the student’s status in the School. The program chair, associate dean of student life, specialty director or program director, course instructor, and the student’s academic adviser will review the student’s case to determine which of the following will occur:

  1. The student may be withdrawn from the School.
  2. The student may be placed on academic leave of absence and allowed to return to retake the failed course.
  3. In rare circumstances, the student may be allowed to continue in the program and retake the failed course at the next available offering.

Academic Probation

If the student is allowed to continue in the program, the student will be placed on academic probation until the student has successfully completed the failed course. For #2 and #3 above, the faculty member, specialty director or program director, and program chair will develop a plan and time frame for retaking the failed course. If applicable, the student may be charged additional tuition for the retake of the course at the per credit hour rate. If the student achieves a grade of Pass or better upon retaking the course, probationary status will be removed, and the student will be permitted to continue in the program. Students will be allowed to retake the failed course only once.

Each course failed is considered one occurrence of academic probation. Throughout their enrollment at YSN, students may be placed on academic probation a maximum of two times before they are withdrawn from the program.

The financial aid officer will be notified by the associate dean of student life only when a probation status is likely to affect the student’s eligibility for aid or registration status.