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Academic Regulations

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Classification of Students. An undergraduate student is classified according to the following: freshman, 0 to 29 hours completed; sophomore, 30 to 59; junior, 60 to 89; senior, 90 to completion of degree requirements. The junior and senior ranks are often referred to as “upper division” and “advanced.” A student who is enrolled for 12 or more credit hours per semester is considered a full-time student; one enrolled for fewer than 12 hours is considered a part-time student. A freshman may have remedial courses (numbered 0301 or 0302) counted as part of a full course load although these courses do not count toward a degree or toward classification.

All baccalaureate degrees conferred by Texas Tech University are based on the satisfactory completion of specific authorized degree programs comprised of a minimum of 120 semester hours. Students are normally required to take a minimum of 40 credit hours of 3000- and 4000-level courses prior to graduation. They are considered to be making satisfactory progress toward a degree objective when they complete at least 30 credit hours in each calendar/academic year, achieve a GPA of 2.00 or higher in each semester, and maintain an overall GPA of 2.00 or higher.

All references to a grade point average (GPA) reflect policy effective January 1, 2009, stipulating that the university will calculate only current and cumulative GPAs. Both calculations will include replaced grades. Unless otherwise stated, all GPA references refer to a cumulative GPA that includes replaced grades.

Semester Credit Hour and Contact Hour Equivalents. For most purposes a traditionally offered face-to-face course will have a minimum of 15 contact hours for each semester credit hour. Thus, a 1 credit hour course should meet for at least 15 hours over a long semester and a 3 credit hour course should meet for 45 hours over the semester. Courses taught during a summer session are expected to have the same number of contact hours as if they were taught during a long semester. It is permitted to offer a course in a shortened schedule, online, or in other non-traditional formats that do not meet the contact hour requirement if the course has been reviewed by a college faculty committee and the Office of the Provost and approved as having the same learning outcomes as a comparable traditionally delivered course.

Semester Hours and Course Loads. The semester hour is the unit of measure for credit purposes. The student is expected to spend a minimum of two hours in preparation for each hour of lecture or recitation.

In-residence students and any students in their semester of graduation must be enrolled in a minimum of one credit-bearing semester hour. Registration in remedial and other zero-credit hour coursework must be accompanied by one credit-bearing course. Should a student drop to zero credit hours, the student will be withdrawn from the institution.

The maximum number of semester hours a student may take without specific permission of the academic dean is as follows: 19 hours per long semester, 16 hours per long semester for students on academic probation or continued academic probation, and 8 hours per summer term. In determining a greater load, the dean considers the quality of scholastic work performed by the student, the types of courses involved, the student’s health, and extracurricular interests and activities.

Quarter Hour Conversion. Quarter credit hours are converted to semester credit hours by multiplying the number of quarter hours by two-thirds (or .67). Since a fraction of a credit hour cannot be awarded, the remaining fraction of semester hour credit is rounded to the nearest whole number from the tenth’s position of the decimal.

For example, 5 quarter hours are equivalent to 3.4 semester hours, which in turn would be rounded to 3 semester hours of credit: 5 quarter hours x .67 = 3.4 semester hours = 3 semester hours. Applicability of transfer credit toward degree requirements at Texas Tech University will be at the discretion of the student’s academic dean.

Drop or Withdrawal Designations

W— Complete withdrawal from the university. A grade of W will be recorded for each class but will not be counted as one of the permitted drops.

DG— Dropping a course by last drop date. Applies only to students who entered Texas Tech during fall 2004 or thereafter and are limited to six dropped classes.

Dropping a Course.Dropping a course delays graduation. Students should plan their schedules and make a serious commitment to academic success. When it becomes necessary to drop a course, the procedure varies according to the rules below. All course drops, whether during the early semester student-initiated add-drop period, later in the semester as one of the restricted drops, or because of withdrawal from the university, are the responsibility of the student. If students stop attending a class but fail to drop the course, they will receive a grade of F and the grade will become a permanent part of their academic record.

All students who attend a Texas state institution of higher education are restricted to a maximum of six course drops during their undergraduate academic career. This includes all courses that were dropped at any Texas state institution of higher education the student has attended. For example, if a student attended a public community college and dropped two courses prior to enrolling at Texas Tech University, that student has four course drops remaining prior to graduation.

Students may use their limited drops (DG’s) up to the 45th class day of the long semester and the 15th class day of the short summer terms. Students must initiate a drop by following the procedures listed at Further information can be obtained at 806.742.3661.

Exclusions from the rule governing course drops are as follows:

  • A two-week period of student-initiated drop/add at the beginning of each semester allows students to drop a course without the drop counting against their limit of six drops. The student-initiated drop/add period is noted in the academic calendar that appears in each university catalog and online at
  • Students who find it necessary to withdraw completely from the university before withdrawal deadline near the end of the semester will not have the dropped courses counted against their six course limit.

Aside from the exceptions noted above, students will not be permitted to drop more than six courses during their undergraduate academic career unless they can show good cause, including but not limited to demonstrating one or more of the following:

  • Severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
  • Student responsibility for the care of a sick, injured or needy person if the provision of that care affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
  • Death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s death is considered to be a showing of good cause.
  • Active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s active military service is considered to be evidence of good cause.
  • Change of the student’s work schedule that is beyond the control of the student and affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
  • Students who have dropped the maximum number of courses and believe they have good cause to drop an additional course should petition their academic dean.

Change of College. Students who wish to transfer from one college of the university to another should contact the academic dean of the college to which they plan to transfer to ensure that they can meet all enrollment requirements. Students should then complete an academic transfer form in the receiving dean’s office. The last day to change colleges in a given semester or term is the first day of open registration for the next semester. Students who return to the university following academic suspension may change their college if they follow the procedures specified in the section of this catalog on Subsequent Suspensions and Conditions of Return.

Change of Address. Students are responsible for maintaining a correct address on file with the university. Changes may be made online at or by calling 806.742.3661 for assistance. Students required by the housing residence rules to live on campus may not move off campus during the semester without approval from University Student Housing.

Administrative Holds. Failure to meet certain university obligations may result in an administrative hold being placed on a student’s access to such university procedures as registration, release of transcripts, and course add/drops.

Administrative holds may be placed on a student’s record until resolution of problems, including, but not limited to, an outstanding debt to the university, disciplinary action, academic suspension, incomplete admission forms or substandard test scores. It is the student’s responsibility to get the hold released, which can be accomplished by meeting the requirements of the department placing the hold. Status of holds on student records may be obtained online at

Class Attendance. Responsibility for class attendance rests with the student. Instructors set an attendance policy for each course they teach. The university expects regular and punctual attendance at all scheduled classes, and the university reserves the right to deal at any time with individual cases of nonattendance. Instructors should state clearly in their syllabi their policy regarding student absences and how absences affect grades.

In the event of excessive absences, the student must visit the instructor to discuss his or her status in the course. Excessive absences constitute cause for dropping a student from class. If the drop occurs before the 45th class day of the long semester or the 15th class day of the summer term, a designation of DG will be assigned (see section on “Dropping a Course”). If the drop occurs after that time period, the student will receive a grade of F. This drop can be initiated by the instructor but must be formally executed by the academic dean. In extreme cases the academic dean may suspend the student from the university.

Department chairpersons, directors, or others responsible for a student representing the university on officially approved trips should notify the student’s instructors of the departure and return schedules in advance of the trip. The instructor so notified must not penalize the student, although the student is responsible for material missed. Students absent because of university business must be given the same privileges as other students (e.g., if other students are given the choice of dropping one of four tests, then students with excused absences must be given the same privilege).

Reporting Illness. In case of an illness that will require absence from class for more than one week, the student should notify his or her academic dean. The dean’s office will inform the student’s instructors through the departmental office. In case of class absences because of a brief illness, the student should inform the instructor directly. Other information related to illness can be found in the Student Handbook.

Absence Due to Religious Observance. A student shall be excused from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student who intends to observe a religious holy day should make that intention known in writing to the instructor prior to the absence. A student who is absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence.

Civility in the Classroom. Students are expected to assist in maintaining a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. To ensure that all students have the opportunity to gain from time spent in class, faculty members are encouraged to include a statement in their course syllabi relating to behavioral expectations in the classroom.

Grading Practices. A grade is assigned for all courses in which a student is regularly enrolled during any semester or summer term. Only through regular enrollment can a grade be earned. A passing grade may be earned only if the student is enrolled for the duration of the course, and a grade, once given, may not be changed without approval of the student’s academic dean.

The instructor of record determines all grades for a course. The method of determining a grade will be included in the course syllabus presented to students at the beginning of the semester.

The grades used, including plus and minus, with their interpretations, are: A, excellent; B, good; C, average; D, inferior (passing, but not necessarily satisfying degree requirements); F, failure; P, passing; PR, in progress; I, incomplete; and W, withdrawal (not to be confused with a drop). The letter R designates a course repeated to remove an I. The grade of PR is given only when the work in a course extends beyond the semester or term; it implies satisfactory performance and is used primarily in individual study courses. The grades of CR (credit) and NC (no credit) are given in certain instances.

The grade of I is given only when a student’s work is satisfactory in quality but, due to reasons beyond his or her control, has not been completed. It is not given instead of an F. Prior to assigning the I, the instructor must fill out a form available online with OP 34.12 stating the reasons beyond the student’s control for granting the I and the conditions to be met to remove the I. All signatures are required on the form. The I may be replaced by an R if the course is repeated, and the appropriate grade will be given for the second registration. The grade of I will revert to an F after one calendar year if the conditions for completing the I as stated on the form have not been met.

The grade of DG is regulated by the university’s drop policy (see section on “Dropping a Course”).

Non-semester-based courses that are in progress but not completed by the end of a term will be noted on the transcript by PR. Official grades for such courses will appear on the transcript for the term when completed.

Grade Appeals. A student who wishes to appeal a final course grade should first consult with the course instructor, then with the department chairperson, and then, if the matter remains unresolved, with the dean of the college in which the course is offered. A grade appeal must be filed in the office of the dean of the college in which the course is offered within 45 days of the start of the next long semester after the term in which the disputed grade was received. Copies of the grade appeals policy can be obtained from any academic dean’s office or from the Center for Campus Life.

Mid-Semester and Semester Grade Reports . At the close of each semester and each summer term, final course grades are available on (MyTech) or as a hard copy. Students who want a hard copy should update their grading address on Instructors of Record are to post mid-semester grade reports only for freshmen and student athletes. After mid-term grades are posted between the 34th and 40th class days, students can view the grades on Raiderlink (MyTech).

Grade Points. The grades of A, B, C, and D carry with them grade points of 4, 3, 2, and 1, respectively, for each semester hour of credit value of the course in which the grade is received. All other grades have no assigned grade points.

Grade Point Averages. Only courses taken and grades received at this university are used in calculating grade point averages. The current grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of grade points acquired during that semester by the total number of semester hours of all courses in which the student was registered in that semester, exclusive of courses in which grades such as DG, I, P, CR, and PR are received. In the same manner, the grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned in all courses for which the student has registered at this university, including hours for an F, by the total number of semester hours.

Undergraduate-level courses, including those taken toward a second bachelor’s degree or for graduate leveling purposes, are calculated into the undergraduate Texas Tech University GPA. The cumulative Texas Tech University GPA is adjusted to reflect grade replacements. A pure institutional GPA reflects all hours and courses taken at Texas Tech University and is the GPA used to calculate GPA for Texas Tech University honors designations.

Grade Replacement Policy. The Office of the Registrar will initiate the grade replacement process at the end of each term after a Texas Tech course had been retaken at Texas Tech University and prior to graduation. Students wanting to replace a grade received before fall 1983 should contact their academic dean’s office.

Grade replacement is for the purpose of adjusting the cumulative grade point average. A notation will indicate the original course that is being replaced. The original grade will remain. A pure GPA without grade replacements will be used for honors designations.

The most recent A, B, or C will replace all previous grades of D or F in that course. Only grades of D and F are eligible for grade replacement. Courses taken pass/fail for grade replacement can only replace a grade of F. They cannot replace a grade for which grade points were awarded (i.e., a D grade) in a course not taken pass/fail. Students may repeat a course for credit only one time at the normal tuition rate. Additional tuition may be charged for a course taken more than two times.

Students enrolled in a second bachelor’s degree program may repeat a course but cannot replace a grade awarded during the first degree program. They may, however, replace a grade in a course taken during the second degree program while that program is in progress.

Effective January 1, 2009, only current and cumulative GPAs will be calculated. The current and cumulative GPA will include grade replacements. A notation will indicate the original course(s) that is being replaced. The original grade and original academic standing status will remain on the term in which the initial grade was earned.

Pass/Fail Option. Undergraduate students may take up to 13 elective semester hours toward satisfying degree requirements in which they will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Courses specified in the catalog as available only with pass/fail grading and courses taken in excess of degree requirements are not included in the 13-hour restriction. Freshman Seminar (IS 1100) cannot be taken pass/fail.

A college may further restrict the pass/fail option by identifying certain elective courses that may not be taken pass/fail by students in its programs. A college may not broaden the pass/fail option beyond elective courses except as indicated in the paragraphs below. No student on academic probation will be allowed the pass/fail option. The names of students taking a course pass/fail will not be made known to the instructor.

Students wishing to take a course pass/fail should contact the academic dean’s office of the college in which they are enrolled. Students must declare their intent to take a course pass/fail no later than the last day on which a DG is given for courses dropped. A student who has chosen to take a course pass/fail may not subsequently change to a letter grade option. A grade of F received on a course taken pass/fail will be computed into the grade point average.

An exception to the above-stated rules applies to students who have had two years of one foreign language in high school and who enroll in the same foreign language at the 1501 level even though a 1507 course is available. Those students taking the 1501 course are required to take it pass/fail. Such courses do not count against the 13-hour pass/fail limit.

Courses taken in the declared major or minor shall not be taken by pass/fail unless required by the student’s major or minor department. The department of the major or minor will decide whether courses taken under the pass/fail system, before a student has declared a major or minor, shall count toward satisfying the degree requirements.

Credit by Examination for Matriculated Students. Matriculated students may be given the opportunity to receive credit by special examination in courses in which proficiency may be determined by examination. For more detailed information, see “Undergraduate Credit by Exam” in the Undergraduate Admissions section of this catalog.

Final Examination Policies. Class-related activities, with the exception of office hours, are prohibited on designated individual study days and during the final examination period (OP 34.10). These dates are set aside for students to prepare for and take scheduled final examinations. During this period, review sessions are not to be scheduled, quizzes are not to be given, and no other class-related activities can be scheduled.

No substantial examinations other than bona fide make-up examinations may be given during the last class week or during the individual study day. Courses in which lab examinations and design studio reviews are normally scheduled the week prior to finals are excluded from this policy. No extracurricular activities of any kind may be scheduled within the individual study day and the final examination period without written permission of the Office of the Provost.

An instructor with a compelling reason to change the time of an examination must obtain written approval from the department chair and/or dean of the college or school in which the course is taught before requesting room accommodations from Academic Support and Facilities Resources (ASFR). A change in the room assignment for a final examination may be made only with the approval of ASFR.
There is no university policy that provides relief to students who have three examinations scheduled the same day. In that situation, students may seek the assistance of the course instructors, department chair, and/or dean of the college.

Contact ASFR at 806.742.3658 with questions, comments, or concerns regarding the final exam schedule.

Graduation Requirements. Graduation requirements include a minimum cumulative Texas Tech University GPA of 2.0 for all courses, including repeated courses, attempted in the degree program in which students seek graduation. To obtain a degree granted by the university, at least 25 percent of the total semester credit hours must be earned through instruction offered by Texas Tech University. Students in their semester of graduation must be enrolled in a minimum of one credit-bearing semester hour.

Graduation Rates. Federal regulations require that the university disclose graduation rates for men and women who are full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students. Disclosure of graduation rates for various student populations, including athletes, is also required. These are the same rates as those supplied by Texas Tech to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Detailed graduation rates are available from the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Withdrawal from the University. Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the university before the end of a semester or summer term must apply to the Office of the Registrar in 103 West Hall. Students under the age of 18 should first consult their parents and secure from them a written statement that they have permission to withdraw. Although a W will be recorded for all classes that semester or term, these W’s will not be counted as one of the six permitted drops.

International students must receive clearance from the director of International Programs as a part of the withdrawal procedure.Back to Top