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UTB General Information

UTB Policies

The University of Texas at Brownsville MSN Student Guide contains summary information.  It is not a compilation of the official rules, regulations, or policies of the University of Texas System or The University of Texas at Brownsville.  All official rules, regulations, and policies are published in the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, The University of Texas at Brownsville Handbook of Operating Procedures, The University of Texas at Brownsville Catalog, and The University of Texas at Brownsville Student Guide.

Although the MSN Student Guide was compiled on the basis of the most current information available, the College of Nursing reserves the right to change any information in keeping with the policies and/or rules of the Department, The University, The University of Texas System, and The Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners.  You are advised to obtain current copies of the UTB Graduate Catalog, UTB Student Guide, and Texas Statutes Regulating the Practice of Professional Nursing.

UTB General Student Policies can be found under separate cover in the UTB Graduate St​udent Catalog and in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Statement of Equal Opportunity

To the extent provided by applicable law, no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity sponsored or conducted by The University of Texas System or any of its component institutions on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.

UTB Mission

The mission of The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) Partnership is to provide accessible, affordable, postsecondary education of high quality, to conduct research which expands knowledge and to present programs of continuing education, public service, and cultural value to meet the needs of the community.  The partnership combines the strengths of the community college and those of an upper-level university by increasing student access and eliminating interinstitutional barriers while fulfilling the distinctive responsibilities of each type of institution.

The University of Texas at Brownsville Partnership offers Certificate, Associate, Baccalaureate, and Master's degrees in liberal arts and sciences, and in professional programs designed to meet student demand and regional needs.  UTB also supports the delivery of doctoral programs through cooperative agreements with doctoral degree-granting institutions.

UTB places excellence in learning and teaching at the core of its commitments.  It seeks to help students at all levels develop the skills of critical thinking, quantitative analysis, and effective communications which will sustain lifelong learning.  It seeks to be a community university which respects the dignity of each learner and addresses the needs of the entire community.

UTB advances economic and social development, enhances the quality of life, fosters respect for the environment, provides for personal enrichment, and expands knowledge through programs of research, service, continuing education and training.  It convened the cultures of its community, fosters an appreciation of the unique heritage of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and encourages the development and appreciation of bilingual abilities in its students.  It provides academic leadership to the intellectual, cultural, social and economic life of the bi-national urban region it serves.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Information regarding Financial ​Aid can be found online.  The MSN program Secretary has information regarding scholarships and grants.

Student with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may request assistance through Disability Services, component of the Counseling Center.

Some of the services available include notetaking, taped textbooks, registration assistance, diagnostic testing, special test conditions and sign language interpreting.  An Adaptive Technology and Testing Service is available for student use.  All services are elective and must be requested by the students.

To request services, students must register with the Counselor/Coordinator of Disabilitity Services.  It is advisable to make this contact well before or immediately after the semester begins.  Proof of disability is required.  (Individual documentation requirements vary depending on the disability.)  Students bear the responsibility of making their abilities and limitations known to the Coordinator.  Together, the student and the Coordinator will decide on the appropriate accommodations and decide on a course of action for informing instructors, if necessary.  Students must request services each semester, as needed.

Students who need help with registration or with adds/drops should contact the Coordinator for assistance.  Permits for parking in spaces designated for the handicapped may be obtained at the Campus Police Department.  Proof of disability is required.

TDD users who wish to contact the University by phone may call Relay Texas at 1-800-735-2989.  Relay Texas provides interpreting services between people who can hear and those who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and speech disabled.  For information, contact Disability Services.

Standards of Conduct

See the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System under Rule: 50101 concerning disciplinary action against any student who engages in conduct that is prohibited involving the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs and alcohol.

Scholastic Dishonesty

See the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System under Rule: 50101 concerning disciplinary action against any student who commits an act of scholastic dishonesty that includes but is not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, or collusion etc.

Infractions of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA- 2007)

See the NPA guidelines Chapter 301 (Nurses) Sections 301.402 - .410 requiring the reporting of those Health Professionals that are impaired or suspected of being impaired by chemical dependency or mental illness.  These guidelines involve fellow health professionals as well as institutions involved in providing medical training.  It also provides instructions about the peer assistance program.

Free information on drug and alcohol abuse is available at the Student Health Services.  Personal counseling related to alcohol and drug abuse may be obtained from the Counseling Department by appointment.

Grading Scale

The MSN program's scale is:

   Alphanumeric Grading System

+/-Letter Grade Grade Points 100-Point Scale Guide (Not Prescriptive)
A+ 4 Grade Points (98-100)
A 4 Grade Points (93-97.9)
A- 3.67 Grade Points (90-92.9)
B+ 3.33 Grade Points (87-89.9)
B 3 Grade Points (83-86.9)
B-  2.67 Grade Points (80-82.9)
C+ 2.33 Grade Points (77-79.9)  
C 2 Grade Points (70-76.9)
D 1 Grade Point (60-69.9)
F 0 Grade points (Below 60)



Academic Progression and Retention

  • Successful completion of nursing courses in appropriate sequence
  • Maintain a minimum grade of "B" in all courses
  • Satisfactorily complete all class and clinical objectives
  • Maintain professional liability insurance ($1 million and $3 million aggregate).  Fee is included in your statement of charges each fall.
  • Provide proof of current Texas registered nurse license.  Students will not be permitted to continue in clinical courses if a license to practice registered nursing has expired or been suspended, cancelled or revoked.

Faculty believe every effort should be made to retain those students who desire to complete the designated course of study within the established guidelines.  Retention of students is carried out on an individual basis.

A student who does not meet the stated academic standards or chooses to drop out of the program may be readmitted to the program provided they left in good standing.  The MSN Admission Committee must recommend to the Program Director that the student be readmitted. Nursing courses are offered only once per academic year; therefore, a student must re-enter the program at the point from which he/she left since courses are sequential and build on one another.  A student who leaves the program must re-enter within three years following the last semester completed.  A student waiting beyond the three year period may not receive credit for nursing courses completed during the prior period of program enrollment.

The MSN Degree Program faculty are committed to providing an environment in which each student accepted into the program will be given the opportunity to succeed.  Faculty are acutely aware of the work schedule of the practicing professional nurse and personal issues that may develop during the semester.  Therefore, each student and their circumstances are addressed on an individual basis.  The faculty may choose to bring the issue to the MSN Faculty Committee or discuss and decide upon a solution with the student.  The director and the faculty are available to discuss concerns with students and provide direction and support in choosing solutions.

Faculty Advising and Tutoring

Faculty are available by email for advising and tutoring purposes.  Each student will be assigned an adviser early in the program and given information regarding how to reach the faculty member.  Faculty are available to work with students regarding their plan of study, current program progress, and other matters of importance to their successful completion of the MSN Program.  Faculty are available to provide assistance in the area of tutoring in the courses that they teach.  In addition, faculty are available to guide students to the appropriate online resources in other departments that will enhance their academic experience and lead to succcessful completion of the MSN Program.

Grade Appeal

Students are encouraged to discuss grade related issues with their faculty.  Further grade appeal procedures are discussed in the Graduate Student Catalog.

Grade of Incomplete

A grade of incomplete is not automatic.   The student must petition the faculty for the course to determine if an incomplete will be granted.  In most cases the student must complete the course and clear the incomplete by the end of the following semester.   The University policies regarding grades can be found in the Graduate Student Cat​alog.

Withdrawing from a Course

Students are responsible for notifying the faculty and department of the intent to withdraw from a course.  Students should make carefull note of the deadlines within a given semester to withdraw from a course.   In depth discussion of course withdrawal policies can be found in the Graduate Student Catalog.  With the SAP program, withdrawing from a course is a serious decision.


The Master of Science in Nursing Program adheres to the University of Texas at Brownsville policy related to "Attendance and Absences."  Students are expected to be diligent in their studies and regular in class attendance.  Students are responsible for all work and assignments.  The number of absences permitted in any one course varies with instructor and course.  Attendance requirements are printed in the course syllabus and announced by the instructor at the initial class meeting.  On recommendation of the instructor concerned and with the approval of the Dean, students may at any time be dropped from classes for failure to meet attendance requirements or other good cause.  This may result in a "W" or a "WF" on the student's permanent record.

See the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) under Students 6.2.4 "Student Absences on Religious Holy Days" for guidelines and procedures.

Graduation Information

The MSN student must:

  • Have achieved a minimum grade of "B" in each required course
  • Have satisfactorily completed all required courses of the MSN program
  • Have a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale
  • Have a degree plan approved by the Program Director
  • Have filed an acceptable application for degree with the UTB Registrar's Office on or before the date specified in the UTB calendar
  • Have met all of the UTB general requirements for a Master's degree

Degrees are not awarded automatically upon completion of scholastic requirements.  To be considered as a candidate for a degree, a student must submit an application for a degree to the Enrollment Office.  Check the class schedule for deadline dates for submitting applications.

Health Records/Immunizations

The following immunizations are required for all students who are enrolled in health-related courses which will involve direct patient contact in medical or dental care facilities or who come in contact with human biological fluids or tissue.  Students for whom these immunizations are not required by the institution are strongly urged to obtain these immunizations for their own protection.

  • Measles: proof of two doses of measles vaccine administered on or after the first birthday and at least 30 days apart or proof of immunity;
  • Mumps: proof of one dose of mumps vaccine administered on or after the first birthday or proof of immunity;
  • Rubella: proof of one dose administered on or after the first birthday or proof of immunity;
  • Tetanus/diphtheria: proof of one "booster" dose of tetanus/diphtheria (withn 10 years);
  • Hepatitus B virus (HBV): proof of serologic immunity to HBV or certification of immunization with a complete series of Hepatitus B vaccine.  Student will be required to present a letter or other suitable written certification.
  • Varicella vaccine, 2 doses, or proof of immunity

Students enrolled at UT System institutions will assume the full cost of the immunizations.  Individual schools may require other immunizations.  Proof that they have taken a polio vaccine is required for students in the Emergency Medical Technology, Radiologic Technology, and Medical Laboratory Technology programs.

Inquiries concerning supplemental immunizations requirements should be directed to Student Health Services.  Certain exemptions are allowed from the immunization requirements; students should contact the Office of Student Health Services for information.

Change of Student Name, Address, Phone Number, or Email Address

All enrolled students are responsible for informing the MSN Program Secretary of their current address, phone number, and email address.

Grievance Procedure/Due Process

See the Graduate Studen​t Catalog for the Grievance Procedure.

Student Participation in Faculty Committee

The MSN Faculty meet on a regular basis.  All students are welcome to attend.  Interested students should contact the program secretary for the date, time and location of the next scheduled meeting.

Student Evaluation of Instruction

The University of Texas at Brownsville has a policy entitled "Student Evaluation of Instruction." 

American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines

The APA Manual will be used in all courses throughout the curriculum.  

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