The Office of the Registrar is the permanent repository for the official academic record of each student and provides a variety of academic services including: registration and grading; official transcripts; biographical information changes; withdrawals; degree certification; enrollment verification; undergraduate catalog publication; application for graduation; and commencement planning. Online access to academic records is secured through the use of a WKUid and password and in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Electronic academic records are backed up nightly, and all permanent academic records created prior to 1990 are backed up with both microfilm and digital imaging.
Registration services are available through TopNet, WKU's online student information system. Through TopNet, all students use a personal identification number to register, drop/add courses, access class schedules, and view course grades. Registration policies and procedures are published in the Registration Guide each term.
Transcripts will be released at the written request of the student and in conformity with university policy and existing state and federal statutes pertaining to the release of student academic records. The official academic record is the property of the University. Consequently, the University reserves the right to withhold the release of a transcript of that record if the student has an obligation to the University. Transcript Request is online through the Office of the Registrar.
The course load for a full-time graduate student is 9-15 hours with 9 being the minimum and 15 the maximum. Graduate Assistants may deviate from the defined course load as described in the Financial Assistance section of this catalog.
As per United States federal requirements pertaining to students with F1 or J1 visa status, international students are restricted to no more than the equivalent of one on-line/distance education class or 3 credits per semester may count towards the full-time course of study requirement, if an online or distance education course does not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class. If the student's course of study is in a language study program, no on-line or distance education classes may be counted toward the full course of study requirement.
|700 and above||Doctoral courses|
|400G-499G, 500-699||Graduate courses|
Grading and the Quality Point System
Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all courses taken as a graduate student (including all transfer courses and undergraduate level courses). Students who fail to meet the 3.0 GPA requirements for the graduate program GPA (courses on approved Program of Study) and overall cumulative GPA will not be awarded a degree or certificate. Grades lower than a "C" may not be used in meeting degree or non-degree requirements.
The letters A, B, C, D, F, FN, P and X are used by the University to indicate the student's academic proficiency. These letters have the following significance:
|A||Excellent, four quality points per semester hour|
|B||Good, three quality points per semester hour|
|C||Average, two quality points per semester hour|
|D||Below Average, unsatisfactory, one quality point per semester hour|
|F||Failure, no semester hours earned and no quality points|
|FN||Failure due to non-attendance (no semester hours earned and no quality points)|
|P||Pass, credits awarded towards a degree, but no quality points are assigned. The "P" designated is restricted to specific courses approved for its use.|
|X||Incomplete. A grade of "X" (incomplete) 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" received by a graduate student, with the exception of thesis courses or similar projects, 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 to complete the necessary assignments. A grade of incomplete is not used under any circumstances as a substitute for "F" or "W".|
The designations of 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 below 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. Restricted to specific courses designed to span more than one term. Unless approved otherwise, an IP designation unresolved at the end of 3 years after its assignment will be converted to an F.|
Equivalent courses have different subject area prefixes but the same curriculum, learning outcomes, course number, title, abbreviated title, credit hours, prerequisites and/or corequisites, grade type (e.g., A – F, Pass / Fail) and catalog course listings.
A prerequisite represents prior specific or general academic knowledge, background, or student classification required in order to enroll in a specific course.
A corequisite is a requirement which must be fulfilled concurrently with another course, unless successfully completed as a prerequisite.
*See Repeating Courses.
Recording and Changing Grades
Grades are recorded by the faculty at the end of each term. No grade may be changed except on a written statement from the instructor certifying that an error has been made, or in the case of an incomplete, that the work was completed within the time limit. All conditions must be removed before the student will be recommended for any certificate or degree.
After classes begin, registration for a full-time course load and / or changes in schedules may be made only within the first six class days of a semester or the first three days of a bi-term. Courses that do not meet at least twice during the first six class days may be added through, but not past, the day of the second class meeting. During a semester, a student may withdraw from a course with a grade of “W” or “F” under the following conditions. It is recommended that faculty members inform students of this “W” period deadline.
A student is permitted to withdraw from any course with a grade of “W” through the midpoint of the semester;
After the midpoint of the semester, any student dropping a course receives an automatic “F”. However, when there are extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of the faculty member and the department head, the student may be permitted to withdraw with a “W” instead of an “F”.
During a bi-term a student may drop a course with a grade of “W” or “F” under the following conditions:
A student is permitted to withdraw from any course with a grade of “W” through the midpoint of the bi-term;
After the midpoint of the bi-term, any student dropping a course receives an automatic “F”. However, when there are extenuating circumstances, and at the discretion of the faculty member and the department head, the student may be permitted to withdraw with a W instead of an F.
Students should refer to the Registration Guide each term for specific dates that affect schedule changes. The institution reserves the privilege at all times of canceling any course for which the enrollment is not sufficient to justify its continuation and to make any other adjustments in the schedule that seem necessary.
Auditing of Courses
An auditor is a student who enrolls and participates in a course without expecting to receive academic credit. The same registration procedure is followed and the same fees are charged as for courses taken for credit. An audited course is not applicable to any degree or certificate program. Regular class attendance is expected of an auditor. Other course requirements, which may be obtained in writing from the instructor, will vary depending on the nature of the course. Students interested in auditing a course should secure permission from the instructor and discuss course requirements prior to enrolling. Failure to meet course requirements may result in the auditor being withdrawn from the course at the request of the instructor. A successful audit will be recorded on the transcript with the designation of AU. Any change from audit to credit must be done by the last day to add a class. Changes from credit to audit must be done by the last day to drop a class with a grade of "W". Refunds for withdrawals from audited courses will be prorated on the same basis as refunds for withdrawals from courses taken for credit.
For various reasons it is occasionally necessary for a student to withdraw from the University. Prior to the midpoint of the semester, students may use TopNet to withdraw. After the midpoint of the semester, the student should report to the Office of the Registrar to initiate withdrawal procedures. Students leaving the institution without an official withdrawal will receive failing grades in all courses in which they are enrolled and endanger their future status in the institution. Students withdrawing after the midpoint of the semester, a bi-term or comparable period during a summer session must consult with their instructors as to the withdrawal grade. The official date of the withdrawal is the date the withdrawal is processed on TopNet or the written notice is received in the Office of the Registrar. Students wishing to return to WKU at a later date must submit an application for readmission prior to the deadline for submitting applications.
In special circumstances, as described below, a complete withdrawal from the University after the midpoint of a term will be considered. Withdrawal Request forms are available online through the Office of the Registrar.
A request for an administrative withdrawal is initiated by the University because of a disciplinary situation or when, in the professional judgment of a health care provider, psychologist and/or university administrator, there is reason to believe a student is a substantial threat to him/herself or interferes with the welfare of other members of the University, the education process, or the orderly operation of the University. The Vice President for Student Affairs or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, or their respective designees, will notify the student of the involuntary withdrawal, and the University Registrar will be directed to withdraw the student from all classes in which the student is currently enrolled and cancel registration that has occurred for any future terms. The Office of the Registrar will notify the student's instructors of the withdrawal, and "W" grades will be recorded for the term in progress. A student who is administratively withdrawn will have a registration hold placed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs to prevent the student from being readmitted or re-enrolled unless cleared by the appropriate administrator or the respective designee. A student may file a written appeal of an involuntary withdrawal through the office that administered the withdrawal. Tuition refund appeals for administrative withdrawals are handled in a separate procedure, and instructions may be obtained from the Bursar's Office.
A student may request and be considered for a medical withdrawal from all courses in a term when extraordinary circumstances, such as a serious physical or mental illness or injury, prevent the student from continuing his or her classes after the mid-point of a term, and incompletes or other arrangements with the instructors are not feasible or possible. A medical withdrawal must be substantiated with appropriate documentation from the attending health care provider. Once the rationale for a medical withdrawal has been validated by the Office of the Registrar, the student's instructors will be sent notification of the withdrawal, and "W" grades will be recorded for each course. A student who requests a medical withdrawal, or an individual requesting a withdrawal on behalf of the student who is physically or mentally unable to request the withdrawal, should contact the Office of the Registrar to obtain medical withdrawal procedures. Tuition refund appeals for medical withdrawals are handled in a separate procedure, and instructions may be obtained from the Bursar's Office.
Students who are members of any branch of the United States Armed Services, including the National Guard, who are called to active duty while enrolled at WKU are entitled to the following options:
- Students may work with each individual instructor to determine if an incomplete grade is appropriate, or
- If an incomplete grade is not a viable option, the student will be permitted to withdraw either from individual courses or from the entire schedule of classes. A full refund of tuition and fees will be issued for those courses from which the student has withdrawn.
Students who are called to active duty while enrolled should contact the Office of the Registrar to initiate the withdrawal process. An official copy of the military orders must be presented to invoke this special withdrawal and refund process.
A student who leaves the University for extenuating circumstances without an official withdrawal during the term of departure may apply for a retroactive withdrawal. The student must present supporting documentation that demonstrates serious and compelling reasons justifying the withdrawal and extenuating circumstances justifying its retroactive nature; poor academic performance that is not attributed to non- academic extenuating circumstances is not a consideration for retroactive withdrawal. A student may appeal for a retroactive withdrawal within two calendar years following the end of the term for which withdrawal is requested. A student need not be enrolled at WKU at the time the application for retroactive withdrawal is submitted.
An appellate board will review the request for a retroactive withdrawal. The board will consider the following factors, including, but not limited to:
- Documentation of extenuating circumstances.
- Written letter of support from an academic administrator, faculty member, advisor or other university professional who is familiar with the student's situation.
If a retroactive withdrawal is approved, the Office of the Registrar will notify the student's instructors and department heads of the request for a retroactive withdrawal, and they will be given 14 calendar days to raise objections if the student's classroom performance was such that a withdrawal (W) would not be appropriate. If objections are raised by the instructor or department head, the Office of the Registrar will be informed of the objection, and the student will not receive a "W" in the class. A tuition refund is not granted for a retroactive withdrawal.