Undergraduate Academic Standards and Appeals
Academic Progression Standards in the College of Engineering is defined as follows:
In addition to meeting university progression standards, it is expected that full-time engineering students enroll in four courses with appropriate labs and recitations and successfully complete at least 12 semester hours each academic semester with an acceptable GPA as noted below. Any exceptions to the course load requirement must be approved in writing by the student’s academic advisor prior to the start of each semester. Only general electives taken outside the College of Engineering may be taken on a pass/fail grading basis.
A minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.000 in major (department) courses and a minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.000 overall are required for graduation.
Full-time students in the College of Engineering will be placed on Academic Probation effective for the following academic semester for any of the reasons noted below:
- Not maintaining a semester GPA of at least a 1.800 at the end of each full term semester (Fall, Spring) of the first year curriculum
- Not earning at least 12 semester hours at the end of each semester of the first year curriculum
- Not earning at least 24 semester hours at the end of the two full term semesters (Fall, Spring) of the first year curriculum
Upper-class and Transfer Students:
- Not earning at least 12 semester hours in the academic full-term semester (Fall, Spring) just completed
- Not maintaining an overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 at the end of each full-term academic semester (Fall, Spring)
- Not maintaining a GPA of at least 2.000 in the major at the end of the fourth academic full-term semester of the curriculum and at the end of each full term academic semester (Fall, Spring) thereafter
- Accumulating three outstanding course deficiencies (grades of F, I, W, NE, U, or missing grades)
- Earning a full term semester (Fall, Spring) GPA below 1.800
- Not following a program of study approved by the student’s academic advisor.
A notation of the Academic Probation action will appear on the internal record, but not on the permanent transcript.
Students who have below a 1.000 GPA in any academic term following their first semester or cumulatively may be dismissed, regardless of their prior academic status, at the discretion of the College.
Full-time students on academic probation in the College of Engineering are eligible for Academic Dismissal from the University for any of the reasons noted below:
- Earning less than a 1.800 GPA in a current term (Fall, Spring, Summer, Summer 1, or Summer 2)
- Completing fewer than 12 semester hours in a full-term (Fall, Spring) academic semester
- Not following a program of study approved by the student’s academic advisor
- Remaining on academic probation after two full-term (Fall, Spring) academic semesters
Notation of this Academic Dismissal action will appear on the permanent transcript.
Academic Standing Appeal Process
Students may appeal academic standing decisions to the College of Engineering Academic Standing Committee. A petition and letter must be submitted for a request to be considered. Further information can be obtained in the undergraduate academic advising office (220 Snell Engineering Center).
Step 1. If undergraduate students wish to dispute an assigned grade in a course taught by an instructor within the College of Engineering, the first step is for the student to make a good-faith effort to meet with the faculty member to resolve the issue. All grade appeals must be initiated within 30 days of the course grade being posted to the student’s record.
Step 2. If the student is not able to resolve his/her issues with the course instructor, the student should work within the undergraduate organization of the department. The student should meet with the Department Undergraduate Program Director or Department Chair.
Step 3. If a student has made a good faith effort to resolve the issue by meeting first with the instructor, followed by a meeting with the Undergraduate Program Director or Chair, and the issue remains unresolved, the student may then meet with the College of Engineering Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, who will:
- attempt to resolve the issue by working with and through the instructor and the Department; and, if that is not possible,
- determine whether or not there is just cause to convene the College of Engineering Academic Standing Committee. At a minimum the following conditions would need to be satisfied:
- the student has sincerely attempted to resolve the complaint with the professor and the department;
- the complaint has been brought forward in a timely manner; and
- the complaint is substantive in nature (adjudication could affect student’s course grade and/or academic record).
Step 4. If the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs concludes that the case should be further adjudicated, it is referred to the College of Engineering Academic Standing Committee, which serves as the Academic Appeals Committee. The role of the Academic Appeals Committee is to conduct a review when a grade appeal is filed by a student when s/he is concerned that:
- The course grading policy was not applied consistently to all students within a class and/or section;
- The instructor’s method of assigning grades differed from the method outlined in the instructor’s course syllabus;
- Concern that the instructor failed to provide a clear policy on how grades would be assigned; or
- Other concern regarding the assignment of grades that may be presented.
Procedures for College of Engineering Academic Appeals Committee. If the Associate Dean determines that the complaint is substantive, the student must provide a formal written complaint to the Associate Dean within one week of the student’s meeting with the Associate Dean. The written complaint should provide a detailed timeline as well as all available evidence supporting the student’s complaint. Note that it is the student’s responsibility to present compelling evidence. Students may submit any materials such as emails, quizzes, examinations, etc. when providing evidence.
Once the Associate Dean receives a formal written complaint, the Associate Dean will provide a copy of the complaint to the instructor and to the department chairperson or Program Director, and convene a meeting of the College Academic Standing Committee. If the student fails to provide a thoughtful and well-reasoned written summary of the case, then the matter will be considered closed at the college-level. The student and the faculty member have the right to attend and present their case orally to the College Academic Standing Committee. While no one is required to make an oral presentation, brief oral presentations are encouraged to provide clarification on the situation, which would include responses to any questions the Committee might have. If the complainant indicates that s/he will present the case in person and then fails to attend the scheduled hearing, the case will be dismissed. Both the complainant and the faculty member have the right to meet with the Committee at separate times.
After both the complainant and faculty member have addressed the committee (if they so choose), the Committee will then review the evidence, summarize the case, and make a recommendation to the Associate Dean concerning the resolution of the complaint.
If the Committee believes it cannot resolve any issues without additional information, the Committee may request any information needed from either the complainant or the instructor. This information must be provided to the Committee within one week of the College Academic Standing Committee meeting. If the necessary information is not provided in the timeframe required, the Committee may weigh this factor in making its final determination regarding the original complaint.
Information regarding Committee process:
- All decisions of the Committee will be made based on a simple majority (51%) vote;
- The chair (Associate Dean) of the Committee is a non-voting member except in the instance of a tie vote;
- The student bringing the complaint to the Academic Appeals Committee carries the burden of proof based on the weight of the evidence, in demonstrating that the grade is incorrect or unjustified;
- If the Committee decides that the grading process was unfair, the Committee can request that the instructor change the student’s grade. If an acceptable agreement involves a change of grade, the instructor is responsible for submitting a change of grade to the Registrar in a timely manner following notification of the Committee’s decision.
- If the instructor refuses to submit a change of grade per the Committee’s decision, then the Department Chair, with the approval of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs will authorize and submit the change of grade to the Registrar in a timely manner.
Note that the Committee is expected to provide a report of its findings and recommendations to the Associate Dean within 30 days of the student’s submission of the written formal complaint. The Associate Dean will communicate the Committee’s determination to the complainant.
Step 5. If the student is not satisfied with the decision, the student may appeal the decision at the University level through the mechanism outlined in the Undergraduate Student Handbook (see Step 4 in the Handbook).