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4.  Academic Policies and Procedures




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.


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 below 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 petition: Only a student who has a grade average 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, which is the examination given during the final examination period as printed in the official examination schedule. If the petition is denied by the instructor, the student's final course grade will remain as originally determined. If the petition is granted by the instructor, 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


An undergraduate 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. 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 academic 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 academic calendar for specific deadlines. Dissertation, treatise, thesis, master's report, and recital courses are a part of the Program of Work and are taken on the credit/no credit basis. The credit hours are not included in the 20 percent limit on credit/no credit hours on the Program of Work for the degree. 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 Red McCombs School of Business, 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.

Computation of the Grade Point Average

Undergraduate students. 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 I, Q, W, X, S, U, or CR is recorded are excluded in calculating the grade point average.

Graduate students. The graduate grade point average includes all graduate courses in which the student earns a letter grade while he or she is enrolled in the Graduate School; the following are excluded: undergraduate courses taken through the University's Division of Continuing and Extended Education; courses for which the symbol Q, W, X, I, CR, or NC is recorded; graduate or undergraduate courses the student took at the University before enrolling in the Graduate School; credit earned by examination; and courses taken at other institutions. The graduate grade point average also excludes grades in all undergraduate courses the student took in fall 1999 or later; upper-division undergraduate courses he or she took as a graduate student before fall 1999 are included.

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 I (permanent incomplete), 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 I, 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.

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Chapter Four


Contents |  Next File |  Previous File

General Information Catalog
Chapter 1 - The University
Chapter 2 - Admission
Chapter 3 - Registration, Fees, and Deposits
Chapter 4 - Academic Policies and Procedures
Chapter 5 - Student Affairs
Chapter 6 - Libraries and Other Academic Resources
Chapter 7 - The Texas Exes
Statistical Summaries

Related Information
Course Schedules
Academic Calendars
Office of Admissions

Office of the Registrar
University of Texas at Austin

26 July 2001. Registrar's Web Team
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