Academic Policies and Procedures, General Information 1996 - 1997

Contents of This Chapter

"Academic Policies and Procedures" is published as several files. Use the following links to go to any part of the chapter.

Academic Advising
Credit Value and Course Numbers
Classification of Students
Texas Academic Skills Program
Quantity of Work Rule
Evaluation
Grades
Symbols
Computation of the Grade Point Average
Correspondence Work by Resident Students
Course Placement and Credit by Examination
Measurement and Evaluation Center
Adding and Dropping Courses
Adding Courses
Dropping Courses: Rules for Undergraduate Students
Dropping Courses: Rules for Graduate Students
Changing Course Registration to or from the Pass/Fail Basis or the Credit/No Credit Basis
Withdrawal
Class Attendance
Examinations
Searches
Availability of Classwork to Students
Reports
Scholastic Probation and Dismissal
Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students
Honors
University Honors
Teacher Certification
Placement Services
Transcripts
Diplomas
Personal Record Information
Summons to Administrative Offices
Official Communications with the University


Academic Advising

The University of Texas at Austin views sound academic advising as a significant responsibility in educating students. Academic advisers assist students in developing intellectual potential and exploring educational opportunities and life goals. Many people in the campus community contribute to the advising process including faculty, staff, student, and professional advisers. Through the relationship established between adviser and student within a friendly, helpful, and professional atmosphere, a student has the opportunity to:

Ultimately, the student is responsible for seeking adequate academic advice, for knowing and meeting degree requirements, and for enrolling in appropriate courses to ensure orderly and timely progress toward a degree. Frequent adviser contact provides students with current academic information and promotes progress toward educational goals. The University supports that progress and encourages effective academic advising campus-wide.

Credit Value and Course Numbers

The semester hour. The credit value of courses is expressed in semester hours. Most courses are designed to require approximately three hours of work a week throughout the semester for each semester hour of credit given; that is, for each hour a class meets, an average of two additional hours of preparation is expected of the student. The time requirement in the laboratory, field, or studio varies with the nature of the subject and the aims of a course, so there is no fixed ratio of laboratory to class hours.

Most courses meet three hours a week in the fall and spring semesters and have a credit value of three hours for one semester or six hours for two semesters. In a six-week summer term, courses meet seven and a half hours a week for three semester hours of credit. Fall or spring semester classes that meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are scheduled for an hour (fifty minutes with a ten-minute interval between classes); classes that meet on Tuesday and Thursday are scheduled for an hour and a half (seventy-five minutes with a fifteen-minute interval between classes). To facilitate movement between classes, Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes normally begin on the hour and are dismissed after fifty minutes; Tuesday-Thursday classes normally begin on the hour or half-hour as appropriate and are dismissed after seventy-five minutes. Summer session classes normally are scheduled every day for an hour and a half (seventy-five minutes with a fifteen-minute interval between classes).

Course numbers. Courses are designated by numbers, or by numbers with a capital letter following. The numbers indicate both the rank and the credit value of the course. Course numbers 201 through 299 denote a value of two semester hours, 301 through 399, a value of three semester hours, and so on. A zero as the first digit indicates that the course is noncredit. The last two digits specify the rank of the course; if 01 through 19, the course is of lower-division rank; if 20 through 79, of upper-division rank; and if 80 through 99, of graduate rank.

Two courses that have the same abbreviation and the same last two digits may not both be counted for credit unless the digits are followed by a letter. For example, Chemistry 610 and Chemistry 810 may not both be counted because they are substantially the same; however, English 325 and 325K may both be counted.

The letter A following a course number designates the first half of a course; B, the second half. For example, Music 612A is the first half of Music 612; Music 612B, the second half. The letter X following a course number designates the first third of the course; Y, the second third; Z, the last third. For example, Law 621XY means that the first two-thirds of the six-hour course Law 621 is being given during one semester.

Classification of Students

Undergraduate students are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors based on the number of semester credit hours accumulated and accepted by the University, whether or not the hours are applicable toward a degree. Semester hours used to determine classification include coursework completed in residence, transferred credit, and credit by examination, extension, and correspondence. A student is a freshman until thirty hours have been accepted, then a sophomore until sixty hours have been accepted, a junior until ninety hours have been accepted, then a senior until graduation. Freshmen and sophomores are referred to as lower-division students, juniors and seniors as upper-division students.

Texas Academic Skills Program

The Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) is a state-legislated program designed to improve student success in college.[1] The two components of the program are: (1) the TASP Test, to assess basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing, and (2) developmental instruction, to strengthen those academic skills needing improvement.

All nonexempt students entering Texas public colleges and universities are subject to TASP regulations. Nonexempt students who have accumulated nine or more semester hours of college-level credit, including posted credit by examination, from all Texas public colleges attended, must have TASP Test scores on file with the University to be eligible to register. Transfer students must submit official documentation to the TASP Office showing compliance with TASP regulations before registering at the University. Transient students pursuing degrees from private or out-of-state institutions are not required to take the TASP Test.

Students who are blind or deaf are subject to testing if they have not completed at least three semester hours of college-level credit prior to September 1995. Blind students are required to take the TASP Test with appropriate accommodations; deaf students are required to take the Stanford Achievement Test. Information about accommodations for students with disabilities may be found in the TASP Test Registration Bulletin.

Nonexempt students who score less than 230 on the reading or mathematics subtests, or less than 220 on the writing subtest (including omitted subtests and canceled scores) are required to participate in developmental studies instruction until they are able to achieve the state standard on all three subtests. A student who scores below the state standard may not register for upper-division courses that, when completed, would give the student a total of sixty or more semester credit hours, including transfer credit.

Students who qualify for an exemption from TASP requirements are responsible for providing documentation to the University to establish the exemption. A student who meets any of the following criteria is eligible for an exemption.

  1. The student's composite score on the SAT I taken in April 1995 or later is at least 1180, and both the verbal and the mathematics scores are at least 550. To qualify for an exemption based on SAT (or SAT I) scores earned prior to April 1995, the composite score must be at least 1090, with a minimum of 470 on the verbal test and 530 on the mathematics test. Exempting scores must be obtained in a single test administration. An exemption may not be based on scores earned more than five years ago.

  2. The student's ACT composite score is at least 26, and both the English and the mathematics scores are at least 22. Exempting scores must be obtained in a single test administration. An exemption may not be based on scores earned more than five years ago.

  3. The student's scores on the TAAS Test are (a) at least 1780 on the writing subtest, (b) a Texas Learning Index of at least 86 on the mathematics subtest, and (c) a Texas Learning Index of at least 89 on the reading subtest. Each subtest must have been attempted only once. An exemption may not be based on scores earned more than three years ago.

  4. The student earned three semester hours of college-level credit, including credit by examination, prior to September 1989.

  5. The student has earned a bachelor's degree.

Students seeking Texas teacher certification are required to pass all three TASP subtests, unless exempt on the basis of item 1, 2, or 3 above.

TASP Test Schedule
Test DatePostmark Deadline
for Regular Registration[2]
Late Registration Period[3]
September 28, 1996 September 6, 1996 September 9 - September 18, 1996
November 9, 1996 October 11, 1996 October 14 - October 30, 1996
February 22, 1997 January 24, 1997 January 27 - February 12, 1997
April 19, 1997 March 21, 1997 March 24 - April 9, 1997
June 21, 1997 May 23, 1997 May 26 - June 11, 1997
July 19, 1997 June 20, 1997 June 23 - July 9, 1997

Registration to take the TASP Test is handled by National Evaluation Systems, Inc. The required form is included in official TASP registration bulletins, available at Texas public colleges and most public high schools. Information and registration materials may be obtained on campus from the TASP Office, Flawn Academic Center, Room 33; the Measurement and Evaluation Center, 2616 Wichita Street; the General Information and Referral Service, Main Building, ground floor; and the Office of the Dean, College of Education, Sanchez Building 216. Further information is available at the TASP Office, (512) 471-8277.

Quantity of Work Rule

Maximum hours in the fall and spring semesters. An undergraduate student may not register for more than seventeen semester hours in any long-session semester without the approval of his or her dean unless the degree plan printed in The Undergraduate Catalog for the student's major specifies otherwise. In the School of Law a student may carry as many as sixteen semester hours each semester.

Maximum hours in the summer session. Except as permitted by his or her academic dean, no undergraduate student may register for more than fourteen semester hours in a twelve-week summer session (exclusive of credit by examination), not to exceed eight semester hours earned during either the first six-week term or the second six-week term. A student whose maximum period of summer registration is nine weeks may not register for more than ten semester hours except as permitted by his or her academic dean.

Minimum hours in the fall and spring semesters. An undergraduate student may not carry fewer than twelve semester hours of credit without the approval of his or her academic dean. An undergraduate engineering student may not enroll in fewer than fourteen semester hours of coursework except with the written approval of the dean. Twelve of the fourteen hours must be applicable to the degree.

Failure to obtain approval may jeopardize the student's continuance in school. A student who is a minor must present a written statement from a parent or guardian accepting the conditions under which permission to carry a reduced course load is granted.

Graduate students are not subject to minimum course load requirements except as noted on the following page. International students must have written permission from the International Office as well as their dean to carry fewer than twelve hours if undergraduate students or nine hours if graduate students.

Minimum hours in the summer session. There is no minimum course load in the summer session.

Assistant instructors, teaching assistants, assistants (graduate), and graduate research assistants. To be employed as an assistant instructor, teaching assistant, assistant (graduate), or graduate research assistant, a student must be admitted unconditionally to the Graduate School, be in good academic standing, and be making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Students employed in teaching or research positions must be registered for at least nine semester hours each semester. Summer registration depends on the type and amount of employment.

In the fall or spring semester, the total of a graduate student's work appointments as a teaching assistant, assistant instructor, graduate research assistant, or assistant (graduate) may not exceed twenty hours a week during the first year and thirty hours a week in subsequent years. International students may not exceed twenty hours a week without the approval of the graduate dean. Forty-hour appointments are allowed during the summer session.

Assistant instructors, teaching assistants, assistants (graduate), and graduate research assistants may not accept payment from a student for tutoring services except on the recommendation of the department chairman and with the approval of the dean. If approved, the graduate assistant may tutor only in a course with which he or she has no connection.

Other student employees. An undergraduate student's combined University employment and semester-hour course load may not exceed forty hours a week in any semester or summer term. Any academic unit may require a lower work-study load of their students who are employed by the University than that described above. Any student who wishes to exceed the maximum work-study load set by his or her college must have the approval of the dean of the college.

Evaluation

Faculty members are free to develop their own methods of evaluating the performance of students in their classes, both undergraduate and graduate, but are required to make the methods of evaluation to be used known in writing before the end of the fourth class day each semester and the second class day each summer term. Responsibility for assuring adequate methods of evaluation rests with departmental faculties and is subject to administrative review. In courses with multiple sections, departments should provide for necessary coordination. Materials used in evaluating a student's performance must be collected by the instructor at or before the regularly scheduled final examination. The final examination is the most common method of final evaluation in courses.

Grades[4]

A student's standing in academic work is expressed by grades earned on class assignments and examinations. There are five grades: A (excellent), B (above average), C (average), D (pass), and F (failure). To receive credit for (complete) a course, an undergraduate student must earn a grade of at least D.

After a grade is reported to the registrar, it may not be changed unless an error was made by the instructor. Grades are given by semesters; however, in a course extending through two semesters, credit is not counted toward the degree until both semesters of the course are completed.

A student is expected to complete a course, including self-paced courses, in a single semester, summer term, or summer session. If the course is not completed as expected, the student normally will not be given additional time to complete it, or to do additional work to achieve a better grade. In rare instances, for nonacademic reasons and subject to the approval of the instructor, a temporary delay of the final course grade, symbol X, may be given. If no final grade is reported by the end of the next semester, excluding any intervening summer session, a grade of F is recorded as the final grade in the course.

Members of the staff are not authorized, without the academic dean's approval, to withhold a final grade or to defer reporting a final grade at the end of the semester other than by the use of the symbol X. If a grade is withheld without the dean's approval, the grade may not be added to the official records later without the written approval of the student's dean.

Symbols

Under specific conditions instructors may use symbols to report a student's standing in the semester's work. The symbol X is used to report a temporary delay of the final course grade for a student who has been given additional time to complete a course; the symbol Q, to indicate that a student has officially dropped the course; the symbol W, to indicate that a student has officially withdrawn from the University; and the symbol CR, to indicate that a student has completed a course on the pass/fail (or credit/no credit) basis. If a faculty member fails to report a grade for a student, the registrar will enter the symbol X to provide the student time to contact the faculty member and arrange for a final grade to be reported. If a final grade is not reported by the end of the next semester, excluding any intervening summer session, the X will be changed by the registrar to an F. An X also will be entered for a student who is given the symbol CR by the instructor when the student is not registered for the course on the pass/fail basis. In such a case the student should contact the instructor promptly so a letter grade may be reported to the registrar. The registrar will notify the student when a grade change is reported.

Symbol X: Temporary Delay in Reporting the Final Course Grade[5]

Issuance of the symbol X, representing a temporary delay in reporting the final course grade, is approved under the circumstances described on the following page and is at the discretion of the instructor.

If an undergraduate student receives a symbol X in a course, the student must complete the requirements for the course and have the instructor report a final course grade on or before the last date for grade reporting in the next semester, excluding any intervening summer session, or an F will be recorded as the final grade in the course. The period for completion of the coursework may be extended only for unusual circumstances beyond the student's control, as recommended by the instructor and approved by the student's academic dean. A student who has received an X in a course may not register for that course again until a final grade has been recorded, unless the course is one that may be repeated for credit.

If the symbol X appears on a student's record, the course for which the symbol is recorded is not used in the calculation of the student's University grade point average. When the instructor assigns the final course grade, and it is approved by the student's dean and reported to the registrar by the appropriate deadline, the grade is entered on the record and counted in computing the student's grade point average. The symbol X remains on the record.

Approved uses of the symbol X. An undergraduate student may, with the approval of the instructor, be assigned the symbol X in a course for one of the following reasons:

  1. Missing the final examination: The student is unable to take a final examination because of illness or other nonacademic reason. A physician's statement or other satisfactory verification is required.

  2. Incomplete classroom assignment: The student has not been able to complete the required class or laboratory assignments for a reason other than lack of adequate effort. A request for temporary delay of the final course grade because of incomplete class or laboratory work can be made only if the student has a passing average on the classwork or laboratory work already completed and has taken and passed the final examination (unless a final examination is not given in the course or the student is unable to take the examination for reasons indicated in the previous paragraph).

  3. Reexamination privilege: Only a student who has a grade of at least C on all classwork and laboratory work submitted before the final examination may request a temporary delay of the final course grade because he or she failed the final examination. The grade on the reexamination will be substituted for the grade on the original examination in determining the student's final course grade, provided the student earns at least a C on the reexamination. If the grade on the reexamination is less than a C, a final course grade of F must be recorded.

Improper uses of the symbol X. A student must not be assigned a temporary delay of the final course grade symbol to permit (1) time to prepare coursework in addition to that assigned the entire class, (2) time to repeat the entire course, or (3) opportunity to raise a grade for any reason other than the approved reasons cited above. The temporary delay of final course grade symbol is not issued for student or faculty convenience; it may be issued for the reasons cited above only in the case of compelling, nonacademic circumstances beyond the student's control.

Symbol CR

Pass/Fail
A student who registers for a course on the pass/fail basis and earns a grade of D or better is awarded a symbol CR for the course. The grade point average for a student taking courses on the pass/fail basis is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the number of credit hours taken on the letter-grade basis provided the student passes the courses. If the student fails a course for which he or she is registered on the pass/fail basis, the grade of F will be used in calculating the grade point average and the number of hours failed will be included in the total number of hours attempted.

Provided the following conditions are met, an undergraduate student may take a maximum of five one-semester courses, including correspondence courses, on the pass/fail basis as part of the hours required for the student's degree.[6]

  1. The courses must be in elective subjects outside the major field.

  2. The student must have received at least thirty hours of college credit prior to registering for any course on the pass/fail basis unless the course is offered only on the pass/fail basis.

  3. No more than two courses a semester may be taken on the pass/fail basis.

  4. The option to take a course on the pass/fail basis may not be elected later than the last day for dropping a course or withdrawing from the University (see the calendar).

  5. The basis of registration for a course may not be changed more than once.

Other regulations may be imposed by the student's college or school. If a student decides to major in a subject in which he or she has taken a course or courses on the pass/fail basis, it is the prerogative of the department to decide whether or not the courses will count toward degree requirements.

Course credit by examination may be accepted with the symbol CR in required subjects except in the College of Communication, where an eligible student must accept a letter grade rather than the symbol CR in the major. Acceptance of course credit by examination with the symbol CR will not reduce the number of elective courses for which a student may register on the pass/fail basis.

Each department may offer as many as two courses in its major entirely on the pass/fail basis.

Credit/No Credit
Regulations regarding registration on the credit/no credit basis apply to all courses, both undergraduate and graduate, taken by graduate students.

A graduate student may take no more than 20 percent of the hours for any master's degree on the credit/no credit basis, and no more than a comparable portion of the Program of Work for the doctoral degree. The option to take a course or courses on the credit/no credit basis must be approved by the graduate adviser and should be elected at the time of registration. A graduate student may change the basis of registration in a course no later than midsemester; see the calendar for specific deadlines. Dissertation, thesis, and master's report courses must be taken for a letter grade. Coursework requirements and methods of evaluation in a course must be the same for students registered on the credit/no credit basis as for those registered on the letter-grade basis. Performance at the level of C or above for an undergraduate or graduate course taken on the credit/no credit basis is required to earn credit (CR). Courses taken on the credit/no credit basis are not included when the grade point average is computed.

Symbols S and U

The symbols S (satisfactory) and U (unsatisfactory) are assigned only in developmental studies courses (DEV) and do not affect the calculation of a student's grade point average.

Repetition of a Course

The official grade in a course is the last one made; however, if a student repeats a course and has two or more grades, all grades and all semester hours are used to calculate the University grade point average and to determine the student's scholastic eligibility to remain in school. In the College of Business Administration, the College of Communication, the College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the College of Pharmacy a student may not repeat for credit a course in which he or she earned a grade of C or better.

Degree Candidate Grade Requests

Special grade request forms for degree candidates are distributed to faculty who have graduating seniors in their classes. The course grade recorded on these forms must be the same as the grade recorded on the official grade sheet since the forms are forwarded to the student's dean and used to certify graduation.

Computation of the Grade Point Average

The cumulative University grade point average for an undergraduate student is calculated on the basis of all work undertaken at the University of Texas at Austin (including credit by examination, correspondence, and extension) for which a letter grade is recorded. Courses in which the symbol Q, W, X, S, U, or CR is recorded are excluded in calculating the grade point average. The grade point average for a graduate student is based on all upper-division and graduate courses undertaken while enrolled in the Graduate School except as noted in the catalog of the Graduate School.

Grade scores. Although a grade of D is sufficient for an undergraduate to earn credit in a course, a cumulative University grade point average of at least 2.00 (C) is necessary for satisfactory progress toward a degree. In computing the grade point average, an A has a value of four points a semester hour; a B, three points; a C, two points; a D, one point; and an F, zero points. The symbols X (temporary delay of grade), CR (pass on the pass/fail basis), and S and U (for developmental courses) yield zero points. A course for which the symbol X, CR, S, or U is given does not count as hours undertaken for the purpose of calculating the grade point average, and no grade points are earned; a course taken on the pass/fail basis in which a grade of F is earned does count as hours undertaken and no grade points are earned.

Correspondence Work by Resident Students

Correspondence courses are not intended to be taken by students enrolled in residence except in unusual circumstances. A student enrolled in residence must have the prior approval of his or her dean to count correspondence work toward degree requirements. Correspondence courses taken from the University of Texas at Austin and used toward a degree at the University are subject to the same pass/fail rules that apply to courses taken in residence.

A student who enrolls in the University of Texas at Austin must drop any correspondence work in progress or obtain the approval of his or her academic dean to continue the correspondence work.

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28 August 1996. Registrar's Web Team
Comments to rgcat@utxdp.dp.utexas.edu