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Scholastic Probation and Dismissal

Undergraduate Students

An undergraduate must maintain a minimum cumulative University grade point average (GPA) to remain academically eligible to register for the subsequent semester or summer session. The cumulative University grade point average is calculated on the basis of all work undertaken at the University, including credit by examination, correspondence, and extension, for which a letter grade was given. Courses for which the symbols Q, S, U, X, W, CR, and NC were given are not included.[6] Grades earned at any institution other than the University are not included in the University grade point average, but semester hours of transfer credit accepted by the University are added to hours taken at the University to determine the total college hours undertaken.

As shown in the following table, the minimum grade point average required varies with the total number of college credit hours the student has undertaken.

Table of Scholastic Standards

Total College Hours Undertaken UT Austin GPA for Scholastic Probation UT Austin GPA for Scholastic Dismissal
Below 15 less than 2.00 less than 1.50
15–44 less than 2.00 less than 1.70
45–59 less than 2.00 less than 1.85
60 or more less than 2.00 less than 2.00

Probation and dismissal. The following rules govern scholastic probation and dismissal.

  1. Change of scholastic status. Scholastic status is determined when grades are reported at the end of each fall and spring semester and at the end of the summer session. Although a student’s University grade point average may change between these grade-reporting periods (because a final grade has been recorded in place of an X, for example), the student’s scholastic status is not changed until the next official grade-reporting period during which the student is enrolled at the University.
  2. Effect of grades in courses repeated. All grades earned in University courses, whether repeated or not, count in a student’s grade point average. However, in counting grade points for any semester, a student who earned a grade of at least C- in a course taken in a previous semester may not use grade points earned in that same course in the current semester to meet the minimum requirements for continuance given below without written permission from the dean.
  3. Scholastic probation. (a) A student whose cumulative University grade point average falls below 2.00 at the end of a grade-reporting period is placed on scholastic probation. Probationary status is reflected on the student’s permanent academic record. (b) Any student returning to the University after a period of scholastic dismissal returns on scholastic probation. (c) Under exceptional circumstances, the director of admissions may admit a student to the University on scholastic probation.
  4. Quantity of work while on scholastic probation. A student on scholastic probation must maintain a course load of at least twelve semester hours in a long-session semester, unless the student’s dean approves a reduced course load in writing before the student registers. Permission to take fewer than twelve hours is based on extenuating circumstances and is not routinely granted. In the summer session, no minimum course load is required of a student on scholastic probation.
  5. Removal from scholastic probation. A student on scholastic probation who achieves a cumulative University grade point average of at least 2.00 at the end of a grade-reporting period during which he or she is registered at the University is removed from scholastic probation. Removal from probation is reflected on the student’s permanent academic record.
  6. Scholastic dismissal. Under the conditions noted in items a, b, and c below, a student is subject to scholastic dismissal at the end of a long-session semester. A student is not placed on scholastic dismissal at the end of a summer session unless the dismissal is the result of a previous condition prescribed by his or her academic dean. Scholastic dismissal is reflected on the student’s permanent academic record.

    1. Any beginning student, freshman or transfer, who has not earned previous credit in residence at the University and who fails twelve or more semester hours of coursework in a long-session semester is subject to scholastic dismissal without a prior probationary period.
    2. To be subject to scholastic dismissal, a student, except the beginning students described above, must first be placed on scholastic probation. A student on scholastic probation is subject to scholastic dismissal under either of the following conditions:

      1. At the end of a long-session semester, a student on scholastic probation who fails to attain the cumulative University grade point average shown in the Table of Scholastic Standards above will be dismissed from the University.
      2. A student on scholastic probation who withdraws from the University after the first four weeks of classes in a long-session semester will be placed on scholastic dismissal, unless the withdrawal is under exceptional conditions approved by the student’s dean.
    3. When a student who has been dismissed from the University returns, he or she reenters on scholastic probation and may be subject to dismissal under the policies stated in (b)(i) and (b)(ii) above.
  7. Student responsibility. A student who is dismissed from the University after completing registration for the next semester will have his or her registration canceled and may not attend classes. The student is responsible for knowing his or her scholastic status and may not appeal the cancellation of registration based on lack of such knowledge.
  8. Length of scholastic dismissal.

    1. First dismissal—One long-session semester and any intervening summer session.
    2. Second dismissal—Three calendar years; readmission must be approved by the student’s dean.
    3. Third dismissal—A student dismissed for the third time will not be readmitted.
  9. Effect of scholastic dismissal on correspondence courses or registration in another institution. A student who is dismissed from the University for scholastic reasons is not prohibited from taking courses by correspondence or from enrolling in another institution. The period of dismissal will not be decreased as a result of coursework completed while on dismissal.
  10. Exceptions permitting continuance in the University. Normally, a student subject to dismissal will be dismissed; however, each college and school within the University has an appeals procedure administered by the Office of the Dean. A student who wishes to appeal should contact the office of his or her academic dean for procedures and deadlines. In unusual circumstances, a student may be allowed to continue subject to conditions prescribed by the dean. Approval to continue will not be given, regardless of the circumstances, unless the dean believes that the student has a reasonable chance of attaining a degree.
  11. Special college regulations. Each college and school of the University determines its own policies regarding the minimum academic standards required of its students. Any college or school may require a higher minimum grade point average than is required to avoid scholastic probation under University-wide rules. In addition, a college or school may restrict enrollment because of the limitation of instructional resources. A student may be ineligible to continue in a particular college or school while remaining eligible to transfer to another; however, no student on scholastic dismissal from the University may be enrolled in any academic program of the University.

Graduate Students

To continue in the Graduate School beyond the first semester or summer session, the student must make satisfactory progress in absolving any admission conditions that were imposed, meet any requirements made in writing by the Graduate Studies Committee, maintain a graduate grade point average of at least 3.00, and receive the approval of the student’s Graduate Studies Committee.

Graduate Studies Committees are responsible for evaluating the students in their programs to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress toward a degree. If the Graduate Studies Committee finds that a student is not making satisfactory progress, it may recommend to the graduate dean that the student’s program be terminated.

A graduate student whose cumulative graduate grade point average falls below 3.00 at the end of any semester or summer session will be warned by the Office of Graduate Studies that his or her continuance in the Graduate School is in jeopardy. The student must attain a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.00 during the next semester or summer session he or she is enrolled or be subject to dismissal. During this period, the student may not drop a course or withdraw from the University without the approval of the graduate adviser and the graduate dean.

A graduate student who has been dismissed may be readmitted for further graduate study only by petition of the Graduate Studies Committee in the student’s major area or by the Graduate Studies Committee of another program that will accept the student. The petition must be approved by the graduate dean.

Academic dismissal is reflected on the student’s permanent record.

Honors

Except as noted, the following programs, scholarships, and organizations are open to all qualified undergraduates. Honors available through the colleges and schools are described in the undergraduate catalog.

Honor Societies for Freshmen

Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma are national honor societies that recognize scholastic attainment during the freshman year. Members are chosen each fall and spring. Membership is offered to students who earn a grade point average of at least 3.50 during the first semester of their freshman year while completing at least twelve semester hours of coursework. Students who do not qualify during the first semester may become eligible by earning a grade point average of at least 3.50 for the first two semesters of work combined.

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest honorary society in America, was founded by students at the College of William and Mary in 1776; the Alpha of Texas chapter was organized at the University in 1904–1905. Eligibility is limited to upper-division students who achieve distinguished scholastic records in disciplines that Phi Beta Kappa designates as liberal arts and sciences. The student must have completed at least sixty semester hours of coursework at the University.

Elections to Phi Beta Kappa are held in the fall, spring, and summer each year. Alumni members are occasionally selected from among graduates of at least five years’ standing who have won appropriate distinction since graduation; honorary members are selected for special merit.

Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. The University chapter was established in 1962. Membership is available by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of second-semester juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students. Students are eligible for membership if they have completed at least seventy-two semester hours of coursework at the University and have the required grade point average. Elections to Phi Kappa Phi are held in the fall and spring.

Mortar Board

Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service. It was founded in 1918 by representatives from Cornell University, the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University, Swarthmore College, and Syracuse University. The University chapter was founded in 1923. Membership is a nationally recognized distinction earned by outstanding students across the country. Members of Mortar Board are chosen each spring through an application process.

British Marshall, Rhodes, and Truman Scholarships

British Marshall scholarships allow young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the system of higher education of their choice in the United Kingdom. Each scholarship offers two years or more of postgraduate study. Up to forty new awards are offered every year in the United States. Students should apply in their senior year. Applications are due in the Liberal Arts Honors Program office in early September.

Rhodes scholarships are for outstanding United States citizens who are between eighteen and twenty-four on October 1 of the year of application. Students should apply in their senior year. Each scholarship offers two years or more of postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. Thirty-two scholarships are assigned annually to the United States. Applications are due in the Liberal Arts Honors Program office in early September.

The Harry S. Truman Foundation awards sixty to sixty-five $30,000 merit-based scholarships annually to college students who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Applicants must be in the top quarter of their class, with a grade point average of at least 3.80, and must be United States citizens or nationals. Truman Scholars receive leadership training, graduate school counseling, preferential admission and merit-based aid at some premier graduate institutions, and internship opportunities with federal agencies. Students who will be seniors the following academic year should apply to the Liberal Arts Honors Program office in September.

Junior Fellows Program

The Junior Fellows Program provides recognition for outstanding students who have completed four semesters, or about sixty semester hours of coursework. Chosen annually from the best students across the campus, junior fellows are given the opportunity to do independent study and research with distinguished professors of their choice and to have that research supported by small grants, if necessary. The program is administered by the College of Liberal Arts, but undergraduates in all colleges and schools are eligible to take part. Students who wish to be considered should apply in February. Application forms are available in the Liberal Arts Honors Program office.

College Scholars

On Honors Day each spring, the University designates outstanding students as College Scholars and Distinguished College Scholars, on the basis of registration and grade point average requirements for courses taken in residence at the University, as specified below. Students who are eligible for recognition receive invitations to the Honors Day convocation about three weeks before Honors Day.

To be designated a College Scholar, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. The student must be registered as an undergraduate for at least twelve semester hours of coursework in residence, unless he or she lacks fewer than twelve hours to complete degree requirements. Students who hold an undergraduate degree are not eligible.
  2. The student must have completed at least twelve semester hours of coursework in residence in either the spring or the fall semester of the previous calendar year.
  3. The student must have completed at least thirty semester hours of coursework at the University, excluding credit by examination, and at least sixty semester hours of college coursework, including transferred work and credit by examination.
  4. The student must have an in-residence University grade point average of at least 3.50.

To be designated a Distinguished College Scholar, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. The student must be registered as an undergraduate for at least fifteen semester hours of coursework in residence, unless he or she lacks fewer than fifteen hours to complete degree requirements. Students who hold an undergraduate degree are not eligible.
  2. The student must have completed at least fifteen semester hours of coursework in residence in either the spring or the fall semester of the previous calendar year.
  3. The student must have completed at least thirty semester hours of coursework at the University, excluding credit by examination, and at least sixty semester hours of college coursework, including transferred work and credit by examination.
  4. The student must have an in-residence University grade point average of at least 3.80.

University Honors

Each fall and spring semester, undergraduates who complete a full course load and earn outstanding grades are recognized by inclusion on the University Honors list. Each time a student is included on the list, his or her official record also shows the award of University Honors for that semester. The list is compiled at the end of each fall and spring semester; it is based on the student’s work in that semester only. To be included, a student must earn at least forty-five grade points and a grade point average of at least 3.50 on courses completed in residence and must have no incomplete grades (symbol X).

Students are notified on the semester grade report of their inclusion on the list.

Graduation with University Honors

To be eligible to graduate with University honors, an undergraduate must have completed at least sixty semester hours at the University of Texas at Austin. Graduation with University honors is based on the average of all grades earned in courses taken in residence at the University, whether the courses were passed, failed, or repeated. Courses taken pass/fail are counted in the sixty-hour minimum, but only letter grades (including Fs in pass/fail courses) are used to determine the grade point average.

The faculty of each college or school determines the percentage of the graduating class of that division to receive honors, high honors, and highest honors and the minimum grade point average for each category, subject to the following requirements:

  1. No more than 20 percent of the May graduating class of each college or school may receive honors, high honors, and highest honors. No more than 10 percent of the class may receive high honors and highest honors. No more than 4 percent may receive highest honors.
  2. Honors graduates must have a grade point average of at least 3.30 in courses taken in residence at the University.

The faculty may adopt college- or school-wide standards or may designate grade point average and percentage requirements for each program within the college or school, but the percentage of the college or school class receiving honors, high honors, and highest honors may not exceed those above.

Percentage requirements are not applied to August and December graduating classes. The grade point averages established for May graduates are applied to the following August and December classes to determine honors, high honors, and highest honors.


Honors High Honors Highest Honors
College or School Rank Min. GPA[7] Rank Min. GPA[7] Rank Min. GPA[7]
School of Architecture top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.30 top 4% 3.30
McCombs School of Business[8] top 20% 3.50 top 10% 3.65 top 4% 3.80
College of Communication[9] top 20% 3.465 top 10% 3.665 top 4% 3.865
College of Education top 20% 3.50 top 10% 3.65 top 4% 3.80
Cockrell School of Engineering[10] top 20% 3.50 top 10% 3.70 top 4% 3.85
College of Fine Arts[11] top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.60 top 4% 3.85
Jackson School of Geosciences top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.667 top 4% 3.867
College of Liberal Arts top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.667 top 4% 3.867
College of Natural Sciences top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.667 top 4% 3.867
School of Nursing top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.30 top 4% 3.30
College of Pharmacy top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.30 top 4% 3.30
School of Social Work top 20% 3.30 top 10% 3.30 top 4% 3.30

Teacher Certification

The University conducts a large, field-based educator preparation program leading to certification for future teachers, administrators, and educational support personnel. This program is evaluated each year by the State of Texas and by the federal government. The results of these evaluations attest to the high quality of educator preparation at the University. For the academic year 2007–2008, 824 students were enrolled in the Professional Development Sequence of courses in the teacher certification programs. Teacher preparation requires extensively supervised field experiences, with most programs requiring eight hundred hours in the field. Of the 632 University students who took an educator certification exam in 2007–2008, 98 percent passed. This passing rate ranks in the highest quartile for all educator certification programs in Texas; the statewide average pass rate was 80 percent. Based on certification exam pass rates for all applicant demographic groups, the Texas State Board for Educator Certification rated the University educator preparation program “accredited,” its highest rating.

The University recommends students for teacher certification to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). To be recommended for a certificate to teach in elementary, middle, or high school, an undergraduate student must earn a degree as well as complete an approved teacher certification program. Students complete the following requirements for approved programs in conjunction with degree requirements:

  1. Enrollment. Students seeking certification to teach at the elementary school level (option a below) must register in the College of Education and major in applied learning and development, an interdisciplinary program.

    Students seeking middle grades (option b below), high school (option c), or all-level (option d) certification must earn a degree from the college or school that houses the academic program in their prospective teaching field. Students should be advised by both an adviser in their academic department and a teacher certification adviser to confirm that the courses for which they register are applicable to their certification program.

    Students who are seeking teacher certification should select from the following options:

    1. Early childhood through grade 6: Generalist or bilingual generalist
    2. Grades 4 through 8: Math, science, English/language arts/reading, or social studies
    3. Grades 8 through 12: Math, science, computer science, English/ language arts/reading, history, or social studies
    4. All-level: Special education, art, music, theatre, kinesiology, or languages other than English
  2. Admission to the Professional Development Sequence. All students seeking teacher certification must complete a sequence of professional development courses. Admission to the Professional Development Sequence is restricted, and students must apply for admission to it. Academic performance, completion of prerequisite courses, documented evidence of proficiency in reading and in oral and written communication, and the number of hours needed to complete the program may be factors in the admission decision.

    For students seeking early childhood through grade six or all-level generic special education certification, admission to the Professional Development Sequence requires the minimum University grade point average and course grades prescribed by each program. To progress within the sequence, the student must maintain the minimum grade point average for the program. In addition, when they enter the Professional Development Sequence, students seeking early childhood through grade six and all-level generic special education certification may lack no more than twelve semester hours of coursework outside the sequence. Additional information about these requirements is available in the Office of the Dean, College of Education.

    For students in other teacher certification programs, requirements for admission to and continuation in the Professional Development Sequence are set by the college in which the student majors.

  3. Certification exam. An individual seeking certification is required to achieve a satisfactory level of performance on the appropriate Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) test to be approved for initial or additional certification. Students who do not apply for their teaching certificate within three years of completing apprentice teaching may be required to complete additional fieldwork hours and coursework before applying for the certificate.
  4. Legal questions. In accordance with state law, the commissioner of education may suspend or revoke a teaching certificate or refuse to issue a teaching certificate for a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for a crime that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the teaching profession. Information about other legal issues is available from the teacher certification officer, George I. Sánchez Building 216, (512) 471-3223.

For students who hold a bachelor’s degree, separate programs are available that lead to teacher certification at all levels. The requirements of these postbaccalaureate programs may be different from those of the undergraduate certification programs.

For more information about teacher certification programs, students should see a certification adviser in the dean’s office of the College of Education, George I. Sánchez Building 216.

Career Services

Through testing and counseling, the Career Exploration Center helps students make decisions about their career goals; the center’s services are described in chapter 5. Career placement services are provided by the individual colleges and schools; in addition, a number of departments have career advisers or offices. Many of these career services are described in the undergraduate catalog; more information is available in the deans’ offices and on the college and school Web sites.

Transcripts

With proper identification, a student may purchase an official transcript in person, by mail, by telephone, or online for $10 a copy. The transcript includes only the academic record accumulated at the University of Texas at Austin. Unofficial copies of transcripts from other institutions are furnished by the registrar in accordance with the Texas Open Records Act, for a fee of $10. A transcript is a comprehensive record of an individual’s academic progress at the University; it contains all the significant facts about a student’s admission, academic level, and scholarship. The contents of an official transcript are listed in subchapter 9–400 of the Institutional Rules. No partial or incomplete record (such as a record with grades of F omitted) will be issued. A student who owes a debt to the University may be unable to obtain an official transcript until the debt is paid. Additional information about requesting a transcript is published by the registrar’s office.

Texas law provides criminal penalties for forgery of a transcript or similar document.

Diplomas

University diplomas display the student’s legal name, graduation date, and degree, along with the name and seal of the institution and the signatures of University and University of Texas System officials. If the student has graduated with University honors, this accomplishment is indicated. The diploma shows the title of the degree the student has earned, such as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, or Doctor of Philosophy; it does not include the student’s major(s).

Diplomas are mailed about six weeks after the student’s graduation. A student who owes a debt to the University may be unable to obtain a diploma until the debt is paid.

A graduate may purchase a replacement diploma if the original has been lost or destroyed. If purchased more than one year after the original diploma was issued, the replacement will bear the reissue date below the date the degree was awarded. The signatures of University and University of Texas System officials may not be the same as those on the original diploma, since the signatures of former officials are not maintained on file. Additional copies of an original diploma also may be purchased at the time of issue. Orders should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar with a $10 fee for each diploma.

A student who requests a new diploma based on a change of name must pay the replacement fee, unless the name change was submitted by the deadline set by the registrar or a postponement of the deadline was granted.

Personal Record Information

Name change. The University maintains educational records under the student’s full, legal name. Official documents such as diplomas and transcripts will not be issued bearing any other name.

A currently enrolled student may change the name on his or her permanent academic record by presenting a certified copy of the appropriate documentation to the registrar. To correct the spelling or the proper sequence of the name requires a copy of the student’s birth certificate. To change the name, the student must present a notarized request and a copy of the signed court order showing the new legal name. To assume the spouse’s name following marriage, a student must present a notarized request and a copy of the marriage certificate. A student who wishes to discontinue use of the married name and resume use of the original family name, or adopt another name, must present a divorce decree or signed court order showing restoration of the original name or assignment of another name.

The University maintains student records under the name the student had when last enrolled. A former student may not change the name on his or her permanent academic record except by presenting a notarized request and a certified copy of the signed court order showing the authorized name change.

Change of address, telephone number, or e-mail address. The student must give correct local and permanent postal addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail address to the Office of the Registrar and to the office(s) of the student’s dean(s) and must notify these offices immediately of any changes. Students may update contact information at the registrar’s Web site. Official correspondence is sent to the postal or e-mail address last given to the registrar; if the student has failed to correct this address, he or she will not be relieved of responsibility on the grounds that the correspondence was not delivered.

Summons to Administrative Offices

A summons to the office of any administrative officer must be observed. Failure to respond to a summons may result in suspension from the University. A summons to the dean may be sent by post or by e-mail, so it is important that the student keep both the dean and the registrar informed of all current addresses.

Official Communications with the University

Students are expected to attend to business matters with the University during regular working hours, Monday through Friday. A student who is unable to conduct business personally should contact the appropriate office by mail or telephone. For purposes of proper identification and clarity, written communications should include the student’s name, public user name (UT EID), and local address (if applicable).

Electronic mail, like postal mail, is a mechanism for official University communication to students. Policies on the use of e-mail for official communication are given in Appendix M.

6. Since September 15, 2006, the University has awarded only the symbol CR, rather than a letter grade, for credit earned by exam. As a result, credit earned by exam and recorded since that date is not included in the student’s cumulative University grade point average. Through September 15, 2006, students chose either a letter grade or the symbol CR for credit earned by exam; credit by exam that was recorded with a letter grade is included in the student’s cumulative University grade point average.

7. Each grade point average is the minimum required for graduation with honors, high honors, or highest honors. Because only a certain percentage of the class may receive honors, the average required for each category may be higher.

8. To graduate with University honors, a student in the McCombs School must have completed at least sixty semester hours of coursework in residence at the University.

9. To graduate with University honors, a student in the College of Communication must have completed at the University at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.

10. To graduate with University honors, a student in the Cockrell School of Engineering must have completed in residence at the University at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree. A student may receive only one bachelor’s degree with University honors from the Cockrell School.

11. To graduate with University honors, a student in the College of Fine Arts must rank in the indicated percent of students graduating that semester from his or her academic unit (art and art history, music, or theatre and dance) and must have no outstanding delay of grade (symbol X). He or she must have completed at least sixty semester hours of coursework in residence at the University. A student may receive only one bachelor’s degree with University honors from the College of Fine Arts.

General Information, 2009-2010

page 3 of 3 in Chapter 4

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