Academic Standing and Grade Information
For a visual depiction of the academic standings please view our Academic Standing Flow Chart. A candidate for an undergraduate degree must have a scholastic standing of at least 2.0 (1) in all credits presented for graduation whether earned at WKU or elsewhere, (2) in all credits completed at WKU, (3) overall in the major subjects and in the minor subjects, and (4) in the major subjects and in the minor subjects completed at WKU. Students desiring teacher certification must fulfill all academic requirements for teacher certification in the major and minor, in addition to meeting the requirements for graduation. Students should be aware that some academic programs require a minimum grade of “C” in each course applicable toward a major or minor. Refer to the departmental descriptions in this catalog or contact the department head to determine the specific requirements for each major.
Grading and the Quality Point System
At the first class meeting the instructor will provide students a written statement of the factors to be considered in determining grades and the specific weight to be assigned to each factor. The letters A, B, C, D, F, P and X are used by the University to indicate the student’s academic proficiency. These letters have the following significance:
A—Excellent, valued at four quality points per semester hour.
B—Good, valued at three quality points per semester hour.
C—Average, valued at two quality points per semester hour.
D—Below average, unsatisfactory, valued at one quality point per semester hour. (A “D” gives credit toward a degree. The student’s overall grade point average, however, must be a 2.0 or better to meet the requirements for graduation).
F—Failure, valued at no semester hours earned and no quality points.
FN—Failure due to non-attendance (no semester hours earned and no quality points).
P—Pass, credit is awarded toward a degree, but no quality points are assigned. The “P” designation is restricted to specific courses approved for its use.
X—Incomplete. (See below for additional information.)
The designations AU, W, NR, ER and NG are not included in the determination of grade point average and are used in the following cases:
AU—Auditor of a course (See below for additional information.)
NR—No report. Grades for an entire class were not received by the Office of the Registrar in time for processing. The designation “NR” is not to be used as a grade for individual students.
ER—Error in reporting. This designation is used by the Office of the Registrar when a grade is not reported for an individual student.
NG—No grade. A grade is not appropriate to the course. The “NG” designation is restricted to specific courses approved for its use.
IP—In Progress. The IP designation is restricted to specific courses designed to span more than one term. Unless approved otherwise, an IP designation unresolved at the end of one year after its assignment will be converted to an F.
Credit for a course in which a grade of “F” has been received can only be earned by repeating the course in residence unless prior approval is given by the head of the department in which the course was taken. A course in which a grade of “D” has been received may be repeated at another accredited institution.
A grade of “X” (incomplete) is given only when a relatively small amount of work is not completed because of illness or other reason satisfactory to the instructor. A grade of “X” received by an undergraduate student will automatically become an “F” unless removed within twelve (12) weeks of the next full term (summer term excluded.) An incomplete must be removed within this twelve-week period regardless of whether the student is registered for additional work in the next term. A grade of “X” received by a graduate student, with the exception of thesis courses or similar projects, will automatically become an “F” unless removed within twelve (12) weeks of the next full term (summer term excluded). A student should work with the instructor who assigned the incomplete on an independent basis in order to complete the necessary assignments. The grade of “X” will continue to appear as the initial grade on the student’s transcript, along with the revised grade. A grade of incomplete is not used under any circumstances as a substitute for “F” or “W.”
An undergraduate student is permitted to repeat a maximum of 6 courses. Only 6 of the hours or 2 courses, whichever comes first, in which a grade of “C” or above has been earned, may be repeated. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of the Registrar when a course has been repeated.
Credit for a course in which a grade of “F” has been received can be earned only by repeating the course in residence unless prior approval is given by the head of the department in which the course was taken. A course in which a grade of “D” has been received may be repeated at another accredited institution.
A failing grade may not be removed by correspondence study. A student may not repeat by proficiency testing a course which has been previously taken or failed at WKU or another accredited institution.
If a course is repeated, only the second grade will be counted in computing the grade point average; if the course is repeated a second time both the second and the third grades will be used in computing the grade point average. The grade received for each attempt will continue to appear on the student’s academic record. A student may attempt a single course no more than three times.
The Committee on Credits and Graduation has the responsibility for hearing appeals from students regarding the application of these regulations.
An appeal for special permission to repeat a course in the major or minor beyond the third attempt will be considered only upon the recommendation of the head of the department involved and then only if special consideration is needed to raise the average in that subject to the minimum required.
Students seeking special consideration to repeat a course beyond the third attempt in the general education requirements and in free electives must first consult with the Registrar of the University. If after this conference an appeal is deemed appropriate, the Committee on Credits and Graduation will consider the student’s request.
An academic renewal program is available to qualified undergraduate students. Academic renewal prevents the voided coursework from counting toward graduation and the computation of the grade point average; however, the voided coursework will remain a part of the transcript. Qualified undergraduate students must not have attended any accredited college or university for at least two previous years and must have a cumulative grade point average, since readmission, of at least 2.0 (with no grade below “D”), computed at the end of the term in which the student completes a minimum of 12 semester hours of courses numbered 100 or above.
WKU accepts transfer credit retained through academic renewal at other institutions but will use grades from those courses for the computation of the overall GPA.
The student must petition the Registrar in writing to request academic renewal, indicating whether one semester or all previous coursework is to be voided. No student may declare academic renewal more than once.
University Attendance Policy
Registration in a course obligates the student to be regular and punctual in class attendance.
Students should make certain that their names are on the class roll. If an error has been made in registration, it is the student’s responsibility to see that the error is corrected in the Office of the Registrar. It is the individual instructor’s responsibility to inform students, in writing, on the first day the class meets of the guidelines for implementing the instructor’s attendance policy. Students who cease attending class are expected to report to the Office of the Registrar to initiate withdrawal procedures. Withdrawal deadlines are published each semester in the schedule bulletin.
Excessive absenteeism frequently contributes to poor academic achievement. An instructor who determines that a student’s absenteeism is inconsistent with the instructor’s stated policy should either counsel with the student or request that the Academic Advising & Retention Center arrange a counseling session with the student. Excessive absenteeism may result in the instructor’s dismissing the student from the class and recording a failing grade, unless the student officially withdraws from the class before the withdrawal deadline. If the student withdraws from the University after the end of the official withdrawal period, excessive absenteeism may be one of the considerations in the instructor’s deciding whether circumstances justify a “W” or an “F” in the course. The normal appeal process is available to the student who wants to appeal the decision of the instructor.
When a student is absent from class because of illness, death in the family, or other justifiable reasons, it is the student’s responsibility to consult the instructor at the earliest possible time.
To be eligible for continuous enrollment without being placed on academic probation, a student must maintain the following scholastic standards in both the overall grade point average and the total institution grade point average (courses taken at Western):
- 1.7 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has 17 or fewer semester hours attempted.
- 1.8 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has more than 17 but fewer than 34 hours attempted.
- 1.9 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has 34 or more but fewer than 51 semester hours attempted.
- 2.0 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has 51 or more semester hours attempted.
At the end of each academic term, students may access their grade report via TopNet that reflects grades for the term, the overall, and the total institution grade point average. Students failing to meet the scholastic standards listed above are placed on academic probation. Students enrolled on academic probation are subject to academic dismissal if they fail to attain the minimum standards listed above and earn less than a 2.0 grade point average for the academic term. A student on academic probation is allowed continued enrollment on a semester-by-semester probationary status as long as a 2.0 grade point average is maintained each term.
Once placed on academic probation, the student who fails to earn a current (term) grade point average of 2.0 or higher is not eligible to enroll in the next regular semester. Depending upon the student’s overall grade point average and total institution grade point average, the student may be invited to a hearing with the University Academic Probation Committee. The Committee may dismiss the student from the University or allow the student continued enrollment with stated restrictions for one additional term. Academic status for all students who complete a term is shown on TopNet. It is the student’s responsibility to stay informed of his/her academic status and to improve academic performance until he/she is returned to good standing status.
NOTE: Students with an overall or total institution grade point average below 2.0, but above the academic probation scale should be aware that their performance does not meet the minimum requirements for graduation and that their performance is considered marginal by the university. These students are encouraged to attain a minimum 2.0 grade point average as soon as possible, including seeking advice and counseling from the Academic Advising & Retention Center.
A student dismissed from the University by the University Academic Probation Committee may appeal the decision to the Executive Appeals Committee. This committee will consider an appeal only after a written request for a hearing has been submitted to the director of the Academic Advising & Retention Center and an appointment is scheduled through that office. If the Executive Committee approves an appeal, the student will be permitted to register for an additional semester on academic probation with conditions determined by the Executive Committee at the time of approval. Detailed operational procedures followed by the University Academic Probation Committee may be obtained from the Academic Advising & Retention Center located in the Student Success Center of Downing Student Union.
Students who fail to satisfy criteria for continuous enrollment due to academic deficiencies, and either are dismissed or voluntarily withdraw, are, after one academic year of non-enrollment at any college or university, eligible to apply for readmission to the University. Enrollment at that time is not automatic; readmission will be determined by admission standards. Applications for readmission should be filed with the Office of Admissions prior to published deadlines.
To be considered a full-time undergraduate student, one must carry a minimum of 12 hours each semester. Students who wish to enroll for 20-21 semester hours must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or above.
Seniors may enroll in graduate coursework during their final undergraduate semester provided they:
- have an undergraduate overall grade point average of at least 2.5
- make formal application to graduate study,
- carry a final semester course load of no more than 15 hours (combined undergraduate and graduate hours), and
- do not, in any way, attempt to apply the graduate course(s) to the undergraduate degree.
Registration and Student Schedule Changes
After classes begin, registration for a full-time course load and/or changes in schedules may be made only within the first six class days of a semester or the first three days of a bi-term. Courses which do not meet at least twice during the first six class days may be added through, but not past, the day of the second class meeting.
During a semester, a student may withdraw from a course with a grade of “W” or “F” under the following conditions. It is recommended that faculty members inform students of this “W” period deadline.
A student is permitted to withdraw from any course with a grade of “W” through the midpoint of the semester.
After the midpoint of the semester, any student dropping a course receives an automatic “F.” However, when there are extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of the faculty member and the department head, the student may be permitted to withdraw with a “W” instead of “F.”
During a bi-term a student may drop a course with a grade of “W” or “F” under the following conditions:
A student is permitted to withdraw from any course with a grade of “W” through the midpoint of the bi- term.
After the midpoint of the bi-term, any student dropping a course receives an automatic “F.” However, when there are extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of the faculty member and the department head, the student may be permitted to withdraw with a “W” instead of “F.” Students should check the Registration Guide each term for specific dates that affect schedule changes.
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