Student Life

Academic Calendar

Institute Calendar and Term Schedule
Religious Holidays and Observances
Institute Calendar

Institute Calendar and Term Schedule

Cummings Graduate institute operates continuously with terms beginning throughout the year. Spring I, II, and Fall courses are twelve (12) weeks and the Summer term is seven (7) weeks in length. A one (1) week break will be scheduled between each term. All United States federal government holidays will be observed, and classes will not be in session nor will assignments be due on those dates.

Religious Holidays and Observances

Cummings Graduate Institute respects and honors the religion and cultural traditions of our diverse students. Cummings Graduate Institute faculty members will work with students to accommodate reasonable deadline extensions so that students can observe holidays and cultural traditions. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate the need for flexibility with due dates or other deadlines for assignments, tests, etc. due to a religious or cultural observance not already part of a planned holiday break for the program.

Institute Calendar

To view institute calendars, including term start and end dates, for current, future, and prior academic years visit the Academic Calendar Archive.

Academic Services & Resources

Academic Advising
Culminating Project Resources
Reading and Writing Support
Advocacy Resource

Academic Advising

The Cummings Graduate Institute’s Academic Advising program supports students’ academic success and degree completion. Academic Advisors are assigned to students upon admission to Cummings Graduate Institute.

Academic Advisors work with a student collaboratively from admission through graduation, advising each on their academic performance, helping them to navigate institutional structures, and connecting the student with resources to support educational and professional performance and research.

Culminating Project Resources

The purpose of the Culminating Project is to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in healthcare. It is a scholarly response to a healthcare problem of practice. Students may respond to the problem through either traditional research with the option of going through an institutional review board (IRB) or with an entrepreneurial project. For both options, students first define a healthcare problem as the topic of investigation. There must be evidence from a combination of clinical experience and professional literature stating there is a problem. The Culminating Project involves a critical review of the relevant research and theoretical literature related to the problem and possible solutions to the problem.

All students who undertake the research option and are interested in publishing their work must complete the IRB process if their study involves interviewing, surveying, testing, treating, and/or experimentally manipulating human participants or archival data on human subjects. IRB approval must be gained prior to beginning the research.

All students at Cummings Graduate Institute are required to complete the CITI Training for Human Subjects Research to ensure students are aware of and remain in compliance with ethical standards for conducting research. CGI partners with the University of New Mexico’s Office of Institutional Review Board to review human subjects research proposals.

Not all Culminating Projects require IRB approval. The “Common Rule” (45 CFR 46 subpart A) defines a set of research activities that may be exempt from its purview. Exempt research has very little, if any, associated risk. CP Instructors and Committee Chairs work with doctoral students to determine whether a proposed Culminating Project requires IRB approval.

The Cummings Graduate Institute offers the following academic resources to all students to aid in their success and development.

  1. Institutional Review Board (IRB) supported through a partnership with the University of New Mexico. Students are responsible for paying for their new project, continuations, amendments, human subjects research determinations, and Just in Time and 118 Determinations. Invoices are sent from the University of New Mexico to Cummings Graduate Institute upon the IRB’s review of the student’s project. Cummings Graduate Institute will pay the invoice to University of New Mexico. Then Cummings Graduate Institute will invoice the student via Populi. Refunds are not available to any IRB Fee Schedule because the University of New Mexico does not offer a refund to any student/institution, since the invoice is delivered post review. Students will have thirty (30) days to pay the invoice via Populi before being assessed a late fee. If a student fails to pay on time, they will be subject to Cummings Graduate Institute’s Collection Timeline.
    1. UNM IRB Fee Schedule
New Project $1,500
Continuations $500
Amendments $500
Human Subjects Research Determinations $500
Just in Time and 118 Determinations $500
Other Submission
Administrative Reviews No Charge
Reportable Events and Unanticipated Problems No Charge
Protocol Deviations No Charge
Closures No Charge


  1. Consultations with a subject matter expert in research design and data analysis planning will be available to students during the second and third Culminating Project cohorts.
  2. All Advisors and Faculty provide extensive academic support to students on assignments to enhance success in the program.
  3. The Library has a unique set of LibGuides, which are collections of resources specific to student success in the Culminating Project.

Students can access these academic resources through the Culminating Project courses, CORE Library, and through consultation with their Advisor.


Available to students remotely, the Cummings Graduate Institute’s state-of-the-art online library, Cummings Online REsources (CORE) has an extensive, integrated online collection of evidence-based resources.

Accessed via the Cummings Graduate Institute’s website, CORE’s online collection will include tens of thousands full-text journals and online reference works providing students and faculty with access to eJournals and databases seamlessly through online search engines.

CORE is committed to supporting the academic research needs of students, faculty and staff. The CORE Library and its Librarian deliver this support and aim to fulfill the mission of Cummings by helping students and faculty to discover, acquire, adapt, and innovate with information, in addition to teaching information literacy skills that assist students to interpret, use, and share what they learn.

Library services include the following:

  • Research Databases – Access to databases containing thousands of journals, magazines, newspapers, and other information resources in the fields of health, medicine, psychology, and business.
  • Research Assistance – The CORE Librarian is available to help students with research projects and assignments. Students may book an appointment with the CORE Librarian on the library’s website.
  • Library Tutorials – Pre-recorded user guide videos and tutorials are available on the CORE website. The tutorials provide in-depth information about using CORE resources and services. Students are strongly encouraged to view a CORE tutorial prior to beginning coursework.
  • Library Hours – The library’s resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information on the CORE Library and its services, please visit the library’s website:

Reading and Writing Support

CGI students have access to the Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL), which is a free public writing resource offering comprehensive support for college-level writing and reading, including grammar guidance, through the use of rich, multimedia technology.  These resources are freely available via a Creative Commons Attribution-4.0 International License and cover a variety of topics appropriate for students entering an academic environment, such as an APA refresher, information about the research process, how to avoid plagiarism, and writing in the health sciences discipline.  Resources may be used in courses at CGI, and students can also visit the Excelsior Owl directly at

Advocacy Resource

The Student Advocacy and Assistance service at Cummings Graduate Institute guides students in resolving educational, personal, and other academic impediments toward successful completion of their academic goals. The purpose of this service is to empower students to overcome obstacles to their growth both inside and outside the classroom by providing students with resources to make informed decisions and take a proactive role in the resolution process so that they may maintain progress toward earning a degree.

Student Advocacy and Assistance strives to make appropriate referrals and contacts to help address students’ personal concerns and negotiate through the various administrative options available to them as a student of CGI. Student Advocacy and Assistance can help students define the problem and find the best resources to address their concerns during difficult times.  Some of the possible means for resolving educational barriers and difficulties include:

  • Absence Letters
  • Course Incomplete
  • Course Withdrawal
  • Compassionate Withdrawal
  • Medical Withdrawal

The Student Advocacy and Assistance is managed by a licensed counseling professional who also serves as a student advisor. Currently, the service is under the scope of the DBH program’s Assistant Director, who is trained to protect student confidentiality and to provide appropriate referrals in alignment with the goals of this student service. In the event that a student discloses intent to harm self or others, the Assistant Director adheres to a mandatory reporting policy, which entails contacting mobile crisis team(s) local to the student for assistance.


Academic Performance Grades
Graduate Level Course Grade Requirement
Grade Reporting
Appealing a Final Grade
Administrative Course Codes

Academic Performance Grades

Grades are based on the faculty member’s academic judgment that the student has demonstrated a specified level of performance based on objective and subjective evaluations such as papers, presentations, assignments, examinations, projects, and discussions. Students are graded according to their individual performance in the course and not on a curve. Students are not compared with each other to determine a grade or performance ranking. Criteria for awarding grades for achievement may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Preparation of assignments, including accuracy, clarity and promptness;
  • Contribution to faculty member-student discussions;
  • Demonstrated understanding of concepts on exams, papers, assignments, etc.;
  • Application of skills and principles to new and real-life situations;
  • Organization, presentation and professionalism of written and oral reports; and
  • Originality and reasoning ability demonstrated in working through assignments.

Grade points are assigned to each of the following grades as indicated and used to calculate a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for each student:

Grading Scale

Exceeds Expectations


Above Average


Satisfies Minimum Requirements


Does Not Meet Requirements

A+ 97-100 4.0 B+ 87-89 3.0 C+ 77-79 2.0 D+ 67-69 1.0
A 93-96 4.0 B 83-86 3.0 C 73-76 2.0 D 63-66 1.0
A- 90-92 4.0 B- 80-82 3.0 C- 70-72 2.0 D- 60-62 1.0
F < 59 0.0
  • P (Passing) denotes satisfactory progress (80% (B average) or higher) in the Foundations (DBH 1000) or Culminating Project (DBH 9100-A, 9100-B, 9100-C). The “P” grade does not contribute to the calculation of Cumulative Grade Point Average.
  • F (Failing) denotes unsatisfactory progress in a Foundations (DBH 1000) or Culminating Project (DBH 9100-A, 9100-B, 9100-C). The “F” grade does not contribute to the calculation of the Cumulative Grade Point Average. Students earning a grade of “F” are required to repeat the course.

Graduate Level Course Grade Requirement

Cummings Graduate Institute considers a grade of “C-” to be the minimum passing grade for doctoral courses in the DBH program with the exception of DBH 1000 and DBH 9901. Students earning a grade below the minimum must retake the course. When retaking the course, the higher of the two grades is recorded on the transcript. The student must pay tuition to retake the class the second time. If the student receives a second “D” or “F” grade in the retake course, they will be dismissed from the institution. Any student who earns a second F for a Culminating Project course will be dismissed from the program. Students are required to have a minimum of a 3.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average and a passing grade in all courses to graduate.

Grade Reporting

Grades for all assignments in all courses in the Doctor of Behavioral Health degree program are based on the Grading Scale above. Rubrics are used for most assignments to help students understand how their assignments will be graded before they submit the assignment in an effort to help the student meet expectations and be successful. Instructors are expected to post grades for assignments within seven (7) days of the due date. Students are expected to stay informed of their course grades by checking the online gradebook frequently, and communicating directly with the instructor with any questions about assignment grades. Once the semester closes, students can expect to see their finalized grade in their student account after ten (10) calendar days.

Appealing a Final Grade

A student may appeal a final course grade. The appeal must be made in writing to the faculty member for the course. Grade appeals must be submitted no more than ten (10) business days after grades are posted. All grade appeals are reviewed by the Director. The appeal decision made under the authority of the Director is final; however, students have the right to file a grievance, using the Grievance Procedure.


Responsibility Action
  • Students must submit a grade appeal in writing to the faculty member who issued the grade via institutional email no later than ten (10) business days after final grades are posted.
  • The grade appeal must include why the student feels the grade is incorrect, what grade the student feels was earned, and any supporting documentation to constitute grade change.
  • Students must copy the Director on the appeal email to the faculty member.
Faculty Member
  • On receipt of notification, review the appeal and provide written comments via email to the student within five (5) business days.
  • Faculty members must also copy the Director on the appeal email response to the student.
  • If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the faculty grade appeal, the student must submit a grade appeal, provide corresponding faculty appeal input and any additional information within five (5) business days to the Director.
  • The Director will respond to the appeal decision within five (5) business days. The Director’s decision is final, and the Registrar and Faculty Advisor will be copied on the decision email to the student and Faculty Member.

If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of a grade appeal, the student has the right to file a grievance using the Grievance Procedure.

Administrative Course Codes

Code Explanation
AUD (Audit) This course code is assigned when a student enrolls into a course as an Auditor status. The student participates in the course, including the coursework and assignments, but does not receive an academic performance grade. Standard tuitions and fees apply. “AUD” grades do not apply towards GPA.
I (Incomplete) In the event that an unforeseen circumstance threatens a student’s ability to complete a course by the course end date, a student may request a grade of an incomplete (I).


For all courses, with the exception of Culminating Project (A, B, C), students may be eligible for an incomplete grade if the following apply.

  • 75% of the assignments have been successfully completed
  • The student is earning a passing grade of 80% (B) or higher in the course, in accordance with Cummings Graduate Institute Grading Policies.

For the Culminating Project (A, B, C) course, students may be eligible for an incomplete grade if the following apply.

The student is enrolled in a Culminating Project course and the Incomplete Request Form has been submitted to the Registrar prior to the last day of the course.

  • Students are required to adhere to institutional policies during the Incomplete Grade Request extension period. These include but are not limited to the following:
  • Students are expected to continue posting attendance throughout the Incomplete Grade Request extension period.
  • Students may not be on a Leave of Absence (LOA) during the Incomplete Grade Request extension period.
  • Students must resolve the incomplete grade before enrolling in additional coursework in the program, with the exception of Culminating Project (A, B, C) courses where a student has been assessed a continuation fee.
  • Students must complete the coursework for the Incomplete Grade Request on or before the deadline determined by the course faculty. Incomplete grade deadline(s) may not extend longer than six (6) weeks without prior Director approval.
  • If resolution of the incomplete grade in a Culminating Project (A, B, C) course extends longer than 7 weeks post the last day of the course, the student is assessed a continuation fee.
  • Students who fail to successfully complete all assignments within the Incomplete Grade Request deadline will receive a failing grade and will have to retake the course.
W (Withdrawal) The student has canceled enrollment in the course after the first week of instruction and before the end of the course. A withdrawal may only be granted if the student has a passing status in the course or the Director has given approval. A student may not withdraw from a course after the faculty member has submitted a final grade or after the course end date. Students must send requests to withdraw from a course to their Advisor. See Cancellation and Refund Policy for tuition refunds. Course withdrawals may negatively impact Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP); see SAP Policy for details.
WL (Withdrawal due to Leave of Absence) “WL” indicates that a student has taken a Leave of Absence (LOA) or Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) before the course end date. Students returning from an approved leave of absence may re-register for the course(s) from which they withdrew without paying course tuition again. “WL” grades do not apply towards GPA.
XE (Failure due to Academic Dishonesty) “XE” denotes failure due to academic dishonesty. The XE grade will be recorded on the student’s official and unofficial transcript with the notation “failure due to academic dishonesty.” The XE grade shall be treated in the same way as an “F” for the purposes of grade point average and determination of academic standing. The XE grade will remain on the transcript permanently if it was awarded for an act of academic dishonesty involving significant premeditation. If an XE grade is conferred, and another violation of academic integrity occurs in a subsequent course, the student will be dismissed from the Cummings Graduate Institute for Academic Dishonesty.


Many students enrolled in our courses are required to take one or more online tests with remote proctoring, where students’ picture IDs are checked. Individual faculty members may decide whether to require proctored examinations for students.

CGI uses a secure, online proctoring service called RP Now, provided by Software Secure, for proctored exam management. Remotely proctored exams are seamlessly integrated into the learning management system.

Students participate in a recorded interview prior to taking the test, where they must present a photo ID that is captured via webcam in the RP Now application. Student exam records are then reviewed by two RP Now certified proctors to authenticate the student ID.

Student Forms

Student forms are available on a self-serve basis, here.

To access a form once on the Student Forms page, click on the form name, complete the fields as instructed, and select the finish button to submit your form for processing.

If in need of a form not available on the Student Forms page or you experience difficulty accessing or submitting a form, please contact for assistance.

Expectations of Students

Cummings Graduate Institute expects students to pursue the Mission, Vision, and Values of the Institute in their work with colleagues, faculty, and staff, as well as in their work in their local communities. As a Doctor of Behavioral Health candidate and graduate, you will represent an innovative profession with both great power and great responsibility for improving healthcare for the greater good. As such, we expect students to live true to professional codes of ethics for behavioral health providers as well as for healthcare quality professionals.

Behavior deemed to be in violation of the CGI Mission, Vision, and Values, or in violation of professional codes of conduct will be subject to review by the Student Disciplinary Committee.

Students are required to maintain communication with all Administrative and/or Faculty members at Cummings Graduate Institute. They are expected to enter into their online classrooms and actively participate as members of the course. They are expected to return all communication for Administrative and/or Faculty members within seventy-two (72) hours of initial contact. Students are required to use their Cummings Graduate Institute email for all program communication.

New Student Orientation

A New Student Orientation (NSO) is offered through a self-paced online learning course to all newly admitted degree seeking and non-degree seeking students. The orientation course covers a broad range of topics and information necessary to navigate and succeed as a student in Cummings Graduate Institute. Students are expected to complete the course by the deadline six weeks prior to the start of the term. Students have continued access to the orientation course and course materials throughout all enrolled terms. If a student fails to complete NSO on or by the deadline, they will be deferred to the next enrollment term. Please see the Deferral of Enrollment section of the catalog.

Registrar’s Office

The Office of the Registrar manages student academic records and course enrollments on behalf of the Cummings Graduate Institute.

The Registrar’s Office can help students to do the following

  • Order and view transcripts
  • Run a degree audit (degree completion worksheet report)
  • Apply for graduation
  • Apply for readmission to the Institute
  • And more!

The Registrar’s Office provides a wide range of services for academic departments and faculty as well.
The Registrar’s Office can be contacted at: or call 480-285-1761.

Office of Finance

The Office of Finance manages student financial account records, billing, payments, and refunds.
The Office of Finance can help students with the following tasks:

  • Pay tuition
  • Set up a payment plan
  • Process scholarships and private loans
  • Process third-party questions and payments
  • Access tuition payment records
  • Process refunds

The Office of Finance provides a wide range of services for academic departments and faculty as well.
The Office of Finance can be contacted at: or call 480-285-1761.

Disability Resources

The Cummings Graduate Institute is dedicated to serving students with disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations for everyone to be successful in furthering their education at our institution. Students with disabilities are encouraged to disclose and submit a special needs request for disability to the Director at minimum of two (2) weeks before the start date of classes or immediately after diagnosis.

The Director will review all requests for accommodations and may require documentation of disability to determine whether the disability identified falls under the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Director will then make reasonable accommodations that can be made without fundamentally altering the essential nature of the DBH academic program requirements and if the student can be successful in our program. The Director will notify the student in writing of the accommodation request status including approved accommodations for educational purposes. Appropriate faculty and select Institute staff members with an educational need to know will also be informed of any approved accommodations.

A student may choose to attempt a class without accommodations and to self-identify later in the process. However, if the student opts for this approach, any grades that have been earned without the use of accommodations remain as published.

Disability records are kept confidential and separate from academic records.

In addition, registration with Disability Services may take place at any point during the term. Once the student has provided the appropriate documentation, the accommodations can be instituted.

The Cummings Graduate Institute does not discriminate based on disability. We are committed to compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and all other applicable laws prohibiting disability discrimination.

Complaints & Grievances

Click here to view complaints and grievance policies, procedures, and forms.

Alumni Relations

The Cummings Graduate Institute invites all graduates to become a member of its Social Media alumni groups. These groups allow networking amongst alumni.

A weekly email including exciting updates, alumni accomplishments, career workshops, upcoming conferences to attend with opportunities to present or poster, and announcements is distributed to all alumni. All alumni are invited to send updates related to their careers to be included in the monthly Biodyne Mindset newsletter. Alumni are granted admission at no cost to all CGI conferences, professional development webinars and events, and are given Alumni Access to the CORE library.

Career Services

Cummings Graduate Institute is pleased to offer career guidance and resources to all Doctor of Behavioral Health students. Whether you aim to move into a new role, advance into a promotion, or shift careers or employers, we are here to help our students prepare and leap confidently into the next level of your career. Visit the Career Services page for

Visit the Career Services page.

Professional Development and Networking

The Cummings Graduate Institute is committed to providing opportunities for networking and collaboration, real-world learning opportunities, national and global field experiences, so that students can learn from experts in the field of integrated care, no matter where they are located. A weekly email compiled and sent from DBH program administration that alerts students and faculty members to upcoming conferences, webinars, events from partner organizations, and national/international conferences, as well as grant opportunities in integrated care. DBH program administrators and faculty members identify and host webinars that can be offered by CGI’s subject matter experts at no cost to enrolled students, alumni, and faculty members.

For additional resources on networking, visit the Career Services page.

Chat with Current Students



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At the age of 53, and after working 25 years in the field of social work returning to school was not on my bucket list, but after learning about the Cummings Graduate Institute’s online program, my hope of achieving my lifetime a doctorate degree was possible. CGI online Doctor of Behavioral Health program is innovative and relevant. It's the perfect fit for the busy professional, parent or person looking to return to school or career advancement without the fuss of unnecessary coursework. CGI understands and recognizes that there are capable professionals and that most professionals are looking to gain a competitive edge or simply looking to satisfy a personal goal.

Steven Byrd DBH, Alumni March 4, 2017