5.1 Academic Performance Standards and Evaluation

Academic Standing Requirements

To be considered in good academic standing in the Social Welfare MSW Program, graduate students must:

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.

  2. Maintain a passing grade in field placement.

  3. Have no more than two Incomplete [I] grades on their academic record.

  4. Have not received warning letters from the department or been placed on formal probation by the Graduate Dean for academic or clinical deficiencies.

Students must be in good academic standing to advance to the specialized practice curriculum and second-year specialized field practicum. Failure to progress normatively in either the academic or field education components of the MSW program may lead to disciplinary action or a recommendation for probation or dismissal.

Academic Integrity Standards

All Berkeley Social Welfare graduate students are required to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity, and adhere to the campus standards of academic conduct as specified in the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. 

  1. Students are expected to fully participate in the learning process; to carry out, to the best of their ability, their academic responsibilities; and to complete their coursework and field education obligations fully and honestly.

  2. All forms of academic misconduct, including but not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or facilitating academic dishonesty, are grounds for disciplinary action, which may include suspension or dismissal from the program. All faculty dispositions of academic misconduct violations will be reported to the campus Center for Student Conduct for record-keeping purposes, regardless of whether a case is referred to the Center for further action.

  3. Instructors may assign a failing grade for any work produced by cheating, without determining whether the student has a passing knowledge of the relevant factual material. An instructor also has the right to assign a final grade of “F” for the course if a student plagiarized any assignment for a portion of the course, even if the student has successfully and, presumably, honestly passed the remainder of the course.

  4. Any student who knowingly aids in plagiarism or other cheating, e.g., allowing another student to copy a paper or examination question, is as guilty as the cheating student.

Evaluation of Student Performance

Berkeley MSW students are regularly assessed throughout the course of their graduate study on progress toward achieving the social work core competencies established by the faculty for the MSW Program.

Grades for work of Berkeley graduate students are issued and reported in accordance with Berkeley Academic Senate Regulation A201: Grades and the Social Welfare MSW Program policies on Grades and Grading. 

Evaluation of student progress in field education occurs in accordance with the Social Welfare MSW field education program policies on Evaluation of Student Learning and Performance in Field.

If a student’s academic performance is determined to be below standard, the Social Welfare Head Graduate Advisor may 1) send the student a warning letter, with a copy to the Graduate Division, apprising the student of his or her insufficient academic progress; or 2) write to the Graduate Division requesting to place the student on formal probation, with the consequence that the student is ineligible to receive a fellowship or hold an academic appointment.