Berkeley MBA for Executives

Academic Policies

Academic Dishonesty

This policy for handling incidents of academic dishonesty applies to all programs at Berkeley Haas.

There is a perception that more and more cases of academic dishonesty are going unreported to the campus Center of Student Conduct and Community Standards (CSCCS) - either because the instructor does not want to invest the time required to conform to campus policy or because the instructor believes that a significant investment of time might result in sanction that is insufficient. To begin to reverse this trend, the Office of the Dean wants to create a culture where all faculty and students know that the faculty expects any instance of academic dishonesty to be reported, and that certain types of academic dishonesty will result in sanctions more severe than in the past.

To this end, the Haas School's ladder faculty members are resolved that:

1. To ensure that Campus has a formal record, a faculty member will report any incident of academic dishonesty to the appropriate degree program office.

2. In resolving the incident, the degree program office will take the lead in dealing with both the student(s) and the campus Center of Student Conduct and Community Standards (CSCCS), involving the faculty member only when necessary.

3. In cases of blatant academic dishonesty (as defined below), the presumption will be that the faculty member will assign to the student a final course grade of "F" and recommend to the Center of Student Conduct and Community Standards (CSCCS) a one-semester suspension. Blatant academic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to)

  • Arranging for another student to take an exam, or taking another student's exam,
  • Plagiarism consisting of inclusion without proper citation of more than 50 words composed by someone else,
  • Submitting an exam answer that is virtually verbatim to that of another student, or willfully allowing other students to copy one's own exam answers,
  • Communicating with another student or using a resource (e.g., the internet) during the taking of an in-class or take-home exam, where the instructor has explicitly stated in writing that such communication or resource usage is impermissible.

Based on the specific circumstances of any particular incident, the faculty member retains the right to assign a final grade higher than an "F" and/or recommend to the Center of Student Conduct and Community Standards (CSCCS) a sanction that is less or more severe than one-semester suspension. In any case, the campus Center of Student Conduct and Community Standards (CSCCS) retains final authority to determine a student's actual academic sanction(s), as per campus policy.

4. At the beginning of each academic year, the Senior Assistant Dean for Instruction (ADI) will send an email to all students that stresses the importance of academic integrity, provides a link to a website with clear definition and examples of plagiarism, and emphasizes the Haas School's policy regarding academic dishonesty.

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Grading Policy

The faculty at the Haas School of Business developed a grading policy for all degree programs. The policy has three goals:

  • To ensure that grading is fair and consistent across courses;
  • To encourage students to take their coursework seriously; and
  • To hold faculty accountable to the rigorous standards of the Haas School of Business.

All instructors are required to follow this grading policy.

  • Effective Fall 2012, the maximum mean GPA for core courses is 3.45.  The grade distribution is flexible as long as the mean does not exceed this cap.
  • For electives with enrollments of 18 or more students: the maximum mean GPA is 3.5. The grade distribution is flexible as long as the mean does not exceed this cap.
  • Deviations for classes with fewer than 18 students must be approved in advance by the Dean's Office. In the event of such an approved deviation from the policy, the mean GPA of any course should not exceed 3.65.

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Grade Grievance Procedure

This grade grievance procedure applies to all programs at Berkeley Haas.

Students must first attempt to settle a grade dispute informally through discussions with the instructor. Students may include the executive director of their degree program, the campus student Ombudsperson, or another mutually accepted third party who can attempt to mediate the dispute informally. If the informal resolution requires a grade change, the Haas School's Senior Assistant Dean for Instruction will refer the case expeditiously to the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI), a standing committee of the Berkeley Academic Senate. After reviewing the case, COCI may instruct the campus Office of the Registrar to make the required change in the student's record.

If you are unable to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution with the instructor informally, you may pursue a formal grievance process. This process is initiated when the student presents his/her case in writing to the Haas School’s grievance committee chair, who is the Haas School’s Senior Assistant Dean for Instruction. An ad hoc grievance committee composed of faculty members and students will be convened to review the case.

If the student or the instructor wishes to appeal the conclusions of the ad hoc committee, the case can be sent for review to the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI). Only COCI has the final authority to uphold or overturn the grade.

Both the Haas School and COCI consider grades to be a matter of academic judgment and subject to grievance only on the basis of the following grounds:

  • Application of non-academic criteria, such as: considerations of race, politics, religion, sex, or other criteria not directly reflective of performance related to course requirements;
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Improper academic procedures that unfairly affect a student's grade. COCI interprets the meaning of “improper” academic procedures to be those which are not consistent with “proper” academic procedures. “Proper” academic procedures for evaluation require that the grading is based solely on the instructor’s evaluation of how well a student’s performance (project, paper, exam question, or student participation) addresses a specific requirement as outlined in the syllabus. This evaluation can involve elements of recall of factual information, integration of material and concepts covered (in class, readings, or assignments), and application of material and concepts to new situations. As long as the evaluation is based on the relevance of the answer (project, paper, exam question, or student participation) to the question asked (assignment given), there is no basis for considering any such evaluations improper. Inherent in this interpretation is that equivalent answers or work get equivalent grades.

Time Limit - You must initiate the formal grievance process within one calendar year of the last day of the semester in which the course in question was taken.

A Formal Grade Grievance Checklist is located here and should be used to help guide you through the process.

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Graduation requirements

The Berkeley MBA for Executives Program awards a Masters of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley after the successful completion of 41 approved units (with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0) in residence at Berkeley Haas.

Should a student's GPA fall below 3.0, they are placed on academic probation and must meet with the Program Office to explain their plan to raise their GPA. The Program Office may then advocate to the Graduate Division department that the student be permitted to remain in the program.

It is the responsibility of each degree candidate in the program to know and fulfill all degree requirements and adhere to all regulations. In addition to these specific regulations, students are also governed by the general regulations that apply to all University of California students.

If a student fails to meet the academic requirements of the School and is dismissed for academic reasons, the student will be dismissed from the Program overall. Students should consult the Program Office well in advance of graduation to review their records and monitor completion of degree requirements.

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