Academic Policies for Students
- Academic Progress
- CAPP (Curriculum, Advising and Program Planning)
- Calculating Grade Point Average and Quality Points
- Changing Your Schedule
- Class Attendance
- Class Attendance on Religious Holidays
- Continuing Correspondence (CC)
- Course Load
- Declaring/Changing a Major (Undergraduates Only)
- Diplomas and Commencement
- Military and Service Deployment
- Grade Records for Part-Time Faculty and Full-Time Faculty Who Will Be on Leave
- Graduation Policy
- Honors and Awards
- Incomplete (I)
- Jury Duty Policy
- No Credit/Withdrawal (NC)
- Official Transcripts (Official Academic Record)
- Pass/Fail Option
- Repeated Courses (Last Grade Stands)
- Selecting a Catalog for Degree Requirements
- Undergraduate Student Classification
- Withdrawal Due to Emergency
Academic Good Standing
A student is deemed to be making satisfactory progress toward his or her academic goal if the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. This student is deemed to be in academic good standing with the institution. However, other academic standards may apply to specific programs. A student must satisfy those other academic standards in order to be deemed in academic good standing with that program. See information on the program of interest to determine specific standards for that program.
Academic Warning Status
A student in good standing whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will be on academic warning status with the institution during his or her next semester. A student will be removed from this warning status and returned to good standing if he/she achieves a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at the end of his/her semester on warning status. More restrictive standards may apply to certain programs or schools. See information on the program of interest.
A student who fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at the end of his or her semester on warning status will be put on academic probation with the institution during his or her next semester at MSU Denver. A student will be on academic probation as long as he or she has a cumulative GPA below 2.0, but is making progress toward good standing as explained below and has not been on academic probation for more than three semesters. Other conditions may apply to given programs or schools. See information on the program of interest.
A student is removed from academic probation and is in good standing the semester after achieving a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
During any semester that a student is on academic probation, the student must make progress toward good standing with the institution by taking all of the following actions:
- Achieve a semester GPA of 2.2 or higher
- Register and complete a minimum of 3 but no more than 13 semester hours (3 to 6 semester hours for summer semester)
- Take required activities as negotiated with the Associate Director of Student Academic Success and Intervention Services (may include certain classes, repeated courses, tutoring or other activities)
While on academic probation, a student may preregister for the first semester following the academic warning status semester, but is prohibited from preregistering any other semester. For subsequent academic probation status semesters, a GPA of at least 2.2 must be verified prior to registration.
A student on academic probation not making progress toward good standing will be prohibited from registering for one calendar year from the date of suspension. Appeal of suspension for this reason will be submitted to the associate director of Student Academic Success and Intervention Services. The associate director of Student Academic Success and Intervention Services will then deliver the appeal materials to the Academic Review Committee, which will review the appeal and notify the student of its decision. A student may appeal a suspension only two times in his or her academic career at the university.
A student making progress toward good standing whose cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0 after three or more semesters on probation will have his or her academic progress reviewed each semester by the Academic Review Committee. The committee will determine whether the student should be placed on suspension. In both cases, the decision of the Academic Review Committee is final.
Any student returning to the university after the one-calendar-year suspension must reapply and will be readmitted on academic probation with the institution. For these students, all probation rules outlined above will apply.
A student who is suspended for a second time will be re-admitted only if he or she has successfully completed an associate’s degree program from a community college after suspension from MSU Denver or can demonstrate to the Academic Review Committee that chances for successful completion of an educational program are greatly improved.
Contact Student Academic Success and Intervention Services at 303-556-4048 for further information.
CAPP produces a degree audit that helps you understand the progress you’ve made toward completing your degree. If you have a declared major and/or minor, you should ask to discuss your CAPP report with your faculty adviser before the start of your senior year. You can access your CAPP report in your major department or by logging on to ConnectU. Approved adjustments to the CAPP report should be requested by your department and submitted to the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible. In order to be reviewed for graduation, you must complete an Application for Graduation in the Office of the Registrar at the start of your final semester.
You can calculate the number of quality points awarded for a course by multiplying the number of semester hours for that course by the quality point value of the grade you received (see University Catalog). Your cumulative GPA can be calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the number of semester hours you attempted.
To be eligible for a degree, your quality points must be at least twice the number of semester hours you attempted in addition to meeting other outlined requirements. The following notations have no effect on your GPA: AP, CC, CL, EX, I, NC, NR, P, PL, PP, S, S#, SA, SE, SN, U#.
If you intend to change your schedule after you register for classes, be sure to add or drop classes before the Drop Deadline posted on the Academic Calendar. After the Drop Deadline, classes can be added without penalty; however, any classes dropped after the Drop Deadline will be charged a 50 percent penalty fee. Similar deadlines exist for the summer semester. It is your responsibility to follow proper withdrawal procedures in the event you do not attend a class. Choosing not to attend a class does not mean that you will be automatically dropped from that class. You must officially withdraw from or drop your classes, or you will be assessed full tuition and fees. This registration policy can be found in the University Catalog and online at ConnectU.
Attendance during the first week of class is required. It contributes greatly to teaching and learning. Some departments determine a student’s enrollment in a course based on attendance during the first week of class. Consult the department for more information about the attendance policy for the class that you are attending. Students who drop classes are financially responsible for those classes in accordance with the withdrawal/refund policies. Students are expected to attend all sessions of courses for which they are registered. Each instructor determines when a student’s absences have reached a point at which they jeopardize success in a course. When absences become excessive, the student may receive a failing grade for the course. If students anticipate a prolonged absence, they should contact their instructors. If they find that they cannot get in touch with the instructor, they should contact the chair of that department, who will inform the instructor of the reasons for the anticipated absence.
Students at MSU Denver who, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes, take examinations, participate in graded activities or submit graded assignments on particular days shall without penalty be excused from such classes and be given a meaningful opportunity to make up such examinations and graded activities or assignments provided that advance written notice that the student will be absent for religious reasons is given to the faculty members during the first two weeks of the semester.
Nothing in paragraph 1 of this policy shall require MSU Denver faculty members to reschedule classes, repeat lectures or other ungraded activities or provide ungraded individualized instruction solely for the benefit of students who, for religious reasons, are unable to attend regularly scheduled classes or activities. However, presentations, critiques, conferences and similar activities involving individual students shall be scheduled to avoid conflicts with such students’ religious observances or holidays provided that reasonable advance notice of scheduling conflicts is given to faculty members. Because classroom attendance and participation is an important aspect of learning, MSU Denver students should not register for courses if regularly scheduled classes or activities routinely conflict with their religious observances or holidays (e.g., conflicts resulting in weekly absences for an entire semester).
Any MSU Denver student who believes that a MSU Denver faculty member has violated this policy is entitled to seek relief under Section V of the MSU Denver Equal Opportunity Grievance Procedure.
If you enroll in a correspondence course, you have one year to complete the course. If you don’t complete the course in the semester that you initially enrolled in it, the class will be entered on your academic record as “CC” (continuing correspondence course). The “CC” will remain on your official transcript for up to three semesters, after which either a grade will be entered or the “CC” will convert to an “NC” (No Credit/Withdrawal).
The average course load for a MSU Denver student is 15 or 16 semester hours, and academically strong students enroll in up to 18 semester hours per term. Yet, maintaining a high GPA may help you increase your course load beyond 18 credit hours and complete your degree in even less time. During fall and spring semesters, you can enroll in 19 or 20 semester hours if you have a 3.25 GPA or higher. And a 3.5 GPA will allow you take up to 21 semester hours. During the summer semester, you may enroll in 14 semester hours with a 3.5 GPA. You must complete at least 15 semester hours at MSU Denver before you can qualify for a course overload. If you do not meet these qualifications, authorization for overloads must be obtained from your major department chair and appropriate dean.
As a graduate student, you may enroll in no more than 15 master’s level credit hours per semester.
Applicants to MSU Denver may indicate their intended major on the MSU Denver Application for Admission. Degree-seeking students who wish to change a major must complete a Declaration/Change of Major form, which is available from the major department or from the Academic Advising Center. Non-degree-seeking students who wish to declare a major must first change to degree-seeking status by completing a Change of Status form with the Admissions Office.
When you meet all requirements for graduation, you are granted a diploma at the end of the semester for which you apply for graduation. Diplomas may be withheld if you owe any outstanding debts to the university. Completion of two majors does not result in two degrees or diplomas. A formal commencement ceremony is held at the end of the spring and fall semesters. Summer graduates are invited to attend the following fall commencement. For graduation information, contact the Office of the Registrar at 303-556-3985, visit the Graduation/Commencement website, or for specific commencement information, call 303-556-6226.
In times of emergency, certain students (e.g., reserve military units, individuals with specialized skills, or firefighters) are called to provide services to the state or country. When the call for service or emergency deployment is issued, it is often necessary for students to interrupt their coursework in mid-semester without advance notice. The university recognizes that normal refund and withdrawal policies may not be appropriate and therefore will make the following provisions for individuals who leave the institution mid-semester to respond to a national emergency:
- Students called for emergency deployment will be reimbursed for tuition and fees they paid. Follow-up documentation will be required to substantiate the call for service or emergency deployment.
- Students may be given the option of:
- Administrative withdrawal (no record of enrollment remains on the student’s academic record).
- Receiving an NC for the classes in which they are registered.
- Administrative withdrawal from selected classes if instructors of remaining classes agree to allow the student to complete or make up work in these classes. This may entail the student’s being granted Incompletes (I) with an opportunity to complete the coursework within one year.
- The Office of the Registrar will make the final determination for administrative withdrawal on a case-by-case basis.
- Each instructor and the department chair will be notified by the Office of the Registrar of a student’s administrative withdrawal due to his/her call for service or emergency deployment.
- Also, the university will not be penalized financially by the state general fund for interrupted enrollments and will be allowed to include in-state students who are called for emergency deployment in the FTE report during the semester for which they are called.
Students who must withdraw from all classes during a semester because of a military or state call to action should contact Veteran Education Benefits, SSB 160, 303-556-2993 for assistance.
All regular faculty who will be on leave or who are retiring or resigning following a semester in which they have taught class(es), and all full-time temporary and part-time faculty shall submit copies of their grading data (grade books, test scores, spreadsheets, etc.) to the department chair so that the department chair can reconstruct students’ grades if necessary. This data will be maintained by the department chair for a one-year period and will be used if the instructor is unavailable to answer questions concerning your grade.
Do you plan to graduate this year? If so, you must file an Application for Graduation in the Office of the Registrar before your anticipated semester of graduation, but no later than the deadline posted in the Academic Calendar. The Application for Graduation should be filed only if you will complete all degree requirements by the end of the semester and after speaking with your major and minor department(s). If you do not graduate, you must submit another Application for Graduation during the semester you will be finishing your degree requirements. Review the current University Catalog and Graduation Services website for detailed graduation procedures, information and deadlines.
The university annually recognizes students who show outstanding leadership and service to the university and community, excellence in scholastic achievement, and outstanding personal character and integrity. Due to wide variation in definition and interpretation of class rank, by policy the university does not rank its students or graduates. Recognition of students includes: the President’s Award (one senior); the Special Service Award for Academic Affairs (one senior) and for Student Services (one senior); Outstanding Student Awards (seniors from each school); Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges (seniors); and American Association of University Women (AAUW) Award (one senior woman). Other awards include the Special Service Award for Exceptionally Challenged Students, Student Government Assembly Award, Charles W. Fisher Award and the Colorado Engineering Council Award.
Awards are presented at the annual banquet on the night before graduation.
Graduation honors are awarded to students who demonstrated superior academic ability in their baccalaureate degree while attending MSU Denver. Honors designations are determined according to the following criteria:
- Summa Cum Laude: Top 5 percent of graduates within each school with cumulative MSU Denver GPA of no less than 3.65.
- Magna Cum Laude: Next 5 percent of graduates within each school with cumulative MSU Denver GPA of no less than 3.65.
- Cum Laude: Next 5 percent of graduates within each school with cumulative MSU Denver GPA of no less than 3.65.
To determine each honors category, GPAs for the previous spring semester graduates are arranged in rank order. This rank ordering is then used to determine the honors category thresholds for the following fall, spring and summer graduates. The current rankings are located on the Commencement website.
The honors designation is calculated twice, once for the commencement ceremony and again at the end of the final semester, when all grades are received, for the official designation.
In order to be considered for an “Incomplete,” you must complete 75 percent of the coursework and be passing the class. Meeting the qualifications does not guarantee that an Incomplete will be granted. If you do meet the qualifications, you may request an Incomplete from the faculty member who is teaching the course. The decision to grant an Incomplete is up to faculty and department discretion. If an Incomplete is granted, your instructor and you must fill out and sign an Incomplete Agreement form (available from your department) in order to clarify what you need to do to complete the course. You must submit an Incomplete Agreement for each incomplete grade and/or clarify the Incomplete Agreement via email within a reasonable time after the incomplete grade is assigned. Part-time faculty must get the chair’s approval and signature on the Incomplete Agreement. A copy of the signed agreement should be kept on file in the main department office. Incomplete work must be completed within one calendar year or earlier, at the discretion of the faculty member and as noted on the Incomplete Agreement. If the incomplete work is not completed within one year, the “I” notation will convert to an “F.” Graduating seniors cannot graduate with an “I” on their MSU Denver academic record if:
- The class in which the “I” was assigned is required for graduation.
- The D or F assigned for that class would result in a cumulative GPA less than 2.0.
The “I” notation may not be given for a self-paced class. If you do not complete a self-paced class within the semester you enrolled in the class, you must re-enroll in the class in order to complete it. If you receive an “I” in an online class, your instructor should contact Instructional Technology, which will add you to the online class roster so that you can log in to the class. Your instructor must do this each semester you continue to work on the class. In order to change an “I” to a letter grade, you must complete all of the work assigned for the original course. You should not re-enroll for the same class unless you intend to retake the entire class. In this case, you will pay tuition and fees.
State law prohibits interference with jury duty. It is illegal for an employer to deprive an employed juror of employment benefits because of jury duty. Such interference can result in significant civil damages and attorney fees. Moreover, the “willful harassment of a juror by an employer” is a criminal offense.
Accordingly, the Handbook for Professional Personnel specifically authorizes paid administrative leave for professional personnel for jury duty. Likewise, the state personnel director also requires that all classified employees be granted jury leave with pay. Student employees also must be paid for jury duty service if it occurs at a time when they are normally scheduled to work for the university.
Finally, it is against university policy to impede a student called to jury duty. For instance, if a student’s jury duty conflicts with a MSU Denver class, lab or exam, faculty must cooperate with the student to reschedule the missed course obligations or to have a review of the course material to learn the content. Jury duty takes precedence over class attendance policies.
The university will not tolerate any interference by any employee with a student’s obligation to fulfill his or her jury duty. The employee/student has the responsibility to provide verification of attendance at jury duty as required by their supervisor.
The No Credit (NC) notation is not a grade and may indicate withdrawal from the course or course repetition. The NC should not be confused with a schedule change during the first 12 days of the fall or spring term (eight days for the summer term) for full-term courses. During this period you may drop a course without its appearing on your academic record. Use ConnectU to request an NC before the deadline posted on the Academic Calendar. Similar time frames are applied for part-of-term courses, weekend courses, workshops and summer terms. These deadlines are available in the Office of the Registrar or the Office of the Bursar. Deadlines for full-term summer classes are published on the class schedule.
After the NC Deadline (or proportional time frame for part-of-term courses, weekend courses, workshops and summer terms), students may not withdraw from a course. The “I” notation may be used during this period as long as the conditions specified are in the Incomplete Agreement (see previous section). If you fail to withdraw by the published NC deadline, you will be assigned the grade you earned, based on the course syllabus.
If you need to withdraw from a course due to death of an immediate family member, serious illness, medical emergency or employment changes beyond your control, you may request a tuition refund by filing a Tuition and Fees Appeal Form through the Office of the Bursar. Students who receive Financial Aid are encouraged to speak with a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid prior to filing a Tuition and Fee Appeal.
The “NC” notation is used in self-paced courses to indicate that you have not completed the self-paced course(s) and require additional time to increase your proficiency. To earn credit in this case, you must re-register and pay tuition and fees for the course in a subsequent term.
The official transcript is a certified copy of a student’s permanent academic record. It contains the official signature of the registrar and the official seal of the university. You can order transcripts by logging onto ConnectU. There is no charge for transcripts, unless you need us to fax them. We charge $6 for faxed transcripts. There may be a delay in processing your request depending on our grading and degree posting schedules. Transcripts will only be issued upon written request, which should include:
- Student’s full legal name as recorded while attending MSU Denver.
- Student’s identification number (900#).
- Birth date.
- Last term of attendance.
- To whom and where the transcripts are to be sent.
- Number of copies desired.
- Student signature authorizing the release of records.
We will not issue your transcript if you owe a debt to the university or for other applicable reasons. Students from other institutions taking MSU Denver courses from the state college system or interinstitutional registration programs must request transcripts from their home institution.
Use the Pass/Fail option to venture out of your major and minor fields and broaden your educational experience. This option is available only to undergraduate students and must be requested before the Census date for each term (Census date can be found on the Office of the Registrar website). To request the Pass/Fail option, come to the Office of the Registrar, SSB 160, and complete the Request for Pass/Fail Option form. Once approved, the request for the Pass/Fail option is permanent. Students who request the option and are later declared ineligible will receive written notification from the Office of the Registrar.
You must complete at least one MSU Denver class with a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher to be eligible for the Pass/Fail option. Major, minor, general studies and other courses required for a degree, and courses for teacher licenses may NOT be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Self-paced courses may NOT be taken on the Pass/Fail option.
In order to graduate, your Pass/Fail credit may not exceed 18 semester hours. These 18 semester hours can be earned in no more than six courses. You can only take one class per term.
Coursework must be graded to determine whether it is pass or fail. The “pass” grade (P) is equivalent to the grade of D or better and has no effect on your GPA; however, the “fail” grade is equivalent to the grade of “F.” Pass/Fail courses follow the same “NC” guidelines and deadlines as other courses in the institution whether those guidelines and deadlines are established university-wide or by individual school or department.
Some institutions do not accept transfer credit for courses in which a “pass” grade is given. Therefore, if you plan to transfer or take graduate work, you should determine whether the institution of your choice would accept the credit before registering for courses under the Pass/Fail option. Additionally, it is your responsibility to ensure that the course is not required for your major, minor or general studies.
You may repeat any course taken at MSU Denver regardless of your original grade. Only the credit and grade for the last attempt of the course will remain on your official academic record. The grade(s) for all prior attempts will be changed to the “NC” notation unless a permanent F has been assigned or if the course is repeatable. Repeated courses must carry the same title, course number and semester hours. To receive the grade change, you must re-register and pay full tuition for the class in question, complete the class earning a letter grade, and complete the Last Grade Stands form in the Office of the Registrar. Otherwise, the grade change will be made administratively prior to graduation. Credit duplication involving transfer, interinstitutional or state college system courses may be treated differently from the above procedures. A failing course grade assigned as a result of academic dishonesty is considered a permanent “F” and cannot be considered under this policy.
MSU Denver publishes a new degree catalog every year. Each new catalog includes changes to major and minor requirements. You may select any catalog in effect while you are enrolled at MSU Denver to establish your degree requirements—provided that the catalog contains your complete program of study—but you can select only one. If you leave MSU Denver for three or more consecutive semesters, you will be governed by the catalog in effect upon your return. Consult your academic adviser for effective dates of catalogs and to learn which one is best for you. All degree programs must adhere to overriding current policies at MSU Denver.
Students transferring from a regionally accredited Colorado community college may complete degree requirements using a MSU Denver catalog in effect while enrolled at the community college, subject to the following conditions:
- The degree catalog selected does not predate the current catalog by more than three years.
- The degree catalog selected may have been in use at any time from the time the student was continuously enrolled* at a regionally accredited Colorado community college to the semester for which the student is enrolling in MSU Denver.
- The degree catalog clause applies except for overriding university or state policy, except where specific programs otherwise require. Consult the catalog’s section describing your program for these requirements.
*Continuous enrollment is defined as not interrupting enrollment for three or more consecutive semesters (one calendar year); summer is counted as a semester. Continuous enrollment must be maintained from the period of the designated MSU Denver catalog to the point of MSU Denver degree completion.
Undergraduate students are classified according to the number of semester hours of credit earned.
|Freshman||Fewer than 30|
|Senior||90 or more|
Students who must withdraw from all classes during a semester due to a serious personal or medical emergency should contact the Office of the Registrar, SSB 160, 303-556-3991 for assistance and information on emergency withdrawal procedures.
Students who must withdraw from all classes during a semester because of a military or state call to action should contact Veteran Education Benefits, SSB 160, 303-556-2993 for assistance. See also Military and Service Deployment.