Academic Resources & Policies

PEMM students can find helpful resources, information on policies and links to related departments on this page.

Grading Standards

The PEMM Program Guidelines state the following standards of performance are those expected to be achieved by every student while fulfilling the course requirements for the degree of Ph.D. Failure to meet these standards may result in separation from the program. Review of the academic performance of all students will reside with the Graduate Committee who will be advised by the appropriate theme-specific GEC.

  1. Graduate students shall be graded according to the scale; High Pass (HP), Pass (P), Low Pass(LP), No Credit (NC). An “incomplete” grade may be filed under special circumstances, but the requirement must be fulfilled and a final grade filed within one year.
  2. A minimum grade of "Pass" is expected in all courses. The Graduate Committee will review the record of any student who receives a Low Pass (LP) or "no credit." A minimum requirement for graduating will be an average grade of Pass in the four thematic courses.
  3. A review of performance by the Graduate Committee will result in a recommendation that: (a) no action is necessary, (b) the receipt of a "Low Pass" or "No Credit" grade constitutes a deficiency which must be removed either by repetition of the course, special examination or other arrangement, (c) the student discontinues the pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in the Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine.
  4. The Committee will use the following guidelines for arriving at a recommendation (the term “course” includes grades obtained in the qualifying exam): (a) If a student receives a grade of "Low Pass" in a course, the Committee may recommend options 3(a), (b) or (c), (b) If a student receives a grade of "No Credit" in any course, or "Low Pass" in any two courses, options 3(b) or (c) must be followed, (c) If a student receives a grade of "No Credit" in any two courses the Committee must recommend option 3(c), (d) If a student receives more than two deficient grades (either LP or NC) the Committee must recommend option 3 (c), (e) If a student fails to sufficiently improve his/her performance (as judged by the Committee) within one academic year after a performance review recommendation, the Committee must recommend option 3(c).

Vacation & Leave Policy

The normal appointment to a position in the Graduate Program is full-time with no more than 20 days of annual vacation. This time allowance includes the official holidays granted to Dartmouth College employees. Arrangements for leave must be made in consultation with the student's faculty advisor and should not compromise fulfillment of any obligations regarding coursework or research activities required of the student. It is usually inappropriate to take vacation during the first year in the program because of the need for timely completion of research rotations and selection of a thesis advisor by May 1. As stipend support after year 1 becomes the responsibility of the advisor, a vacation that results in delay in starting in a thesis laboratory beyond June 1 may result in a gap in stipend support.

In some instances it is appropriate for a student to spend time away from Dartmouth in other laboratories, and such experiences should be planned in consultation with the student's advisor. Time spent in such activities does not count as vacation.

Under the child accommodation policy, a full-time stipend-supported graduate student is eligible for up to twelve weeks of paid accommodation from his or her graduate program.

Student Greviance Procedures

The committee-based process for guiding the graduate program, while primarily designed to ensure effective mentoring, is also intended to guard against biased treatment of any individual. Although rare, allegations can occur of professional misconduct (e.g. cheating, plagiarism, data alteration, conflict over data ownership or access, etc.), personal misconduct (e.g., sexual impropriety, harassment, etc.) or simply distraught people caught in a stressful mentoring relationship that appears to require an unbiased third party for resolution. The latter situation can arise when there is a misconception from either faculty or student about expectations for what constitutes satisfactory progress.

The guidelines for the graduate program have been developed to ensure adequate communication between students and Program faculty. On joining PEMM, all graduate students will meet with the Director and members of the Graduate Committee who will oversee their progress during the first year. Upon selection of a research theme, a student will be overseen by a Graduate Education Committee. Once a research advisor has been identified, the Thesis Advisory Committee will be established, and this committee is mandated to meet with the student at least annually. These guidelines will avoid the situation whereby student progress is being monitored by a single individual without input from other faculty who can provide a broader assessment of progress. This level of oversight protects everyone by helping to ensure a fair, transparent and justifiable process.

We have also established a grievance process to ensure that student grievances will be investigated fully and fairly, treated confidentially and decisions rendered in a timely manner. In general, these issues are best moderated internally. With an effective oversight/grievance committee structure, few grievances or disputes will reach the stage where they require formal resolution. However, when program and informal resolution is not feasible or successful, the graduate office is the next place to turn. When grievances can not be resolved by speaking directly to the person who bears responsibility for the complaint or who is the alleged cause of the complaint, then the student should discuss the issue with the next closest individual with whom they feel comfortable in addressing their concern.

  1. Speak to the graduate advisor
  2. Speak to other members of the Thesis Advisory Committee, or to the appropriate Graduate Education Committee or the PEMM Graduate Committee.
  3. Speak to the Director of the theme, the Department Chair, and/or the Director of PEMM.
  4. If a satisfactory resolution can not be reachedwithin the Program, the aggrieved student may request a meeting with the Dean of Graduate Studies to discuss the issue.
  5. If the Dean, working together with the aggrieved student and appropriate faculty member(s), or representatives of the graduate program is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution, the student can request in writing a formal hearing and ruling by the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Committee on Student Grievances. Formal hearings are conducted as described in the Graduate Handbook (see sections titled “Committee on Student Grievances” and “Formal Hearing” under Academic and Conduct Regulations).

Please note that allegations of scientific misconduct, violations of the academic honor principle, and certain issues of professional and personal conduct (sexual harassment, discrimination, and others described in the graduate handbook under code of conduct – non-academic regulations) must be reported to and handled by the Graduate Office.