Academic Standing and Grade Information
For a visual depiction of the academic standings please view our Academic Standing Flow Chart. A candidate for an undergraduate degree must have a scholastic standing of at least 2.0 (1) in all credits presented for graduation whether earned at WKU or elsewhere, (2) in all credits completed at WKU, (3) overall in the major subjects and in the minor subjects, and (4) in the major subjects and in the minor subjects completed at WKU. Students desiring teacher certification must fulfill all academic requirements for teacher certification in the major and minor, in addition to meeting the requirements for graduation. Students should be aware that some academic programs require a minimum grade of “C” in each course applicable toward a major or minor. Refer to the departmental descriptions in this catalog or contact the department head to determine the specific requirements for each major.
To be eligible for continuous enrollment without being placed on academic probation, a student must maintain the following scholastic standards in both the overall grade point average and the total institution grade point average (i.e., courses taken at WKU):
- A 1.7 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has 17 or fewer GPA hours.
- A 1.8 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has more than 18 but fewer than 34 GPA hours.
- A 1.9 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has 34 or more but fewer than 51 GPA hours.
- A 2.0 overall and total institution grade point average if the student has 51 or more GPA hours.
NOTE: At the end of each academic term, students may access their grade report via TopNet which reflects grades for the term, the overall grade point average, and the total institution grade point average.
Academic Warning – If the previous academic standing was Good Standing (GS), and the student does not satisfy the term GPA requirement but satisfies the WKU GPA requirement and Overall Higher education GPA requirement, the new academic standing is Academic Warning (AW). Students whose academic standing falls to Academic Warning will be asked to attend an Academic Warning Workshop during the first week of classes. In this workshop, students will learn what it means to be on Academic Warning, what the implications are for not raising their GPA, and what resources are available on campus to help them succeed in their coursework.
Academic Probation—Students failing to meet the scholastic standards listed above are placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation is allowed continued enrollment on a semester-by-semester probationary status as long as a 2.0 grade point average is maintained each term. The academic probation and dismissal processes for Western Kentucky University are administered by the AARC. The AARC utilizes two of its programs to provide students with resources to reach academic good standing: The Best Expectation Programs (BEP) and The Learning Center (TLC). Please see Academic Standing, Probation, and Appeal under the Academic Information section of this catalog for more information. Students on academic probation are required to participate in the Best Expectation Programs (BEP) through the Academic Advising & Retention Center (AARC).
Academic Dismissal—Any student placed on academic probation who fails to earn a current (term) grade point average of 2.0 or higher is academically dismissed and is not eligible to enroll in WKU classes for one calendar year. Academic status for all students who complete a term is shown on TopNet. It is the student’s responsibility to stay informed of his / her academic status and to improve academic performance until he / she is returned to good standing status.
Students who are academically dismissed may file an appeal with Academic Dismissal Appeal Committee through the AARC. The Academic Dismissal Appeal Committee may dismiss the student from the University or allow the student continued enrollment under academic probation status with stated restrictions for one additional term. A student dismissed from the University by the Academic Dismissal Appeal Committee may appeal the decision to the Executive Appeals Committee. If the Executive Appeals Committee approves an appeal, the student will be permitted to register for an additional semester on academic probation with conditions determined by the Executive Committee at the time of approval. Detailed operational procedures followed by the University Academic Dismissal Appeal Committee may be obtained from the AARC located in the Dero Downing Student Union, 2141.
Students who are either dismissed or who voluntarily withdraw due to academic deficiencies are eligible to reapply for readmission after one calendar year of absence from WKU. Readmission will be determined according to WKU admission standards at the time of application for readmission. Applications for readmission are to be filed with the Office of Admissions by published deadlines.
Within one week of the start of the pertinent semester / term / summer session, the instructor will provide students a written statement of the factors to be considered in determining grades and the specific weight to be assigned to each of these factors. The letters A, B, C, D, F, P and X are used by the University to indicate the student’s academic proficiency. These letters have the following significance:
A—Excellent, valued at four quality points per semester hour.
B—Good, valued at three quality points per semester hour.
C—Average, valued at two quality points per semester hour.
D—Below average, unsatisfactory, valued at one quality point per semester hour. (A “D” gives credit toward a degree. The student’s overall grade point average, however, must be a 2.0 or better to meet the requirements for graduation.)
F—Failure, valued at no semester hours earned and no quality points.
FN— Failure due to nonattendance, or ceasing to attend, up to and including the 60% point of a term, valued at no semester hours earned and no quality points. Nonattendance shall be defined as failure to perform meaningful academically-related activity including, but not limited to, the following: submitting an academic assignment, taking an exam, participating in an online discussion about academic matters.
P—Pass, credit is awarded toward a degree, but no quality points are assigned. The “P” designation is restricted to specific courses approved for its use.
X—Incomplete. A grade of “X” is given only when a relatively small amount of work is not completed because of illness or other reason satisfactory to the instructor. A grade of “X” will automatically become an “F” unless removed within twelve (12) weeks of the next full term (summer term excluded.) An incomplete must be removed within this twelve-week period regardless of whether the student is registered for additional work in the next term. A student should work with the instructor who assigned the incomplete on an independent basis in order to complete the necessary assignments. A grade of incomplete is not used under any circumstances as a substitute for “F” or “W.”
The designations AU, W, NR, ER and NG are not included in the determination of grade point average and are used in the following cases:
AU—Auditor of a course (See “Auditing of Courses” for additional information.)
NR—No report. Grades for an entire class were not received by the Office of the Registrar in time for processing. The designation “NR” is not to be used as a grade for individual students.
ER—Error in reporting. This designation is used by the Office of the Registrar when a grade is not reported for an individual student.
NG—No grade. A grade is not appropriate to the course. The “NG” designation is restricted to specific courses approved for its use.
IP—In Progress. The IP designation is restricted to specific courses designed to span more than one term. Unless approved otherwise, an IP designation unresolved at the end of one year after its assignment will be converted to an “F.”
Transfer work submitted will be equated to our internal scale and denoted as such on your record.
An undergraduate student is permitted to repeat a maximum of six courses. Only two courses in which a grade of “C” or above has been earned may be repeated.
Credit for a course in which a grade of “F” has been received can be earned only by repeating the course in residence unless prior approval is given by the head of the department in which the course was taken. A course in which a grade of “D” has been received may be repeated at another accredited institution.
A course that has been failed cannot be repeated by WKU On Demand (independent learning) without special permission from the department head. A student may not repeat by proficiency testing a course that has been previously taken or failed at WKU or another accredited institution.
If a course is repeated, only the second grade will be counted in computing the grade point average; if the course is repeated a second time, both the second and the third grades will be used in computing the grade point average. The grade received for each attempt will continue to appear on the student’s academic record. A student may attempt a single course no more than three times.
The Committee on Credits and Graduation has the responsibility for hearing appeals from students regarding the application of these regulations.
An appeal for special permission to repeat a course in the major or minor beyond the third attempt will be considered only upon the recommendation of the head of the department involved, and then only if special consideration is needed to raise the average in that subject to the minimum required.
Students seeking special consideration to repeat a course beyond the third attempt in the general education requirements and in free electives must first consult with the University Registrar. If, after this conference, an appeal is deemed appropriate, the Committee on Credits and Graduation will consider the student’s request.
An academic renewal program is available to qualified undergraduate students. Academic renewal prevents the voided coursework from counting toward graduation and the computation of the grade point average; however, the voided coursework will remain a part of the transcript. Qualified undergraduate students must not have attended any accredited college or university for at least two previous years and must have a cumulative grade point average, since readmission, of at least 2.0 (with no grade below “D”), computed at the end of the term in which the student completes a minimum of 12 semester hours of courses numbered 100 or above. WKU accepts transfer credit retained through academic renewal at other institutions but will use grades from those courses for the computation of the overall GPA. The student must file a petition to request academic renewal, indicating whether one semester or all previous coursework is to be voided. No student may declare academic renewal more than once. The petition to apply for academic renewal is available on the Office of the Registrar website at http://www.wku.edu/registrar/documents/form_academic_renewal.pdf.
Registration in a course obligates the student to be regular and punctual in class attendance. Students should make certain their names are on the class roll. If an error has been made in registration, it is the student’s responsibility to see the error is corrected in the Office of the Registrar. It is the individual instructor’s responsibility to inform students of the guidelines for implementing the instructor’s attendance policy, in writing within one week of the start of the pertinent semester/term/summer session. Students who cease attending class are expected to report to the Office of the Registrar to initiate withdrawal procedures. Withdrawal deadlines are published each term in the Registration Guide.
Excessive absenteeism frequently contributes to poor academic achievement. An instructor who determines a student’s absenteeism is inconsistent with the instructor’s stated policy should either counsel with the student or request the Academic Advising & Retention Center arrange a counseling session with the student. Excessive absenteeism may result in the instructor’s dismissing the student from the class and recording a failing grade, unless the student officially withdraws from the class before the withdrawal deadline. If the student withdraws from the university after the end of the official withdrawal period, excessive absenteeism may be one of the considerations in the instructor’s deciding whether circumstances justify a “W” or an “F” in the course. The normal appeal process is available to the student who wants to appeal the decision of the instructor.
When a student is absent from class because of illness, death in the family, or other justifiable reasons, it is the student’s responsibility to consult the instructor at the earliest possible time. Contact AARC for guidance (270) 745- 5065.
Students who, without previous arrangement with the instructor or department, fail to attend the first two class meetings of a course meeting multiple times per week or the first meeting of a class that meets one time per week MAY be dropped from the course. Nonattendance for a web-based course shall be defined as failure to perform meaningful academically-related activity (including, but not limited to, the following: submitting an academic assignment, taking an exam, participating in an online discussion about academic matters) within one week of the course start date without previous arrangements with the instructor or department.