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.

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.

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 Provost. Registering for an overload (more than 18 hours per semester) requires the approval of the Provost. 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 unless unless that student has a grade point average of 3.20 in the previous term and obtains written permission from the Provost of the University, and only under extreme circumstances.

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.

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 000-099 do not fulfill any graduation requirements.  They are developmental courses designed to prepare students for college-level work.

Courses numbered 100-199 are designed with few or no prerequisites.  They are survey courses, courses defining basic concepts, or courses presenting the terminology of a discipline.  Typically, courses in this range will focus on recall of facts and explaining ideas or concepts.  Outcomes may include words such as:  define, discover, duplicate, list, memorize, repeat, state, classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, and select.

Courses numbered 200-299 may have prerequisites.  They include survey courses of areas of a discipline.  Typically, courses in this range will focus on explaining ideas or concepts and using information in new situations.  Outcomes may include words such as:  classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, execute, implement, solve, use, demonstrate, interpret, operate, schedule, and sketch.

Courses numbered 300-399 usually have prerequisites and typically are taken by upper division students and majors.  Generally, these are courses specific to a major, not offered as part of the general education model.  Typically, courses in this range will focus on drawing connections among ideas and justifying a decision.  Outcomes may include words such as:  analyze, differentiate, organize, relate, compare, contrast, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test, appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, critique, and weigh.

Courses numbered 400-499 usually have prerequisites and are taken by advanced students in the major.  Capstone courses generally fall in this category.  Typically, courses in this range will focus on evaluating decisions and creating new work.  Outcomes may include words such as:  appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, critique, weigh, design, construct, create, formulate, investigate, invent, and author.

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.

Registration

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.

Withdrawal from Classes

No student may withdraw from any class the last two weeks of the Fall or Spring semester.

A student who wishes to withdraw from the University must obtain a withdrawal form from the Director of Student Success. It is the student's responsibility to see that this withdrawal form is completed and filed with the Director of Student Success or Hall Director. The form is NOT complete until it is returned to either the Director of Student Success or Hall Director. The form requires signed clearance from the Residence Hall Director, Library, Financial Assistance Office, Scholarship Coach or Director (music/athletics), Student Success Coordinator, and Business Office. The completed with­drawal form, together with the student ID Card, is filed with the Director of Student Success. An honorable dismissal will be granted to all students who desire to withdraw from the University if they are in good academic standing, are not subject to discipline, have made satisfac­tory arrangements for settling their financial account, and file the completed withdrawal form.   Students who withdraw from the University will receive grades for the courses in which they are registered according to the grading policies published in this catalog.

The University reserves the right to withdraw any student from one or more classes or from the University for academic misconduct, excessive absence, disruptive behavior, or other sufficient cause.

Medical Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from classes at any time during the term for medical reasons. Requests made after the last day to drop with a "W" must be approved by the Dean of the College or, at the Dean's request, by The Academic Standards and Admissions Committee. The Registrar will indicate the withdrawal by placing a "W" on the tran­script. A student (or someone representing the student) must initiate the medical withdrawal process by notifying the Office of Student Development or the Registrar's Office. They will outline the proper procedures for withdrawal. The student seeking a medical withdrawal must present a bona fide medical excuse signed by a physician. The regular refund schedule will apply to medical withdrawals.

Students who have been granted a medical withdrawal and wish to re-enter the University must follow standard re-admission policies and must provide satisfac­tory evidence that their medical condition will no longer impede their academic performance.

Federal Definition of Credit Hour

Credit hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than –

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. (34 CFR 600.2)

CMU’s Calculation of Credit Hour

CMU will observe the following minimum time requirements for courses:

  1. Online courses are as rigorous as on-ground courses and typically require as much time to complete the coursework as the on-ground counterpart. Thus, students are expected to demonstrate they have met the student learning outcomes equivalent to a traditionally delivered course. 
  2.  Hybrid courses combine on-ground and online study. These courses are as rigorous as completely on-ground courses and typically require as much time to complete the coursework as the on-ground counterpart. Thus, students are expected to demonstrate they have met the student learning outcomes equivalent to a traditionally delivered course. 

Students will have the opportunity to meet learning outcomes in a number of ways through online and/or hybrid coursework.

  • Direct faculty instruction will include:
    1. Weekly threaded discussion forums
    2. PowerPoint Presentations without audio
    3. PowerPoint Presentations with audio
    4. Lecture notes
    5. Video lectures
    6. Assigned videos (does not include lecture videos)
    7. Quizzes/Exams
    8. Rough Draft feedback
    9. Face-to-Face meetings (hybrid only)
  • Out of class student work will include:
    1. Readings
    2. Written assignments (papers, journals, reviews, etc)
    3. Rough Draft papers
    4. Paper revisions
    5. Research
    6. Case Studies
    7. Power Point Presentations
    8. Assigned homework problems
  • Clinical/Practicum/Internship

Calculations for an 8-week course:

Credit Hours Direct Instruction   Hours Student Work Hours Total Course Hours
1 15 30 45/8-weeks
2 30 60 90/8-weeks
3 45 90 135/8-weeks
4 60 120 180/8-weeks
5 90 150 240/8-weeks

Calculations for a 16-week course:

Credit Hours Direct Instruction   Hours Student Work Hours Total Course Hours
1 15 30 45/16-weeks
2 30 60 90/16-weeks
3 45 90 135/16-weeks
4 60 120 180/16-weeks
5 90 150 240/16-weeks

**Final exams and/or presentations are completed during the 16th week.

Students will have the opportunity to meet learning outcomes in a number of ways through online and/or hybrid coursework.

    • Direct faculty instruction will include:
      1. Weekly threaded discussion forum
      2. PowerPoint Presentations without audio
      3. PowerPoint Presentations with audio
      4. Lecture notes
      5. Video lectures
      6. Assigned videos (does not include lecture videos)
      7. Quizzes/Exams
      8. Rough Draft feedback
      9. Face-to-Face meetings (hybrid only)
    • Out of class student work will include:
      1. Readings
      2. Written assignments (papers, journals, reviews, etc)
      3. Rough Draft papers
      4. Paper revisions
      5. Research
      6. Case Studies
      7. Power Point Presentations
      8. Assigned homework problems
    • Clinical/Practicum/Internship
  • Direct faculty instruction will include:
    1. Weekly threaded discussion forum
    2. PowerPoint Presentations without audio
    3. PowerPoint Presentations with audio
    4. Lecture notes
    5. Video lectures
    6. Assigned videos (does not include lecture videos)
    7. Quizzes/Exams
    8. Rough Draft feedback
    9. Face-to-Face meetings (hybrid only)
  • Out of class student work will include:
    1. Readings
    2. Written assignments (papers, journals, reviews, etc)
    3. Rough Draft papers
    4. Paper revisions
    5. Research
    6. Case Studies
    7. Power Point Presentations
    8. Assigned homework problems
  • Clinical/Practicum/Internship

Calculations for an 8-week course:

Credit Hours Direct Instruction Hours Student Work Hours Total Course Hours
1 15 30 45/8-weeks
2 30 60 90/8-weeks
3 45 90 135/8-weeks
4 60 120 180/8-weeks
5 90 150 240/8-weeks

 Calculations for a 16-week course:

Credit Hours Direct Instruction Hours Student Work Hours Total Course Hours
1 15 30 45/16-weeks
2 30 60 90/16-weeks
3 45 90 135/16-weeks
4 60 120 180/16-weeks
5 90 150 240/16-weeks

**Final exams and/or presentations are completed during the 16th week.

Calculations for direct faculty instruction:

Weekly threaded discussion forums 1 post + 2 replies = 1 hour
PowerPoint Presentations without audio 1 slide = 3 minutes
PowerPoint Presentations with audio 1 side variable = 5-10 minutes
Lecture notes 1 page = 5 minutes
Video lectures Variable = 30 minutes – 1 hour
Face-to-Face meetings (hybrid only) 1 hour = 1 hour
Assigned videos (does not include lecture videos) Variable 30 minutes – 1 hour
Quizzes/Exams Variable 30 minute – 1 hour
Rough draft feedback 30 minutes per page

Calculations for student work:

Readings Variable 10-30 minutes per page depending on content
Written assignments (papers, journals, reviews, etc.) 1 hour per page
Rough draft papers 1 hour per page
Paper revisions 30 minutes per page
Research 1 hour per article/source
Case Studies 1 hour per page
PowerPoint Presentations 30 minutes per slide
Assigned homework problems Variable 10-30 minutes per problem based on math level

Calculations for Applied Music (Private Lessons)

45 hours of practice 1 credit hour
90 hours of practice 2 credit hours
135 hours of practice 3 credit hours

Calculations for Clinical/Practicum/Internship/Lab:

Clinical 40 work hours = 1 credit hour
Practicum Variable 20-40 observation hours = 1 credit hour
Internship 40 work hours = 1 credit hour
Lab 30 contact hours = 1 credit hour

Calculations for Independent Study:

Independent projects, such as special problems, in which the student works more or less individually at various locations, ordinarily requiring intermittent consultation with the professor. The instructor will identify appropriate outcomes/objectives to meet the credit hour requirements of the course.
Hours spent on the course per week may vary from week to week, though the standard total time spent is as follows

40 hours of student work + 5 hours of direct instruction 1 credit hour
80 hours of student work + 10 hours of direct instruction 2 credit hours
120 hours of student work + 15 hours of direct instruction 3 credit hours
160 hours of student work + 20 hours of direct instruction 4 credit hours
205 hours of student work + 25 hours of direct instruction 5 credit hours

Course Delivery Definition

The following definitions of educational delivery methods are based on the Sloan Consortium’s (2010) course classification system. For the purposes of these definitions, synchronous is defined as class instruction and student learning occurring at the same time (for example: in the classroom at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday); asynchronous is defined as class instruction and student learning occurring at different times (for example: viewing a recorded lecture for the first time three days after it is conducted). Please note that these definitions pertain to the delivery method not course content.

  • Traditional course: 0% of course content delivered online. No online technology is used. Course content is delivered in the classroom.  Instructor and student interactions occur face-to-face in the classroom.
  • Web Facilitated: 1-29% of course content delivered online. Web-based technology is used to enhance a face-to-face course. Course materials (handouts, assignments, lecture notes, syllabi) are stored and available to students online in the Learning Management System. Instructor and student interactions occur face-to-face in the classroom.
  • Hybrid/Blended course: 30-79% of course content delivered online.  Instructor and student interactions occur both in the classroom and online. The number of classroom meetings is reduced to a minimum of two meetings for an eight-week course and a minimum of four meetings for a sixteen-week course. All classroom meetings are synchronous. 
  • Online course: 80+% of course content is delivered online. Instructor and student interactions occur online through: discussion, chat, web conferencing, and other activities. Asynchronous class meetings may be conducted using BlackBoard Collabortate; however there is no requirement for a minimum number of meetings. Students are able to interact with one another and the instructor through the online Learning Management System.