Academic Policies - Undergraduate Grading Information

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Academic Course Grades
The following qualitative letter grades are employed by faculty members to characterize the quality of a student's work in a course. Grades will compute into grade point average (GPA).

Grade
A (4.0), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3),
C (2.0), C- (1.7), D+ (1.3), D (1.0),  and F (0.0).

In addition to the above qualitative letter grades, the following symbols are used to designate special enrollment provisions or course statuses and do not affect the student's academic average:

P:  Designates completion with the credit of an unrestricted elective or physical activities course which was taken on a pass-no credit basis. The grade of "P" indicates a grade of "C" or above.

NC: Indicates failure of an unrestricted elective which was taken on a pass-no credit basis.

S: Designates satisfactory completion of a practicum experience course with a final course grade of "C" or better.

U: Indicates unsatisfactory performance in a practicum experience course with a final course grade of less than "C".

AU: Designates that the student has registered for a course on an audit basis and has maintained an attendance record throughout the semester which is sufficient to warrant an official recognition of course attendance.

Incompletes
INC: The grade of INC is a temporary notion which is assigned for incomplete work in courses when the records of students justify the expectation that they will obtain a passing grade but for emergency reasons they have been absent from the final course evaluation. Any missed final examination or other final course evaluation requires a student explanation within 48 hours.

Withdrawal
W: Designates student withdrawal from the University prior to the 50th class day of a semester or from a course during the period from 5th to 50th class day.

X: Designates student withdrawal after the 50th class day of a semester for administratively approved reasons of an emergency or medical nature.

Y: Designates administrative dismissal for other then academic reasons.

Pass/No Credit Course Registration

Students may elect to register on a pass/no credit basis for a maximum of four unrestricted elective courses. A student may not change his or her enrollment status from letter grade to pass/no credit or from pass/no credit to letter grade after the established deadline for adding a course. A pass/no credit course cannot be presented in fulfillment of University General Education requirements, major programs, minor programs, or specifically designated courses (collateral requirements) of an established curriculum. A grade of "P" indicates that a student's performance merits an evaluation of "D" or better. "NC" indicates that a course has been failed but that such failure is without prejudice to the student's cumulative average. Although appropriate credits are granted to students when grades of "P" have been assigned, these credits are not qualitatively weighted and, hence, do not affect a student's academic average.

Administrative Dismissal from the University
A student may be administratively dismissed from the University through cancellation of registration for due cause, through suspension or expulsion for academic dishonesty, and through disciplinary procedures for violations of good conduct.

Administrative dismissal may be invoked when a student fails to comply, after due notice, with an administrative regulation of the University. Official notification of an administrative dismissal is noted on the permanent record (transcript) by the symbol "Y", which is entered for each course which has been carried by the dismissed student. Reinstatement of a student who has been administratively dismissed may be made only by application for readmission with Online and Continuing Education and only when the condition which has necessitated administrative dismissal can be ameliorated to the satisfaction of Online and Continuing Education. Examples of some conditions which may justify administrative dismissal are as follows:

a. Forgery or fraudulent use of University records, documents, or forms; unauthorized entry into University records (including computerized records);

b. Non-payment of tuition, student fees, library fines, overdue University loans, and other official University fiscal obligations;

c. Failure to comply with a duly authorized administrative order relating to the safety of persons or the protection of University property;

d. Failure to withdraw from the University after certification of a physical health or mental health condition of a hazardous nature.

Withdrawal
"W" notation is not an academic grade but a symbol designating official withdrawal from a course within the established deadline of the tenth class meeting of a semester. Official withdrawal is accomplished by filing a Withdrawal Form in Enrollment Services/Online and Continuing Education.

A notation of "W" cannot be given for unofficial withdrawal from a course or for unofficial withdrawal from the University. Accordingly, a student who registers for a course and is carried on an official class roster after the tenth class meeting of a semester (or its equivalent) must be graded in terms of the completion of the instructor's total course requirements even though the student did not attend any class meeting or unofficially left the University before the tenth meeting of the semester. A student who wishes to withdraw from a course after the deadline must submit a petition to Enrollment Services/Online and Continuing Education. An "X" will be given only when it can be demonstrated that extended illness or a critical personal emergency of an extended nature prevented that student from complying with official withdrawal procedures. Students receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration are not eligible for retroactive withdrawal from courses.

Withdrawal from the University
A student who must discontinue attendance at the University must inform Online and Continuing Education immediately and in writing.

Incomplete Courses
The symbol "INC" (incomplete) is a temporary notation which is assigned for incomplete work in courses when the records of students justify the expectation that they will obtain a passing grade but for emergency reasons they have been absent from the final course evaluation. Any missed final examination or other final course evaluation requires a student explanation within 48 hours so that the instructor can file the proper course grade. A student who has evidenced an unsatisfactory course record, who has failed to complete a major portion of an instructor's course requirements, or who has failed to provide an instructor with a satisfactory reason for absence from a final examination or final course evaluation within the specified 48-hour period may not be assigned the symbol "INC". Responsibility for making arrangements with an instructor to complete all outstanding course work rests entirely with the student, who must complete all course work in sufficient time to permit an instructor to file a final course grade no later than one month after the date on which the succeeding semester begins. Whenever possible, the student and instructor should sign the permission for an Incomplete Form.

Please note that make-up final examinations administered by Online and Continuing Education are done so only on specific dates. The instructor is responsible for administering the make-up final examination if the student does not take the exam on the specified make-up dates.

Instructors who file symbols of "INC" also must file an end-of-course letter grade, which will be assigned in the event that incomplete course work is not made up by the student prior to the established deadline. At the end of the official make-up period (or in the event of a substantiated student emergency, at the end of an extended make-up period), Online and Continuing Education will convert the temporary notation of "INC" to the appropriate permanent symbol. This permanent notation will be one of the following: 1) a letter grade which has been filed by an instructor during the grading period of the previous semester to designate the final course standing of a student who has failed to make up incomplete course requirements, 2) a letter grade which is filed by an instructor at the end of the make-up period to designate the final course standing of a student who has made up incomplete course requirements, or 3) the letter symbol of "X" that must be approved to designate that a student has withdrawn from the University after the end of the semester for documented medical or personal emergency.

Limited extensions of the make-up period may be granted to students for serious medical reasons and for documented personal emergencies. Requests for such extensions must be approved and must be filed no later than one calendar week preceding the established deadline for instructors to submit final grades for incomplete courses. Except for extraordinary circumstances, the maximum period for which an extension may be granted is the last scheduled class day of the semester following the assignment of "INC" notations.

Grade Reports and Transcripts
Grade reports are no longer mailed to the students. Students must log onto the ISIS student information system to view their transcripts. University policy does not allow grades to be given over the phone. Students may also request official transcripts using the ISIS system.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell will create and maintain a permanent record (transcript) showing complete course and grade-earned information for any student, matriculated or non-matriculated, who takes a course for credit. This record may not be modified or selectively deleted for any reason including the student's lack of awareness of the drop and withdrawal deadlines cited in our semester bulletins.

Grade Changes
All course grades become a part of the student's official record upon instructor assignment and may not be changed, except as specifically provided by University procedures. Corrections of grade-point averages automatically are authorized when grade reports are corrected by instructors and when specific courses are deleted from grade-point averages under provisions of University regulations governing repeated failed courses, change of enrollment status as an intercollegiate transfer within the University, and expiration of degree credits.

Students who believe that a mistake has been made in assigning or recording a course grade should notify instructors as soon as possible after viewing their grades but, in no case, at a time later than the deadline established for making grade corrections. The deadline for instructors to correct an erroneous grade report is one calendar month from the beginning of the semester following the filing of an erroneous grade. Changes of grades, other than the filing of grades for incomplete courses, require endorsement from the Online and Continuing Education Office. Grade changes may not be made on a student's permanent record after the deadlines cited above unless such changes have been authorized prior to the expiration of the correction deadline.

Complaints Arising from Grades and Grading Policy of the Faculty Member
a. Faculty are expected, as a matter of right and professional standards, to recompute any grade in which a computational error is alleged or suspected, provided that the student challenges the grade before the deadline established by the calendar for filing final course grades and changes. However, no challenge or appeal shall be allowed in the matter of grades and grading policies except when a faculty member is alleged to have violated University, College, or Department academic regulations and policies, or the faculty member's own grading policy, the latter to be determined from the syllabus for the course or section in question.

b. Appeals of grades or grading policies arising from alleged violations of established or published policies will follow procedures cited below under the heading "Complaints Concerning Classroom Matters." The terms "grade" and "grading policy" refer to: 1) all grades awarded; 2) the computation of grades for examinations (including final examinations), tests, quizzes, paper essays, laboratory reports, practice experiences, and any other kind of academic activity for which a grade of any kind is awarded; and 3) the final course grade, which is submitted to the Online and Continuing Education Office.

Complaints Concerning Classroom Matters Exclusive of Grades and Grading Policy
Students confronting classroom problems which are a source of legitimate concern are entitled to have their complaints heard and resolved according to the procedures specified below.

Classroom problems may include but are not limited to the following examples (but note that questions concerning grades and grading policies are reserved to the process specified above):

Faculty failure to observe University of Massachusetts Lowell Division of Online and Continuing Education policy and/or regulations, such as violating the regulation against scheduling examinations (with the exception of final exams) during the last week of the semester;

Changing class schedules or rescheduling of final examinations without permission of the Director of Enrollment Management and Administration;

Terminating semester classes prior to the date specified by the Division of Online and Continuing Education calendar;

Failing to fulfill instructional obligations (such as unjustified cancellation of class, frequent absenteeism, and lateness);

Failing to provide and distribute a written statement of course requirements, which is mandated for all instructors;

Failing to adhere to the written statement of course requirements.

Students normally should seek to resolve problems by discussion with the faculty member. If this is not feasible or if, after discussion, the matter cannot be resolved, the student shall inform the faculty member in writing that he or she will initiate a formal complaint. This complaint shall be in writing and shall be addressed either to the Student Status Committee or directly to the Director of Enrollment Management and Administration. After discussing the problem with the student and the faculty member, the complaint will be forwarded to the Faculty Coordinator or Chairperson of the discipline in question. The student will later be informed of the Coordinator and/or Chairperson's decision.

Formal complaints about classroom problems shall be initiated before the last day of the semester examinations in the semester during which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The determination of the Coordinator and Director shall be made within 10 working days following receipt of the student complaint.

Repeated/Deleted Course Work: General Policies
Course repetition/deletion is permitted only in accordance with the policies cited below, the provisions of which are applicable only to courses taken at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Course substitution is not permitted under the provisions of this regulation unless a course has been dropped as a University offering and an alternate course has been authorized as a suitable substitution by the Coordinator of a student's program. Once a student has reached the credit limitations that are cited below, no further courses may be deleted or repeated for the purpose of grade substitution. A student who has used the maximum number of course deletions and repetitions for the purpose of grade substitution may not petition to revoke any of the substitutions in order to permit additional grade substitutions in other courses.

Grade Substitution/Deletion Rule
Students who have entered the University as freshmen or transferred to the University with less than 60 semester credits are permitted a maximum of 15 semester credits of course deletions/repetitions with grade substitution for the purpose of adjusting cumulative grade-point averages. (Transfer students who have entered the University with 60 or more credits are permitted a maximum of 7 semester credits of course deletions/repetitions for this purpose.) Only courses with grades of CD and lower may be deleted or repeated for the purpose of grade substitution. The original credit and grade assigned for both repeated and deleted courses will be retained in brackets, and the student's original GPA and academic status will remain in appropriate semester footings for courses which are subsequently deleted/repeated.

When students register for courses which they wish to repeat, they must notify Online and Continuing Education at the time of registration.

Repetition of Passed Courses
Except for courses of a professional nature which regulations of a college may designate as being non-repeatable, students may repeat a course previously passed with a grade of "CD" or "D" within the provisions of the grade substitution rule cited above. When a previously passed course has been repeated within the provisions of this regulation, the cumulative grade-point average is appropriately corrected for the semester in which the course is repeated. When repeating a course for the purpose of grade substitution, if the grade for the repeated course is lower than the original grade, the repeated course grade shall not apply to the GPA and the original grade shall remain. When repeating a course outside of the grade substitution rule, both grades will count in the grade-point average. However, credit is never granted twice for a course which has been taken and passed and, subsequently, taken again and passed for the second time.

Repetition of Transferred Courses
When competence is demonstrably inadequate, a student who has been granted transfer credit (and on this basis has been assigned to advanced courses for which the transferred course is a prerequisite) may be advised to repeat such transferred work at the University or to take a more elementary course than that which has been transferred.

Permission to repeat a transferred course is granted by filing an Academic Petition Form with the Director of Enrollment Management and Administration. Since credit may not be granted more than once for the completion of any course, a condition for filing such a petition is the simultaneous filing of a request to revoke recognition of the previously transferred course.

Off-Campus Study
Matriculating students in satisfactory academic standing may be permitted to apply off-campus courses to their degree programs when they comply with established procedures. Students wishing to apply credits earned off-campus must obtain approval prior to off-campus enrollment, through an Authorization of Off-Campus Courses form.

Off-campus courses may be taken in regionally accredited institutions only, and ordinarily should be taken at baccalaureate colleges or universities. Permission to pursue off-campus courses in regionally accredited associate degree institutions may be granted to students with less than 60 earned credits and only for courses which are to be presented for lower-division requirements of University of Massachusetts Lowell curricula. All off-campus courses must be taken under the regular grading system and may not be taken on a pass-no credit (pass/fail) basis.

University Restrictions Concerning Off-Campus Study
Students are not permitted to pursue off-campus courses until an initial evaluation of their academic progress at the University has been made. Students who have transferred to the University with 60 or more semester credits, or who have been admitted from another institution with a baccalaureate degree to pursue a second bachelor's degree, are not permitted to pursue off-campus studies. Students who combine University courses with off-campus courses during the regular academic year are subject to University restrictions on semester course loads.

Course Equivalency Examinations
Subject to specified policies of academic departments, qualified degree candidates are given the opportunity to demonstrate their special competencies and to receive University credit for such competencies through established course equivalency procedures without having to fulfill classroom or faculty course requirements. The University recognizes two types of course equivalency for which credit is awarded. These are:

1. CLEP Examinations
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a national program of credit-by-examination that offers the opportunity to obtain recognition for college level achievement no matter when, where, or how learning has been acquired. These examinations can be taken in general subject areas or in specific subject areas. If the results of the examination(s) are acceptable to University guidelines, college credit is given toward an undergraduate degree.

Please note that the College of Arts and Sciences does not recognize and will not award credit for CLEP tests in a foreign language offered to satisfy the language proficiency requirement.

2. Departmental Examinations
Students interested in taking departmental examinations must first arrange an interview with the appropriate Program Coordinator, at which time they must present evidence that they possess sufficient competency to warrant a departmental examination. Departmental examinations will not be given if a corresponding CLEP examination is available. Departments also reserve the right to refuse the granting of credit by examination for those courses which are presented by students for their major. When written permission is given to a student to take a departmental examination, the conditions of the examination will be set forth. Typically, the examination must be wholly or substantially written unless the nature of the course makes more appropriate an oral or performance examination. Students may be asked to take end-of-semester examinations, which are scheduled during the final examination period, when such examinations are adequate measures of total course requirements. A fee must be paid after the departmental exam form is signed by the Coordinator and the student, and before the student takes the examination.

Students may not repeat departmental equivalency examinations and, except for documented medical reasons or personal emergencies, they may not reapply for such examinations in the event that they fail to keep an examination appointment.

Students may not receive credit for a specific proficiency examination:

1. If they have registered at the University in the course which that examination represents;

2. If they have previously received a University grade for that course or a course in sequence above the course for which they wish to take the examination;

3. If they have previously attempted an equivalent course at another institution; and

4. If a general examination is related to the student's academic major.

Bachelor's degree students may apply for course equivalency credits up to a maximum of 30 credits; however, the total number of equivalency and transfer credits may not exceed 90 credits for the baccalaureate degree; nor may transfer students present equivalency credits in fulfillment of the major field residency requirement of 15 credits in University courses or the general residency requirement of 30 credits.

Directed Study
A directed study is ordinarily an alternative arrangement for enrolling in an advanced course not being offered during a particular semester. It allows the student to meet on a regular basis with an instructor who is willing to undertake the course. The student must complete the Request for Directed Study Form which lists the course, meeting dates, assignments, papers, or projects to be completed; and the form should be signed by the instructor, Coordinator, and Director of Enrollment Management and Administration before the student may register. Students enrolled in the day school also must obtain approval from the Dean of the College before they can register for directed study. Because directed studies are considered Special Programs, tuition remission and certificates of eligibility cannot be used.

Instructor Course Requirements
At the first class meeting, instructors must distribute a written statement of requirements for each course to all students and to Online and Continuing Education. This statement must include prerequisites, if any, attendance policy, a specification of the number and types of course evaluations to be employed throughout the semester (including the dates of the examinations), special requirements for completing assignments and taking examinations, and a definition of course attendance policy. Normally, a minimum of three evaluations of student progress (written or oral examinations, written reports, recitations, laboratory techniques and reports, jury or performance evaluations) should be made in each course, at least one evaluation being required during each half semester. Upon the request of a student, an instructor is required to provide a statement of the student's course progress. Prior to the last date for withdrawing from courses, students who are in danger of receiving D or F grades either shall be so notified by the instructor or shall be in possession of such course evaluations as will permit such students to reasonably infer their course progress and academic jeopardy.

Course Examination Policies
Final examinations are required for all undergraduate courses. Final examinations may not be given at a place or time other than those which have been specified.

Make-up examinations irrespective of make-up final examinations administered on specific dates by Online and Continuing Education are the responsibility of the instructor.

Class Standing
Freshman Standing 0-29 credits
Sophomore Standing 30-59 credits
Junior Standing 60-89 credits
Senior Standing 90 credits or more

Size of Class
Courses are only offered if enrollment is sufficient. Consequently, to ensure the scheduling of desired courses, students are urged to take advantage of the early registration policies as scheduled in each semester bulletin of class listings. In the event that a course is cancelled, Online and Continuing Education will try to notify preregistered students. Students may elect to enroll in another course or may request a full refund.

Attendance
Although the University does not require class attendance as a matter of institutional policy, course instructors may establish required attendance in their courses and specify violations of such attendance requirements. Examinations or other work missed by absence may, at the option of the instructor, be made up or failed (except for provisions provided by absences due to religious reasons).

Academic Standing
Academic standing and eligibility for a degree are determined by the quality of the student's course work.

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