General Academic Regulations

Student Academic Responsibilities

Because education is a uniquely personal experience, it is the individual responsibility of each student (1) to know the degree requirements for his or her own course of study; (2) to know the rules, regulations, and deadlines which govern the academic programs which are published in this catalog; and (3) to develop and follow schedules which comply with these course and program requirements. The University's faculty, advisors, and staff support each student's education in every way they can, but students must assume final responsibility to establish the timeline for advancing and completing their course of study, to register for the appropriate courses, and to complete all degree requirements. Students are also responsible for knowing and adhering to all University policies published in The Student Handbook. Registration in the University confirms students' acceptance of these obligations.

Academic Advising

Students at CMU quickly develop personal relationships with their instructors. Through these relationships, faculty and students explore a wide range of academic and personal matters both in the classroom and through informal conferences and conversations. The faculty and administration also provide a well-structured program of student advising for each student. This program begins before students enroll through their assignment to a faculty advisor on the basis of admissions information. Advisors assist students in planning their academic work and in managing problems in their college careers. Freshman students are advised by the faculty of CMU 101, the First-year experience course required of all entering freshmen. Freshman students thus meet with their advisors each time the class is held during the semester. The CMU 101 faculty continues to advise freshmen during the second semester. As early as possible, students are assigned, or choose, advisors according to academic interest or choice of major. Students may change their faculty advisor at any time by making a formal request in the Registrar's Office. The faculty advisors, the staff of the Registrar's Office, the Associate Dean, and the Dean of the University will do all they can to assist students in interpreting degree requirements, in determining which requirements have or have not been met, and in developing plans to meet degree requirements. However, the University believes that each student's education belongs uniquely to the student.

The University holds each student to be finally responsible for being fully informed about the graduation requirements for his or her own degree program and for arranging academic schedules to meet graduation requirements on the timetable the student establishes. Faculty advisors will do all they can through the advising processes to assist students in meeting their educational goals.

The University also keeps students informed of their academic progress by sending students and their advisors (1) warning of unsatisfactory grades after the first month of classes are posted online, (2) mid-semester grade reports (posted on-line), and (3) final grade reports each term.

Academic Bankruptcy Policy

To declare "Academic Bankruptcy" a student must petition the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee specifying the courses the student requests to be dropped. Only courses with grades of "D" and "F" may be dropped. Only courses taken ten semesters (excluding summer sessions) or more before the student's application for readmission may be dropped. The petition for Academic Bankruptcy must be made within six months following the student's readmission. Only students who are readmitted to and currently attending the University may petition the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee for Academic Bankruptcy. When the Committee approves a petition for Academic Bankruptcy, the original grades will be shown on the transcript but a notation will be made and these grades will not be included in the calculation of grade point averages or the satisfaction of degree requirements.

Credit Hour Definition

The semester credit hour is the unit of measure for college-credit course work.  The Carnegie unit is generally the guideline used to determine credit hour worth, with one hour of credit equated to 750 minutes plus the final exam.  Additional hours may be required for laboratory, clinical, internships, practicums, and music performance courses in which additional instructional time is required to achieve learning objectives.

For distance learning courses (e.g., online and hybrid), the Carnegie unit is applicable in the sense that students meet  the same objectives as those delivered in traditional coursework; therefore, students are expected to spend comparable amounts of time in achieving these objectives.  However, because learning is difficult to quantify in terms of minutes and hours in online and hybrid courses, more emphasis is placed upon evidence of student learning.  In order to earn credit hours, students must meet stated learning outcomes at a satisfactory level.

For applied music lessons, students are expected to practice at least three hours per week for each hour of credit:

1 hour credit = three hours practice per week2 hours credit = six hours practice per week3 hours credit = nine hours practice per week4 hours credit = twelve hours practice per week

Academic Load

Fifteen to sixteen hours of academic credit is considered the normal load per semester. No student may register for more than 18 hours of academic credit unless that student has a grade point average of 3.20 in the previous semester and obtains permission from the Dean. Registering for an overload (more than 18 hours per semester) requires the approval of the Dean. Students who are permitted to register for an overload will be subject to additional charges for each hour over 18.   No student may receive credit for more than 21 hours in a semester under any circumstances.

Class Attendance

Students may not be successful in college for many reasons, but the principle reasons for student failure are excessive absence from class and the lack of class preparation. The faculty and administration expect students to attend classes regularly and to establish adequate study patterns. Individual instructors establish their own attendance policies that are clearly stated in each course syllabus. The University reserves the right to withdraw any student from one or more classes or from the University for excessive absence. Students are responsible for any work missed as a result of absence. They should consult with each instructor to make satisfactory arrangements for academic work missed. This should be done in advance whenever possible. Students, faculty and staff are expected to adhere to the policy stated below for Institution-Sanctioned absences. Absence from class does not constitute withdrawal from the class or from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students who leave school without completing the withdrawal process forfeit their claim to honorable dismissal and will receive a grade of "F" for all courses in progress.

Institution-Sanctioned Absence Policy

Absences incurred as a result of competitions, performances, or event (with appropriate e-mail notification and the student's name on the list provided), will not be considered when dropping a student's grade because of absences. Each coach is responsible for working with the Athletic Director's Office to ensure that all conference limits are adhered to—in regards to how many competitions can be held on class days in a season.Each coach/director/instructor (or his/her designee) is responsible for sending an e-mail communication to all CLAS faculty 2-4 days ahead of time, for each competition, performance or event that will interfere with class days. This communication should include departure time, when students will return to campus, and a list of students involved.Students who will miss a class or lab because of an institution-sanctioned event are responsible for talking with each professor ahead of the absence. Where possible class assignments, exams or exercises are to be made up before the departure time.Faculty members should contact the coach/director/instructor if a student on the list should consider (because of class performance or previous absences) not attending the competition or performance. If a student chooses to attend class and skip the competition, performance, or event there will be no direct penalty (extra running, grade penalty, pushups, etc.), from the coach/director/instructor.

Classification of Students

Students are classified by the Hours of credit achieved.

Freshman                    1-29 Hours

Sophomore                  30-59 Hours

Junior                           60-89 Hours

Senior                          90 or more Hours

Special Students are those students who are not matriculating for a degree but who wish to enroll for specific courses. They may be full- or part-time and may or may not have a baccalaureate degree. After completing 29 hours, Special Students must apply to the Office of Admission and be formally admitted to a course of study in order to continue to take classes.

Part-Time Students are those students who register for fewer than 12 hours in a semester or fewer than six hours in a summer session. Part-time students may not live on campus or represent the University in extracurricular activities.   Their tuition charges and fees are based on the number of credit hours undertaken.

Courses, Grades, and Grade Point Averages

Courses and grades are given on a semester-hour basis. Normally, one semester hour of credit means one hour of instruction per week for a semester (15-16 hours of class instruction) plus two or more hours of study for each hour of instruction, but instructional time and credit hours may vary. Grade reports are issued to students at mid-term and following the end of each semester. Only final grades for courses are entered on the student's transcript. The transcript is the individual student's permanent academic record, maintained and secured by the Registrar's Office.

The University uses the system of grades, grade symbols, and quality points described below to report each student's academic achievement on grade reports and transcripts.

A             Grade Points         4

B              Grade Points         3

C              Grade Points         2

D             Grade Points         1

F              Grade Points         0

P              Pass, credit hours only

I               Incomplete

W            Withdrawal

AU           Audit, no credit hours

All courses taken on a letter grade basis (A through F) are used to compute Grade Point Averages (GPA). For grades in courses repeated, see below. A student's GPA is calculated by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of credit hours attempted on a letter grade basis. As a result, GPAs range from 0 to 4.0. Courses taken on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis are not computed in the student's GPA. Few courses are offered on a P/F grade basis. The grades of "I", "W", and "AU" earn no credit and are not computed in GPA.

The grade of "I" (Incomplete) can be given by an instructor at the end of the term only when both of the following conditions are met: (1) the student is unable to finish the work of a course because of exceptional circumstances which can be documented, and (2) the student has completed at least three-fourths of the course work and can complete the remaining work apart from class meetings. Faculty should file a plan for completion of incomplete work with the Registrar. All incomplete work must be completed by mid-semester of the following semester. After this time, if the "I" has not been removed, it will automatically convert to a grade of "F." Additional work will no longer be accepted, and the grade appeals policy (below) will apply.

A student may withdraw from a class with a grade of "W" until two weeks before the last day of classes for the semester as defined by the academic calendar. The grade of "W" will not be calculated into the student's GPA. A student may not withdraw from a class after this date.   For half semester classes, a student would be allowed to withdraw with a grade of "W" until one week prior to the final date of class as determined by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The grade of "AU" is given to students who formally register as "auditors." Auditors must have the approval of the instructor prior to registering and are expected to attend regularly. They receive no credit, and no grade is given, but the hours are included in determining a student's academic load. Upon the report from the professor that an audit has been satisfactorily completed, notation of the audit is made on a permanent record. Special or part-time students pay normal tuition rates to audit courses.

Grade Appeals

Students have the right to appeal a grade. All student appeals must be initiated, in writing, within one calendar year of the date the grade is first posted.   In all steps of that appeal, the faculty member must be consulted and the burden of proof is on the student. Students should first make every effort to resolve grade issues with the course instructor. This is the most likely avenue to produce satisfactory results. If the issue is not resolved with the course instructor, the student should next appeal to the Division Chair. In these appeals, the course instructor will be consulted and the grade cannot be changed without the instructor's consent. If the issue is still not resolved, and the student wishes to continue the appeal, the student should consult the Dean or the Associate Dean who will direct the student in presenting a petition to the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee. The course instructor will be consulted in advance, notified of any hearings, and permitted to be present at the hearing. If a two-thirds majority of the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee judges that a grade change is warranted, the committee will direct the Registrar to make the change. The decision of this Committee is final and binding on all parties.

Students who wish to file an academic grievance not involving a grade appeal should contact the instructor (if appropriate), followed by the Division Chair (if necessary), and if a resolution has not been reached, the Office of the Vice President and Dean of the University at 660-248-6211.

Repeated Courses

Students may repeat any course in which they received a grade of A, B, C, or D one time and receive financial aid for the course.  If the course was taken as dual credit the student may repeat it twice while receiving financial aid because they did not receive financial aid for taking it in high school.  If a student receives a grade of F in a course, the student may repeat that course as often as necessary to achieve a passing grade.  The most recent grade earned will be counted in the student's grade point average. All registrations and grades will be entered on the permanent record, but a notation that the course has been repeated will be added to previous enrollments in the course.

Course Numbering System

Courses numbered 100-299 are designed primarily for Freshmen and Sophomores. Courses numbered 300-499 are for Juniors and Seniors; Freshmen should not enroll in these courses.

Catalog in Effect - Graduation Requirements

Students' degree requirements are generally governed by the catalog in effect when they matriculate for a degree so long as enrollment is continuous. Students may choose to meet the requirements of any subsequent catalog published during their enrollment but not of an earlier catalog. Former students who are readmitted must meet the graduation requirements in the catalog at the time of re-enrollment.


Students must register on the days and at the times designated by the Dean. They should register only after a conference with their advisor. Deadlines for registration and changes in registration are published on the Academic Calendar.

Changes in classes or class sections may be made at no charge during the first week of classes by completing a Change of Course Form from the Registrar's Office. After the first week of classes, courses may not be added. Any exceptions require written permission from the course instructor, division chair, and the Dean. Courses may be dropped at any time prior to two weeks before the last day of classes for the semester. Students are urged to remember that the grade of "F" will be recorded on their transcripts for every course that is not completed but not officially dropped. Courses are not officially dropped until the Change of Course Form has been filed in the Registrar's Office.

Enrollment in CGES/Online Courses

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) students requesting permission to enroll in online or statewide courses during the Fall or Spring semesters must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

Through no fault of his/her own, the student must enroll in a specific course to graduate and said course is not available before graduation in CLAS. (If a student postpones taking said course until his/her Senior year that could have been taken earlier, the student may not qualify for enrollment under this criterion.)

The student will benefit educationally by taking a course and is recommended by his/her advisor, has approval of the Dean, and agrees to pay all tuition/fees required to take the course above regular CLAS tuition and fees.