Academic Regulations





Course Numbering System

Courses in the 500 series and some in the 600 series are "slash" courses; they are graduate courses with a companion number in the 300 or 400 series and are open to upper division undergraduates who have earned at least 60 credits and graduate students. All courses with numbers in the 700 and 800 series and some in the 600 series are for graduate students only. Students in all master’s degree programs must earn at least one-half of the minimum number of semester credits required in their program in graduate-only level courses.

Student Load

A recommended full-time load for a graduate student is 12 credits per semester. A maximum load is 15 credits per semester and nine credits during a 12-week summer session, with no more than six credits in a four-week summer session. (This applies to any combination of courses - all graduate or graduate/undergraduate.) Students are considered full-time if enrolled for at least nine credits each semester and five semester credits during the summer term.

A student may earn, as a maximum, the number of credits corresponding to the number of weeks in any interim session (i.e., a student may earn a maximum of three (3) credits during J Term).

Any request to carry more than the maximum allowable credits for a semester, summer, or interim session, must be submitted in writing with documented “extenuating circumstances,” and must be approved by the student’s graduate program director prior to enrollment for any of the previously mentioned sessions. An “Overload Request Form” is available from the graduate program director.

Permanent Records

Academic records are confidential between the student and the university. Students may request transcripts of their permanent academic records at any time, provided they are not financially encumbered to the university. Official transcripts cost $8 per set. Transcripts may be requested in person or by writing to the Records and Registration Office. Transcripts will not be released without the student’s authorizing signature. Under no circumstances will partial transcripts be issued.

Notice of rights of access to student records and directory information definition under the U.S. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, in all catalogs and schedules published each year. This Act, with which the university intends to comply fully, was designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students have the right to file complaints with the FERPA Office concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the Act.

The university follows the national guidelines for compliance with the provisions of the Act. A copy of the written procedures may be found in the Records and Registration Office. This office also maintains a Directory of Records, which lists all education records maintained on students by this institution.

UW-L designates the following categories of student information as public or directory information. Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.

Category I.

Names, addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, attendance and school and/or college status.

Category II.

Previous institution(s) attended, past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height, weight, etc. for athletes), date and place of birth.

Category III.

Major field of study, awards, honors (includes Dean’s List), degree(s) conferred, date(s) awarded.

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Records and Registration Office, 117 Graff Main Hall, prior to the end of the second week of each semester or the end of the first week of a summer session. Forms requesting the withholding of directory information are available in the Records and Registration Office. The university assumes that failure on the part of any student to make a specific request for the withholding of categories of directory information, within the time period mentioned above indicates individual approval for disclosure.

University Grading System

Scholastic standing is determined by the grade point system. Grade points are used to determine an official scholastic average for each student. A semester grade point average is calculated by dividing the grade points earned by the number of credits attempted that semester. The cumulative average is the total number of grade points earned divided by the total number of credits attempted.

To successfully complete a course at the graduate level, a grade of “C” (or better) or “P” must be earned. No graduate credit will be applicable to a degree for courses completed with grades below “C.”

Effective beginning the spring semester, January 1994, the university adopted a seven-step grading scale with point values assigned as noted to the right.

**Note: UW-L grade point averages are determined only by grades in UW-L courses. Probationary status and grade point deficiencies of students already matriculated at UW-L may not be improved by enrolling in courses at other institutions.

Change of Grade

An instructor may request to change a final grade three semesters immediately following the close of the semester in which the grade is first recorded, excluding summer. The instructor and department chair authorize the change by signing a “Change of Grade” form and forwarding it to the appropriate dean for signature. The dean will then file it with the Records and Registration Office.

Appeal of Final Grade

All departments must have established policies and procedures, which enable students to appeal final grades. These policies and procedures outline the progression of a formal appeal and specify who, if anyone, is empowered to change a final grade. All appeals for a final grade change must be initiated in writing through the department in question during the semester immediately following the semester in which the grade was earned. A copy of each department’s policies and procedures is on file in the office of the appropriate dean.

Repetition of Courses

Repeating graduate courses is not allowed; even when the recorded grade is lower than “C.”

Reports on Grades and Credits

Grades are available on the TALON system; on the Web at Access requires the student’s ID and PIN numbers. Grade reports are not mailed to students.

Pass/Fail Grading Policies

Credits taken on a P/F basis will not be averaged into a grade point average if “P” is filed by the instructor. The credits will count as credits earned. An “F” will be averaged in and will be counted as credits attempted. Specific courses are approved for pass/fail grading. Students do not have the option to request a graded course be taken as P/F. Students should realize that P/F graded courses might not be accepted in transfer to other institutions of higher learning. Professional schools are especially reluctant to accept P/F graded course work. Some employers, principals, and/or superintendents may be unable to acknowledge credits or reward employees, especially graduate students working on advanced degrees, when course work has been taken under the P/F grading system. UW-L does not accept graduate transfer credit from other institutions in which a grade of “pass” was earned.

Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade (“I”) is a temporary grading symbol (not a final course grade) which may be reported for a student who has carried a subject through the last date that one may withdraw from a course and then, because of illness or other unusual and substantiated cause beyond the student’s control, has been unable to take or complete the final examination, or complete some limited amount of work.

When an incomplete grade is requested, the student must file an Incomplete Grade Request with the instructor. The instructor will prepare and present to the student a written statement that describes the work that must be completed to remove the incomplete. Removal of an incomplete requires that the student satisfy the conditions set forth in the request.

Students have one year to remove an incomplete grade. Only enrolled semesters count when calculating a year. A failing grade (“F”) will be recorded for incomplete grades that are not removed within that time period. Seminar papers, theses, and terminal or culminating projects are exempted from the above rule and are subject only to the seven-year period for degree completion.

A - 4.00 grade points/credit
AB - 3.50 grade points/credit
B - 3.00 grade points/credit
BC - 2.50 grade points/credit
C - 2.00 grade points/credit
D - 1.00 grade points/credit
F - 0.00 counted as credits attempted

Additional university grades and grade points used but not part of the transcript scale adopted in 1994:

  • I — incomplete / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
  • W, WP — withdraw passing / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
  • WF — withdraw failing / 0 (counted as credits attempted; averaged into GPA)
  • EP — emergency withdrawal/passing* / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
  • EF — emergency withdrawal/failing* / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
  • AS — audit satisfactory / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
  • AU — audit unsatisfactory / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
  • S — satisfactory / 0 (counted as credits earned)
  • U — unsatisfactory / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
  • P — pass / 0 (counted as credits earned)
  • F — fail / 0 (counted as credits attempted; averaged into GPA)
  • NA — not active / 0 (counted as credits attempted; averaged into GPA) Student did not officially withdraw from the course, but failed to participate in course activities through the end of the period. There is sufficient evidence to make a meaningful evaluation of academic performance possible. The N/A grade will appear as an “F” on the student record.
  • NR — no report / 0 (not averaged into GPA; the “NR” grade is posted for all missing grades.

*NOTE: The faculty Committee on Academic Policies and Standards has established EP and EF as grades that are to be utilized only for the emergency medical withdrawal of students and military call-ups. These grades will be recorded on the permanent academic record to indicate level of performance at the time of withdrawal; however, such grades will not be averaged into the student grade point average.

Audit Policy

Graduate students may audit courses under the following arrangements:

  1. Students must receive consent of the department chair and the instructor offering the course.
  2. No change from audit to credit will be permitted after the first week of classes. No change from credit to audit will be permitted after the first half of a semester or summer session course.
  3. No credit will be granted for any course that is audited. “Aud” will appear on the student’s permanent academic record. The “AS”- “AU” grading system is used for auditors. (The grade will not affect your GPA.)
  4. An audited course may be repeated for credit in another semester or term.
  5. Appropriate tuition and fees are to be paid for the course.

**Note: Courses being audited may not be taken in excess of student load limits for credit generating courses without special “overload” permission from the academic dean. Courses being audited are not usable to establish full-time or part-time status for any type of eligibility - such as for athletic participation, student grants/loans, or loan deferment.

Transfer of Graduate Credits

Graduate Studies at UW-L subscribes to the statement by the Council of Graduate Schools that describes the master’s program as “a coherent sequence of lectures, seminars, discussions and independent studies or investigations designed to help the student acquire an introduction to the mastery of knowledge, creative scholarship, and research in [the student’s] field. The college or university that offers the master’s degree undertakes a responsibility in the public interest to establish and maintain high quality in the experience given to its students.”

Thus, a graduate program of study is not merely a collection of courses taken in satisfaction of a set of degree requirements. A high quality graduate experience is characterized by graduate students, advised and taught by faculty scholars, coming together in an environment of intellectual and creative pursuit and interchange with other students and faculty in the discipline.

The following transfer policy has been established in keeping with a commitment to highest quality and integrity.

Graduate Level Credit Transfer Policy

In order to be considered for graduate transfer credit at UW-L, these requirements must be met:

  1. Transfer credits will not be accepted with grades lower than “B” (not “BC” or “B-”) or equivalent nor with grades of “pass.” Staff from the Office of International Education may assist in evaluation of courses from international institutions.
  2. The institution offering the course must be regionally accredited at the graduate level if it is a domestic institution, or internationally recognized if it is an international institution.
  3. The course must be acceptable for graduate credit toward a graduate degree at the offering institution, and must be appropriate to a degree at UW-L.
  4. It must appear as a graduate course on the student’s graduate transcript from the offering institution.
  5. Students may be granted permission to transfer a maximum of nine semester credits. This maximum may vary in the case of special consortia or joint degree programs recognized by the Graduate Council. Students pursuing a master’s degree may transfer no more than nine credits from a previous master’s degree or other recognized post-baccalaureate degree program, regardless of whether the graduate degree was awarded by UW-L or another institution.
  6. All credits must have been earned during the seven-year period prior to the proposed date of the completion of all required graduate work.
  7. Students must submit a formal request for approval of transfer credits. Students currently enrolled at UW-L must secure approval from their graduate program director and college dean in advance of enrollment at another institution for such course work to transfer back to UW-L.
  8. Officials at UW-L will not accept transcripts from other institutions that are marked “Issued to Student” for evaluation and/or the awarding of credit. Transcripts must be mailed directly from the issuing institution(s) to the UW-L Admissions Office.

Graduate program directors have discretion in evaluating proposed transfer credits and determining if graduate courses taken at other institutions may apply to a student’s program of study at UW-L. In addition to reviewing an official graduate transcript, graduate program directors may request to review a course syllabus, written assignments, and examinations in order to assist them in their evaluations. Other factors that may be considered include the method of course delivery and course format. Individual program directors may have program-specific information on credit transfer policies and procedures.

**Note: UW-La Crosse grade point averages are determined only by grades in UW-L courses. Probationary status and grade point deficiencies of students already matriculated at UW-L may not be improved by enrolling in courses at other institutions.

Academic Advising

Advising is a critical part of graduate education. It is important for each student to meet with their program director early in your studies to chart a plan of study. Program directors serve as the advisers in some programs; in other programs, advisers are assigned. Consulting with your adviser prior to each registration will reduce the possibility of enrolling in courses which do not meet your goal.


Registration is completed online via the TALON system at Instructions on using the system are available on the Web with the semester timetable information. Some graduate programs require that students register through their advisers instead of using the TALON system. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required prior to registering. If the enrollment management plan will permit registering additional students, late registrants will be accepted and enrolled under normal procedures. Registration is closed at the end of the second week of classes in a semester and after one week in the summer session. This deadline varies for courses that do not last an entire semester.

Schedule Changes

The period of time between a student’s initial registration for any term through the first five days of instruction in any semester (three days during summer session) are considered to be the “drop/add-change-of-schedule” period. During this time, a student may drop classes without affecting his/her permanent academic record; he/she may also add classes or change sections, if the desired section is not closed. Neither the adviser’s signature nor the instructor’s signature is required for schedule changes during this period. The signatures of the department chair and the instructor will be required only if a student seeks to enter a class that is closed. Between the fifth and tenth days of instruction, to add a course, the student must obtain the instructor’s signature. After the tenth day of instruction, classes cannot be added except in unusual cases and then only with the consent of the instructor, department chair and dean.

Class Drops at the Discretion of an Instructor

A student enrolled in any course is expected to be in attendance from the first day or to have notified the instructor or the Office of Student Life that attendance is not possible. A student registered in a section who fails to attend the first two class sessions or provide proper notification may be dropped from the course at the discretion of the instructor.

An instructor who wishes to drop a student from a course should complete a drop/add form and submit it to the Records and Registration Office during the drop/add - change-of-schedule period. A decision by an instructor to drop a student from a class may not be appealed to any other individual or body in the university. A student should not assume that an instructor will use the discretionary drop if he/she does not attend class. It is a student’s responsibility to withdraw from a class.

Withdrawal from Classes

Any student may withdraw from a class until one week beyond midterm of a semester or summer session. All withdrawals from classes after the “drop/add - change-of-schedule” period will be recorded with a “W” on the student’s permanent academic record along with the official date of withdrawal. Half-term courses (either semester or summer session) or short-term courses will have withdrawal time limits established on a basis prorated to withdrawal dates for full-term courses. The student must obtain either his/her adviser’s or the instructor’s signature during this time period. No student is permitted to withdraw from a class later than one week beyond the midterm of a semester or summer session. Only a grade of “F” or “I” may be recorded for any student who enters this time period and fails to complete a course. These deadlines vary for courses that do not last the entire semester.

Withdrawal from the University

Withdrawal from the university is a matter of major importance. Students considering withdrawal from school should discuss the matter with his/her academic adviser or program director prior to initiating action. The official date of withdrawal from all classes will be recorded on the permanent academic record if the student withdraws after classes begin. Forms for withdrawing from the university may be obtained from the Office of Student Life. The forms provide a checklist which withdrawing students are expected to follow carefully. Withdrawal procedures must be fully completed before a withdrawal becomes official.

An official withdrawal entitles a student to a refund of fees when the withdrawal date falls within a refund period. The official date of withdrawal is the date the withdrawal form is received in the Records and Registration Office. A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s academic transcript if the withdrawal date is prior to one week after midterm of a given semester. A grade of “WP” or “WF” will appear if the withdrawal falls after the mid-term point. Withdrawal from the university is not allowed after the three-quarter point of the semester or summer term.

An unofficial withdrawal will result in the recording of failing grades in discontinued courses and in encumbering of student records if the following obligations to the university have not been met: release from graduate assistantship obligations, if appropriate; returning books to textbook service and Murphy library; returning other university supplies and/or equipment issued during preceding periods of regular enrollment; clearing a record through an exit interview in the Financial Aid Office, if necessary; and securing a final clearance in the Cashiers Office with respect to any refund(s) which may be due or obligations unfulfilled regarding university fees, housing or food service arrangements or accounts, and relinquishing the student identification card.

In addition, pursuant to federal regulations that apply to Title IV of the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended, students who receive student financial aid and receive all “NA” grades (recorded at F’s) will be subject to the federal Title IV Return of Funds Policy. These students may be required to return funds to the student financial programs and may also be liable for repayments directly to UW-La Crosse.

Emergency medical withdrawal from the University may be initiated by the student or an authorized agent at any time. It must be supported by a letter from a physician, which is first processed by the Student Health Center to verify its authenticity. After such verification, the Student Health Center will immediately notify the Office of Student Life, which will notify the Records and Registration Office, the Business Office, the appropriate academic dean, the Director of University Graduate Studies, the appropriate graduate program director, and all of the student’s instructors. When the withdrawal is completed, the Records and Registration Office will send instructors a computer-generated drop slip indicating whether a grade is required. Use of the emergency medical withdrawal is intended for use only when totally withdrawing from the university. The permanent academic record may show that no credits were earned, but the status of the student’s grades at the time of the withdrawal will be posted. The record will show one of the following grades submitted by the instructor: “EP” (Emergency Withdrawal Passing), or “EF” (Emergency Withdrawal Failing.) Such grades will not be included in the computation of the term or cumulative grade point average. Any exceptions to the policies of the Emergency Medical Withdrawal must be appealed to the university’s Graduate Council.

Probation and Retention Standards

The following academic standards will be applied once a student has completed at least nine graduate credits:

Good Standing

  1. Students who maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA will be in good standing.


  1. Students admitted unconditionally who have a cumulative GPA less than 3.00 upon completion of nine graduate credits, or any time thereafter, will be placed on probation. Such students must raise their cumulative GPA to at least 3.00 within the next nine credits in order to continue in graduate study.
  2. Students admitted on probation must have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA after completing nine graduate credits in order to continue in graduate study.
  3. Students who have been on probation and subsequently removed from probation will be returned to a probationary status if their cumulative GPA falls below 3.00.


  1. Students admitted unconditionally, who subsequently were placed on probation, will be dismissed from graduate study if their cumulative GPA is below 3.00 after completing nine graduate credits while on probation.
  2. Students admitted on probation will be dismissed from graduate study if their cumulative GPA is below 3.00 after completing nine graduate credits.
  3. Students will be dismissed from graduate study if their semester GPA is less than 3.00 at any time while on probation (after completing nine credits.)
  4. Students who earn a “D” or “F” in a graduate course will be dismissed from graduate study.

Individual programs may have more restrictive policies. Academic action, e.g. dismissal, may be appealed to the student's program and Graduate Council through the Office of University Graduate Studies, if compelling evidence is presented to warrant exception to the policy. Students should consult with their program director and the academic assistant to the Dean in their college to prepare an appeal. Graduate students in non-degree study are expected to meet and maintain the same academic standards as students in degree programs.

Senior Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Undergraduate students with senior status (at least 90 credits) who have at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average may enroll in a maximum of six graduate credits. These graduate level credits may not be used to satisfy requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Graduate Council. Maximum student credit load for dual-enrollment (undergraduate/graduate) is 15 credit hours for a semester and eight credit hours for a summer session (standard university overload approval process applies).

Students must submit written permission from the course instructor and their adviser along with a graduate special non-degree application, to the admissions office prior to registering for a graduate course. The registration system cannot accommodate senior dual-enrollment; therefore registration for the graduate course(s) must be done via mail or in person at the Records and Registration Office. Undergraduate tuition and fees are charged. Students are expected to purchase texts for graduate courses.

**Note: Undergraduate students are not allowed to enroll in graduate level MBA courses

General Information

Accommodation of Religious Beliefs

It is the policy of the Board of Regents that students’ sincerely held religious beliefs shall be reasonably accommodated with respect to all examinations and other academic requirements. The University guidelines state that the claim of a religious conflict should be accepted at face value, and any student with a conflict between an academic requirement and any religious observance must be given an alternative means of meeting the academic requirement. The student must notify the instructor within the first two weeks of class of the specific days/dates for which the student will request relief. It is understood that instructors may set reasonable limits on the total number of days claimed by any one student. Instructors are not obliged to schedule make-up exams before the regularly scheduled requirements. Complaints may be filed with the Office of Affirmative Action and Diversity, 235 Graff Main Hall.

Class Attendance

Students are responsible to their respective instructors for all absences. If a student is absent an extended period of time (over one week), due to illness, family emergency, etc., the student must contact the Student Life Office, 149 Graff Main Hall. That office will inform the instructors involved of the absence. This serves as notification only, not necessarily a formal excuse. It is the student’s responsibility to contact each instructor for make-up work, etc. There is no “cut” system. University regulations prohibit excusing students and the dismissal of classes immediately preceding or immediately following scheduled vacation or recess periods except in cases of commonly recognized and extreme emergencies.

Cross-listed Course

A course offered by more than one department that has the same course description, credits, and title but a different prefix is a cross-listed course. Students may earn credit only once for taking a cross-listed course.

Final Examinations

A final examination will be given in each course within a special examination period except for one-credit courses which will have exams scheduled at the last regular meeting of the class. The examination periods, dates, and times are included in each semester’s Timetable. The relative importance assigned to the final examination is determined by the instructor in charge of each course.

Study Day

No final examination shall be given to any student on Study Day. Study Day is a day to prepare for the final examination period. No faculty or student activities of any sort shall be scheduled on Study Day. This includes make-up classes or tests, faculty or student committee meetings and athletic practices or events.

Name and Address Changes

It is the student’s responsibility to keep appropriate offices advised of changes. Campus (local) or permanent (legal) home addresses may be changed on the TALON system ( Official name changes may be done in the Records and Registration Office, 117 Graff Main Hall.

Transcript Service

Requests for transcripts must be submitted in writing. Send request to Records and Registration Office, 117 Graff Main Hall, UW-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601. There is a charge of $5 per set (payable to UW-L), which must accompany the request. Any expenses incurred as a result of special handling (i.e., FAX) can be assessed in addition to the fee stated. UW-L processes most requests within 24 hours of receipt. Currently enrolled students may obtain one unofficial transcript free per semester.

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