Academic Policies


The Faculty Senate determines academic policies for undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. These policies govern all students at UMSL, but most programs have additional policies for their majors.

Courses and Grades

Course Numbering
Each course bears a distinguishing number that identifies it within the department or academic unit and indicates, broadly, the expected level of students taking the course.

To understand the course level, refer to the following guidelines:

Course Numbers Explanation

Courses that do not count toward the minimum requirements for any degree.

Lower Division:

Courses open to undergraduate students, primarily focused toward freshmen; courses count toward the minimum for given degrees.


Courses open to undergraduate students, primarily focused toward sophomores; courses count toward the minimum for given degrees

Upper Division:
3000-3999 Courses open to undergraduate students, primarily focused toward junior; courses count toward the minimum for given degrees.

Courses open to undergraduate and graduate students, primarily focused toward seniors; courses count toward the minimum for given undergraduate degrees; depending on the specific program, courses may count for a given graduate degree.

5000-5999 Graduate courses; also open to certification candidates and undergraduate seniors with permission from the Dean of the Graduate School. Courses count toward the minimum for given graduate degrees.

Graduate courses open to master’s degree and doctoral students. Courses count toward the minimum for given graduate degrees.


Graduate courses open to doctoral students and master’s degree students with special permission. Courses count toward the minimum for specific graduate degrees.

8000-8999 Courses open to optometry degree seeking students.

Credit Hours
The university credit unit is the semester hour, which represents a subject pursued one period weekly for one semester of approximately 16 weeks or for a total of approximately 16 periods for one term. Generally, a course valued at three semester hours meets for three periods weekly for one semester, a two‑credit course two periods a week for a semester, and so on. Normally, the lecture or recitation period is 50 minutes long and the laboratory period one hour and 50 minutes.

The number of credit hours is listed as units in the online Schedule of Courses. If the credit is variable (to be determined in consultation with the instructor ) it is shown by minimum and maximum units, such as Research 1 – 3  units. In the Bulletin, credit hours are included in parentheses after each course title e.g., Research (2-8).

Grading System
The grading system available to all faculty at UMSL consists of:

A = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = 2. 0
C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3
D = 1.0
D- = 0.7
F = 0
EX = Excused
DL = Delayed
Y = No basis for a grade

Faculty have full discretion in using full-letter grades, plus/minus grades, or any combination of full-letter and plus/minus grades. The student’s grade point average is computed by dividing the total quality points (number of credit hours for a course, multiplied by the grade value received) by the number of hours taken (excluding grade modified hours). Students at UMSL may have three separate Grade Point Averages. The first is the Campus GPA, which is computed by dividing the quality points earned from the grades of each course taken on the UMSL campus by the total course hours attempted at UMSL. Students who have attended any of the other three universities within the University of Missouri System will also have a System GPA, which is computed by dividing the quality points earned from every course taken from a campus within the UM System. In addition, transfer students from outside the UM System will also have a transfer GPA, which is computed from all courses the student has taken outside the UMSL campus or the UM System. It is calculated by dividing the quality points of all courses by the hours attempted.

Unless a specific request is made through the Registrar’s Office, the University of Missouri System does not distribute grade reports to students via postal mail. Final course grades can be obtained electronically by any of the following methods:

To access grades through the My Gateway system, students must know Single Sign On (SSO) ID and password, available through MyGateway.

Students may also view their grades on MyView, and following this path: Self Service > Student Center > Grade Tab under Academic History; select semester.

Students may request a printed copy of the grade report at no charge. Once requested, the grade report will be mailed to the official address of record. Requests may be made by phone, mail, e-mail, fax, or in person; contact information is available at the Registration website.

Education majors.
Professional education courses must be completed with a grade point average of 2.50. Since no grade lower than a C 2.0 can be applied to the degree, a C- grade is not acceptable.

Delayed Grade.
A student whose work is incomplete at the end of any semester and who has, in the instructor's judgment, sufficient reasons for failing to complete the work, may, with the approval of the instructor and department chairperson, be assigned a delayed grade. Such work must be made up no later than one semester after the incomplete grade is given, or the grade automatically becomes F. The dean may, in unusual circumstances, extend this time limitation (summer session is not counted as a semester). Instructors inform the registrar of a change in a delayed grade only via a special form.

Y Grade.
When students do not attend a class but do not officially withdraw from the course or the university , instructors may determine that there is no basis for evaluating the work. The Y (no basis for evaluation) is given in these cases. Unlike the Delayed Grade, the Y Grade cannot be changed by completing the course’s assignments.

Examinations may be given only at regular class meeting times or as designated by the Senate Committee on Curriculum and Instruction.

Final Examinations.
The period designated for final examinations is an important component of the academic term. It provides faculty with a final opportunity to evaluate student learning and attainment of course objectives. Faculty members are encouraged to meet with students during the final examination period.

  1. A faculty member who gives an in-class final examination may give this examination only on the day and at the time designated in the official final examination schedule. A majority vote of the students to the contrary does not change this policy.
  1. A student may submit a written request for a change in the scheduled time of the final examination for a limited number of documented hardship reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to, being scheduled to take more than two examinations on the same day, illness, military obligations, and religious practices. Except for emergencies, this request should be presented directly to the instructor at least two weeks before classes conclude.  If the request is denied, the student may request additional consideration from the chairperson/area coordinator/program director and, if denied, to the dean of the college sponsoring the course.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option.
Undergraduate students may take up to 18 credit hours on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory (S/U) grading basis. This includes courses taken as electives or those that satisfy general education requirements. Most courses required for a specific degree may not be taken on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis. Academic departments may designate other courses within their jurisdiction that may not be taken under the option.

A satisfactory grade “S” is recorded when an instructor assigns the grade of A, A-, B+, B-, C+, or C-, and has no numerical value in computing students' cumulative grade point average; however, it does satisfy credit-hour-for graduation requirements. An unsatisfactory grade “U” is recorded when an instructor assigns the grades of D+, D, D-, or F. A course assigned a “U” grade will not satisfy credit hours for graduation.  Grades will be recorded on transcripts as S or U.

Students register for courses in the normal manner and may exercise the satisfactory/unsatisfactory option before the end of the first four weeks of a regular semester (or the first two weeks of a summer session). Requests for this option are made through the appropriate dean's office. Instructors are not informed of students taking courses on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis until submitting course grades.

Audit has no numerical value in computing students' cumulative grade point average, nor does it satisfy any credit-hour graduation requirements.

Repeating Courses.
Students may not repeat for grade point average or credit hour purposes courses in which grades of A, A‑ B+, B, B‑, C+, C, or C‑ have been earned. All grades earned will affect the calculation of students' cumulative grade point average; the course hours, however, will be counted only once in calculating hours toward a degree. (See Grade Modification.)

Grade Modification.
When the grade received in an initial attempt in a course at UMSL is a D+, D, D‑, or F, the grade may be replaced in the calculation of the GPA by the grade received in a second or subsequent attempt of the same course at UMSL. All grades received in second and subsequent attempts will be included in GPA calculations. A maximum of five classes may be dropped from the calculation of the student's GPA. All attempts of a given course will appear on the official transcript with the grade(s) earned. The transcript will have an explanation that states that the GPA is calculated using all grades earned in a course except the initial attempt when a course has been repeated and grade modified.

Note: Grade modification is not automatic. After completing the second or subsequent attempt of the course to be modified, students must process the necessary paperwork with an academic adviser in the academic unit in which the student is currently enrolled.

The registrar will furnish transcripts to a student upon receipt of a completed and signed transcript request form online or in person in the Records Office, 327 MCS. Transcripts are furnished to third parties only if students have filed written consent with the Registrar's Office. There is a charge for each transcript.

Transcripts are not issued to or for students who have financial obligations to any university within the UM System until those obligations are paid in full.

Enrollment and Graduation Policies

Course Schedules
The Schedule of Courses contains the specific courses offered each semester with their meeting times and locations. This schedule is posted on MyView.

Course schedules are generally published in mid-March for the fall semester, mid-October for the spring semester, and mid-January for the summer semester.

The university reserves the right to cancel without notice any course listed in the Bulletin or the Schedule of Courses for any semester or to withdraw any course that that does not have adequate enrollment.

Prerequisites for a Course
Students are expected to review all courses when registering for them to assure that they meet all prerequisites. When the prerequisites include courses, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet the prerequisite. Only the department offering the course with the prerequisite can make an exception to this requirement. A course with an "academic standing" prerequisite--for example, "senior standing"-- requires that students have the class standing stated, in the example, only seniors can take that class.

Course Load
A normal full‑time semester course load is 15 semester credit hours. Minimum full‑time enrollment is 12 hours each semester, fall, spring, and summer. Students who have demonstrated the ability to carry more than 18 hours may do so with the approval of their dean.

Students are expected to attend class regularly, and, in accordance with the UMSL Bylaws, faculty may establish penalties for excessive absences. Students absent for more than three successive classes may be reported to the dean. Students should tell their dean's office of an extended absence. An absence known in advance should be reported to the instructors of courses that will be missed. Makeup of examinations or work missed is allowed at the instructor's discretion. Students excused from class for valid reasons by their deans shall be permitted, if possible, to make up work missed; the dean must have notified the instructor in writing.

Dropping/Adding Courses
To add courses to their original enrollment, students must get approval from their advisers. Students may not enter courses after the first week of a regular semester or the first three days of the summer session. Courses may be dropped, without approval and without receiving a grade, through the fourth week of a regular semester. Spring, summer, and fall session calendars include specific deadlines. Students who officially drop one or some of their classes may have fees reassessed and/or refunded based on the current fee reassessment schedule.

From the fifth through the twelfth weeks of the fall or spring semesters (for summer session, the third through the sixth weeks), students may withdraw from a course with an "Excused" grade, providing they are passing the course and receive the approval of their instructor, adviser, and dean's office representative. Otherwise, a failing grade is given. Students not attending classes who fail to drop officially receive F or Y grades, depending on how much they participated in class. After the allowable period, "Excused" grades are given only in exceptional instances where the instructor's approval and dean's approval are given. These grades are recorded on the students' official records at the end of the term. If an F grade is recorded, it is counted in computing the grade point average. No partial credit is granted to students who withdraw from a course during any semester or otherwise fail to complete the work required for full course credit.

Section Changing
Section changing is normally completed during the first week of a regular semester and the first three days of a summer session. Approvals may not be necessary during this time. However, after the first week of a regular semester and the first three days of a summer session, a section change form must be obtained from the department or dean's office. The signature of the instructor teaching the new section is required. The form is to be submitted to the Registration Office, 351 Millennium Student Center.

Change of Major
To change academic majors, students should consult their adviser and the dean's office. Students admitted to one college or school may pursue work in others under the conditions set forth by the faculty. The chairperson of a student's major department shall determine which courses in other colleges or schools, or even other institutions, shall apply as credit toward the degree.

Students who wish to change a major must submit a change of major form. These forms may be obtained in their College Advising office, the Registrar’s Office, or the Center for Student Success, 225 Millennium Student Center.

Withdrawing from the University after Classes Begin
After classes begin, students may withdraw from the university by completing the withdrawal form, available in the dean's office. During the first four weeks of a regular semester students may withdraw from the university without receiving grades. After this period, grades of F or "Excused" are issued, based on whether the student is passing or failing. After the regular semester's twelfth week, "Excused" grades are given only in exceptional instances with the instructor's and the dean's approvals. These grades are recorded on the student's official record at the end of the term. An F grade is counted in computing the grade point average. No partial credit is granted to students who withdraw from school during any semester or otherwise fail to complete the work required for full course credit. Students who stop attending classes without officially withdrawing from the university are issued an F or a Y grade. Any F grades are counted in computing grade point averages. Fall, spring, and summer session calendars list specific withdrawal dates.

Academic Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal
Students may be placed on academic probation any time that their cumulative GPA falls below a 2.00. Students should consult advisers in their respective dean's office for additional information.

Students may be suspended if they do not pass more than two‑thirds of their courses, their semester grade point average is below 1.5, or their cumulative grade point average falls below 1.75. Students may be suspended if they have been on scholastic probation for two or more semesters, not necessarily consecutive, and again become subject to probation. The dean may retain students on probation rather than suspend them if circumstances justify such action.

Students who have once been suspended may be dismissed if they again become subject to suspension. Students placed on probation because of poor scholastic records at other institutions are regarded as having been once suspended under these rules. Normally, students who have been dismissed are not considered for readmission. In certain unusual cases, students may be readmitted on probationary status after one year.

Students admitted on probation to the summer session must enroll for at least six credit hours. If they receive any grades below C, their work will be reviewed by the dean or appropriate committee to determine eligibility to reenroll. Students enrolled in the summer session whose grade point averages are below 1.5 may have their work reviewed. Students suspended or dismissed from one school or college shall not be admitted to any other school or college until they are eligible for readmission to the original college or school, unless they obtain the consent of the dean or appropriate committee. In this event, the dean or committee shall file a written statement for the student's official records, stating the reasons for the decision.

Academic Residence
Students must be in residence for at least 24 of the last 30 hours of graded credit (exclusive of courses graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis), except under unusual circumstances, to be decided by the dean.

Students are expected to file a degree application form with their respective dean's office at least one year before the expected graduation date. The dean's office makes a final check to determine that all graduation requirements have been met. Students should check with the dean's office or an adviser to be sure their program fulfills the requirements of the department and college or school, as well as the university general requirements. To assure graduating at the end of a specific semester, all work for that semester and any delayed grades from previous semesters must be completed with the grades sent to the Office of the Registrar no later than the official date for submission of final semester grades.

Academic Integrity

Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty is a serious offense that may lead to probation, suspension, or expulsion. One form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism--the use of an author's ideas, statements, or approaches without crediting the source. Academic dishonesty also includes such acts as cheating by copying information from another student's examination, take-home test, or laboratory manual. The code of student conduct is in this Bulletin and is also available in the UMSL Student Planner.

Honor Statement
The University of Missouri-St. Louis encourages students to pursue excellence within a respectful and collegial environment and to assume responsibility for the consequences of personal actions. For that reason the university requires students to reject any type of dishonest behavior.

Honesty precludes seeking, providing, or receiving any form of unauthorized assistance on tests or any type of assignment. It requires giving credit through appropriate citation to the author of materials used in written or oral assignments.

The full Student Standard of Conduct is available on the Web and in the student planner. By registering for a class at UMSL, students agree to follow this standard of integrity.

Confidentiality Policy
These statements are set forth as guidelines and procedures to implement the University of Missouri policy on student records developed from the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

The University of Missouri‑St. Louis as charged in the act will annually inform its eligible students by including in the Student Planner, the Schedule of Courses, the UMSL Bulletin, and the Current (student newspaper) the following information:

1. "Education Records" are those records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the university. Those records, made available under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, are student financial aid, the student's cumulative advisement file, student health records, disciplinary records, admissions file, and academic record. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation that were placed in student credential folders at the Office of Career Placement Services after January 1, 1975, are also made available, if the student has not waived the right to view these recommendations.
The University of Missouri‑St. Louis "Education Records" do not include:

2. The University of Missouri-St. Louis recognizes "Directory Information/Public Information" to mean a student's name, address, telephone listing, e-mail, enrollment status, current level, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. All students must inform the Office of the Registrar before the end of the two‑week period following the first day of classes that any or all of the information designated as directory information should not be released without the student’s prior consent. The student privacy form is available on-line. The information listed above will become directory information or public information as of the first day of classes following the end of the two‑week period in a regular semester and the first day of classes following the end of the one‑week period during the summer session.

3. University of Missouri-St. Louis students have access to the educational records identified in Paragraph 1 above. In accordance with Public Law 93‑380 as amended, the University of Missouri‑St. Louis will not make available to students the following materials:

4. The Director of Financial Aid, the appropriate academic dean, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs: Health, Wellness, & Counseling Services, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, the Director of Career Placement Services, the Director of Admissions, and the Registrar are the officials responsible for the maintenance of each type of record listed in Paragraph 1.

5. Any student may, upon request, review his or her records and, if inaccurate information is included, may request the expunging of such information from the file. Such inaccurate information will then be expunged upon authorization of the official responsible for the file.

6. Students desiring to challenge the content of their record may request an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the educational record in order to ensure that the record is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, to provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein, and to insert into such records a written explanation respecting the content of such records.

7. The university official charged with custody of the records will attempt to settle informally any disputes with any student regarding the content of the university’s educational records through informal meetings and discussions with the student.

8. Upon request of the student or the university official charged with custody of the records of the student, a formal hearing shall be conducted as follows:

9. The University of Missouri-St. Louis will not mail grade reports to parents unless the student has completed the necessary authorization in the registrar’s office.

10. The University of Missouri‑St. Louis may permit access to or release of the educational records without the written consent of the student to the parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

11. If any material or document in the educational record of a student includes information on more than one student, the student may inspect and review only such part of such material or document as relates to him or her or to be informed of the specific information contained in such part of such material.

Academic Recognition

Honor Societies

The following is a list of honor societies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis:

Alpha Epsilon Rho (Communication)
Alpha Mu Alpha (College of Business Administration-Marketing)
Alpha Mu Gamma (Foreign Languages and Literatures)
Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminology and Criminal Justice)
Alpha Sigma Lambda
Beta Alpha Psi (College of Business Administration, Accounting Majors)
Beta Beta Beta (Biology)
Beta Gamma Sigma (College of Business Administration)
Beta Sigma Kappa (College of Optometry)
Chi Sigma Iota (Counseling and Family Therapy)
Financial Management Association (College of Business Administration)
Golden Key National Honour Society (Campus-wide)
Kappa Delta Pi (College of Education)
Lambda Alpha (Anthropology)
Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics)
Phi Alpha (Social Work)
Phi Alpha Theta (History)
Phi Kappa Phi (Interdisciplinary)
Pi Alpha Alpha (Public Policy Administration)
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science)
Psi Chi (Psychology)
Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish)
Sigma Iota Rho (International Studies)
Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Nu Chi Chapter (Nursing)

Dean's List
At the end of each semester the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Education, College of Fine Arts and Communication, and College of Nursing send letters of commendation to undergraduates completing at least nine hours of graded courses with grade point averages of 3.2 or above for the semester. In addition, each college and school, on an annual basis, sends letters of commendation to part‑time undergraduate students who have earned a 3.2 grade point average or above in at least nine but not more than 17 graded hours during the fall and winter semesters combined.

Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
Eligible students may be nominated to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges by students (themselves or others), faculty members, or administrators. Nominees are selected on the basis of scholastic ability, participation and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities, service to the university, and a promise for future usefulness. Nomination forms and further information may be obtained in room 366 Millennium Student Center or by visiting the Who's Who information page .

Latin Honors
To graduate with Latin honors, [students must have attended UMSL for at least 56 graded hours] and must meet the following qualifications: cum laude 3.2 to 3.49 grade point average; magna cum laude 3.5 to 3.79 grade point average; summa cum laude 3.8 to 4.0 grade point average. If a student has the necessary GPA at UMSL to qualify for Latin honors but has fewer than 56 graded hours at UMSL, all credit hours and the associated grades earned within the UM System will be included when the total credit hours earned in the UM System are at least 80 graded hours. In determining one's eligibility for Latin honors, all graded hours will be considered, including the original grade in each grade‑modified course. No Latin honor higher than that which is consistent with the UMSL grade point average will be awarded. All honors must be recommended by the student's major department. (Effective April 2000.)

Office of National Scholarship Information
The mission of the Office of National Scholarship Information (ONSI) at the University of Missouri-St Louis is to provide campus wide access to merit-based scholarship information and opportunities. The most well-known of these merit-based scholarships include the Rhodes, British Marshall, Goldwater, Udall, Truman, and Fulbright, although numerous other prestigious, and often unique, opportunities exist for outstanding students. For further information, contact the Honors College at (314) 516-5243.

The University of Missouri has been directed by the Board of Curators to assess the outcomes of your university education. To this end, two types of assessment are required: A test of general educational development given to a sample of incoming freshmen and graduating seniors who represent the university; and a test or project, specified by the major department, given to graduating seniors.

For its continuous quality improvements, the University also conducts periodic surveys of student engagement. As alumni, graduates are encouraged to participate in assessment by completing questionnaires sent to them by the University or major department/college.