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Professor withholding course grade until submission of conference paper

Course Queries Syllabus Queries

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( 5 months ago )

I have recently been told by the professor of a particular course of mine, that our final grades will be withheld (given as an "Incomplete" which is later replaced by the final grade) until we individually submit our semester papers in the course to a conference.

This has a few issues to go with it:

  • I defended my MSc and passed, however without this credit I will not receive my degree this semester.
  • I do not want a low-quality publication on my record, especially since it appears past students in the course published in pay-to-publish conferences.
  • I am far, far from an expert in this field. I took the course to learn about the subject and have only been spending the last few weeks on this research paper. To give more context, I don't even have a publication in my PhD work yet and I am 2 years in.

The situation prompts two questions from me:

  1. Is it ethical for the professor to require a student to submit a paper to a conference for a course? (This requirement is not mentioned in the syllabus.)
  2. Is it allowed for a professor to require this? Are there any rules or regulations in the US (state school) to prevent it?

what's your interest