Students are responsible for full knowledge of the provisions and regulations pertaining to their program contained in this catalog and elsewhere. Students have final responsibility for completing the requirements for a degree and are urged to seek advising. Students should never assume that they have approval to deviate from a stated requirement without a properly signed statement to that effect.
For information regarding MSU Denver's academic policies, click on a link to be taken to the entry below.
Catalog Selection for Degree and Certificate Requirements
In determining degree and certificate requirements, students are governed by the catalog in effect for the semester of acceptance to MSU Denver. Students may elect to follow any later catalog edition in effect while continuously enrolled at MSU Denver. The selected catalog must contain the student's complete program of study, including, but not limited to, major, minor, concentration, and other graduation requirements. All degree and certificate requirements must adhere to current policies at MSU Denver.
Students who do not enroll in classes for three or more consecutive semesters must be readmitted to the University and are governed by the catalog in effect upon their re-acceptance. To complete a degree or certificate program under an earlier, qualifying catalog, the student must obtain authorization per the degree audit exception process used in the applicable College or School. The qualifying catalog must be during an academic year in which the student completed coursework at MSU Denver.
Students transferring to MSU Denver from a regionally accredited, Colorado community college may complete degree requirements under an MSU Denver catalog in effect while they were enrolled at the community college, subject to the following conditions:
- The student must select a degree catalog that does not predate the current catalog by more than three academic years. To complete a degree program under an earlier, qualifying catalog, the student must obtain authorization from the academic department offering the degree program.
- In order for the selected catalog edition to remain in effect, the student must maintain continuous enrollment at the community college and subsequent continuous enrollment at the University until the student completes the degree program at MSU Denver.
Catalog Selection Policy Updated July 5, 2018
Classification of Student Status
Students are classified according to the number of semester hours of credit earned: freshman status equals fewer than 30; sophomore status equals 30 or more, but fewer than 60; junior status equals 60 or more, but fewer than 90; senior status equals 90 or more.
Computing Grade Point Average/Quality Points
The number of quality points awarded for a course is determined by multiplying the number of semester hours for that course by the quality point value of the grade received. The cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the number of semester hours attempted.
To be eligible for a degree, a candidate must have a minimum number of quality points equal to twice the number of semester hours attempted in addition to meeting other prescribed requirements. The following notations have no effect on the GPA: AP, AU, AW, CC, CL, EX, I, NR, P, PL, PP, S, S#, SA, SE, SN, U#, W.
Course Credit (Semester Hours)
Course credit is based on units designated as semester hours. One semester hour or one base contact hour equals a minimum of 750 minutes; this equation translates to a minimum of 15, 50-minute class hours per semester. Time required for class preparation is not a consideration in the calculation of course credit. A three semester hour course will require approximately six to nine hours of work each week outside of class. Omnibus courses involving laboratory work give one semester hour of credit for each two, three or four hours of scheduled work in the laboratory during a week, depending on the course. Internships require a minimum of 2,250 minutes for each hour of credit.
The average course load for a 16-week semester is 15 or 16 semester hours; 18 semester hours is the maximum load for fall and spring semesters, with a maximum of 12 semester hours for summer semester. The maximum load for a two-week Winterim or Maymester term is 3 semester hours, excluding short-term study abroad courses. During fall and spring semesters, students with cumulative MSU Denver grade point averages (GPAs) of 3.25 or higher may take 19 or 20 semester hours, and those students with GPAs of 3.50 or higher may take 21 semester hours for the fall and spring semesters or 14 semester hours for the summer semester. Students must complete at least 15 semester hours at MSU Denver to qualify. Authorization for overloads for students without these qualifications must be obtained from the student's major department chair and the appropriate dean. Forms are available from the department, deans' offices, or online.
Declaring or Changing a Major or Certificate
New students indicate their intended major on the MSU Denver Application for Admission. While students may select "Undeclared" as a major at the time of admission, all degree-seeking students must declare a major before completion of 45 credits. Degree-seeking students who transfer in more than 45 credits must declare a major before registering for a second semester. Degree-seeking students who wish to change a major and students pursuing a certificate program must complete a Declaration/Change of Major form, which is available from the major department or from the Office of the Registrar. Non-degree-seeking students who wish to declare a major must first change to degree-seeking status by completing a Change of Status form with the Office of Admissions.
Students returning from a period of absence from MSU Denver may request that credit and grades from designated semesters previously attempted at MSU Denver not be calculated in GPA or total earned hours.
If such a "Fresh Start" is approved, all courses from designated semesters will appear on the official academic record but will be annotated to indicate they do not count for academic credit or GPA calculation.
This Fresh Start will be granted once, for a period of at least one semester, with a maximum of 54 credit hours, under the following conditions:
- The student must have not been enrolled at MSU Denver for three (3) consecutive calendar years. This policy shall only apply to designated semesters in which the student earned a GPA of 2.0 or below, which have not been applied to the completion of an MSU Denver degree or certificate, and which were attempted prior to the three year absence.
- The student must be in good financial standing with MSU Denver at the time of application.
- The Fresh Start policy may only be used once in a student's entire MSU Denver career.
- An approved Fresh Start shall not be reversed.
- The student must declare a certificate or major program before applying for Fresh Start and work with an academic advisor to complete an application.
Grades and Notations
Faculty must assign a grade or notation for each student enrolled in a particular course. Faculty may, at their discretion, use the plus/minus system but are not required to do so. Faculty are required to notify students of the grading system used for an individual course via the course syllabus.
Certain grades and notations may impact a student's financial aid or other benefits. Students who request a grade or notation that impacts their financial aid or benefits are encouraged to speak with a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or the benefits provider prior to submitting the request.
||Letter grades and status symbols are as follows:
||4.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||4.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||3.67 quality points per semester hour attempted
||3.33 quality points per semester hour attempted
||3.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||2.67 quality points per semester hour attempted
||2.33 quality points per semester hour attempted
||2.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||1.67 quality points per semester hour attempted
||1.33 quality points per semester hour attempted
||1.00 quality point per semester hour attempted
||0.67 quality point per semester hour attempted
||0 quality points per semester hour attempted
||(Grade with #) - Preparatory
||0 quality points per semester hour attempted
AP - Advanced Placement
The Advanced Placement (AP) notation is assigned when a student transfers credit for an Advanced Placement Examination conducted by the College Entrance Examination Board. The examination appears on the academic record with an "AP" notation. Credit for the examination does not count toward the student's attempted hours, counts toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
AU - Audited Course
The Audited Course (AU) notation is assigned when a student audits a course for informational purposes only. If space is available, students who meet MSU Denver admission requirements and are formally admitted to the University may audit a class with the permission of the instructor. Academic credit is not awarded for an audited course. The cost for auditing a course is based on applicable tuition and fees. The course appears on the academic record with an "AU" notation and does not count toward the student's attempted hours. The course is not calculated in the GPA or quality points. Audit approval forms are available from the Office of the Registrar, Student Success Building, Suite 160 (#3).
AW - Administrative Withdrawal
The Administrative Withdrawal (AW) notation is assigned when a student, or representative, requests to be withdrawn from a course due to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. When the "AW" notation is assigned, no academic credit is awarded. The course remains on the student's academic record with an "AW" notation and counts toward the student's attempted hours. The course is not calculated in the student's GPA or quality points.
Students may request an administrative withdrawal from the Office of the Registrar after the drop deadline (census date) posted in the Academic Calendar . Deadlines differ proportionally for courses offered during part of a semester, including late-start and weekend courses. Students should refer to the Student Detail Schedule via the Student Hub to review drop deadlines for individual courses.
Although requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, examples include the death of an immediate family member, serious illness or medical emergency, or other life-altering event. The student must provide supporting documentation to substantiate the request.
Students who request an administrative withdrawal may also request a tuition refund by filing an Undergraduate Tuition and Fees Appeal through the Office of the Bursar.
CC - Continuing Correspondence Course
The Continuing Correspondence Course (CC) notation is assigned when a student does not complete a correspondence course within a given semester. No academic credit is awarded. The course counts toward the student's attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.If the course is not completed within the course's designated timeframe, the "CC" notation will convert to a grade of "F."
CL - College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College Level Examination Program (CL) notation is assigned when a student transfers credit for an examination completed through CLEP. Credit for the examination does not count toward the student's attempted hours, counts toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
EX - Departmental Credit by Examination
The Credit by Examination (EX) notation is assigned when an academic department grants a student credit for an existing MSU Denver course for which the student requests and passes an appropriate examination. Credit for the examination does not count toward the student's attempted hours, counts toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
I - Incomplete
The Incomplete (I) notation may be assigned when a student who is achieving satisfactory progress in a course and who has completed most class assignments is unable to take the final examination and/or does not complete all class assignments due to unusual circumstances, such as hospitalization or disability. Incomplete work denoted by the Incomplete "I" notation must be completed within one calendar year or earlier, at the discretion of the faculty member. If the incomplete work is not completed within one year, the "I" notation will convert to an "F." Students must have completed at least 75% of the course work to qualify for consideration for an incomplete. The student must be passing the course in order to be granted an incomplete. The course counts toward the student's attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
Determination of eligibility does not guarantee that an incomplete will be granted. Students who meet the qualifications may request an incomplete from the faculty member who is teaching the course. The decision to grant an incomplete is up to the faculty member or at the department chair's discretion. The decision to grant an incomplete as an accommodation based on a student's disability shall be made by the faculty member or the department chair, if the faculty member is not available, in consultation with the Director of the Access Center.
If an incomplete is granted, the student and instructor should fill out and sign an Incomplete Agreement form to clarify what the student needs to do to complete the course.
Graduating seniors may not graduate with an "I" on their MSU Denver academic record if:
- The course in which the "I" was assigned is required for graduation, or
- a "D" or "F" assigned for that course would result in an overall GPA less than 2.00.
The "I" notation may not be given for a self-paced course. If a student does not complete a self-paced course within the semester that he or she enrolled in the course, he or she must re-enroll in the course in order to complete it.
If a student receives an "I" in an online class, the instructor should contact the Educational Technology Center, whose staff will add the student to the online course roster so that the student will be able to logon to the course. This step must be done by the instructor each semester that the student continues to work on the course.
In order for an "I" to be changed to a letter grade, the incomplete work must be completed for the course for which the student originally registered. The student should NOT re-enroll for the same course, unless intending to retake the entire course. In this case, the student will pay tuition and fees.
NR - Not Reported
The Not Reported (NR) notation indicates that no grade was reported by the faculty by the deadline to submit grades. Student must see faculty for an explanation or assignment of grade. Courses taken through interinstitutional registration are normally assigned the "NR" notation until grades are received and posted to the academic record. Students who receive an "NR" notation on their final grade report may be severely impacted. Financial aid, enrollment status, veterans' status and probation/suspension depend on students receiving all of their grades. The course counts toward the student's attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
P - Pass
The Pass (P) notation is assigned when a student successfully completes a course for which the Pass/Fail Option has been requested. Course credit counts toward the student's attempted and earned hours but is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
PL - Portfolio Assessment
The Portfolio Assessment (PL) notation is assigned when an academic department grants a student credit for an existing MSU Denver course for which the student submits a prior learning portfolio. Course credit does not count toward the student's attempted hours, counts toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
PP - PEP Exam
Course credit does not count toward the student's attempted hours, counts in earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
S/U - Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
The Satisfactory (S) notation is equivalent to a grade of "C" or higher. Course credit counts toward the student's attempted and earned hours but is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
The Unsatisfactory (U) notation is equivalent to a grade of "F." Course credit counts toward the student's attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is calculated in the GPA or quality points.
These notations are limited to internships, practica, field experience courses, and workshops.
SA/SN - Study Abroad/Study Abroad - No Credit
For the Study Abroad (SA) notation, course credit counts toward the student's attempted and earned hours but is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
For the Study Abroad - No Credit (SN) notation, course credit counts toward the student's attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
SE/UE - Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory - Education or Music Recital
The Satisfactory Education or Musical Recital (SE) notation is equivalent to a grade of "B" or higher. Course credit counts toward the student's attempted and earned hours but is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
The Unsatisfactory Education or Musical Recital (UE) notation is equivalent to a grade of "F." Course credit counts toward the student's attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is calculated in the GPA and quality points.
These notations are limited to the following courses: ECE 4390, EDS 4290, EDU 4190, EDU 4590, SED 4190 and SED 4500; MUS 0020.
W - Withdrawal
The Withdrawal (W) notation is assigned when a student officially withdraws from a course via the Student Hub after the drop deadline (census date) and before the withdrawal deadline posted in the Academic Calendar . Deadlines differ proportionally for courses offered during part of a semester, including late-start and weekend courses. Students should refer to the Student Detail Schedule via the Student Hub to review drop and withdrawal deadlines for individual courses. When a student withdraws from a course, no academic credit is awarded. The course remains on the student's academic record with a "W" notation and counts toward the student's attempted hours. The course is not calculated in the student's GPA or quality points. Students who withdraw from a course are responsible for the full tuition and fees for that course. After the withdrawal deadline, students may not withdraw from a course and will be assigned the grade earned based on the course syllabus. A student-initiated withdrawal will appear as an "F" on the student's academic record in any case of academic misconduct resulting in a permanent "F".
If students have reason to question the validity of a grade received in a course, they must make their request for a change before the end of the fourth week of the semester following the completion of the course (the following fall semester if the course was completed in the spring semester). It is the responsibility of the student to initiate a grade appeal within the time limit, and to follow the procedures for grade appeals specified below. All decisions of the Grade Review Committee are final.
Student Grade Appeals
The university supports open communication as the best means to resolve concerns about grades. If a student believes that the grade they received for a course does not reflect the quality of their work, the first step is to meet with the instructor for the course on an informal basis. The following will be the only acceptable grounds for formal grade appeals:
- The course grade was assigned on a basis other than performance in the course.
- The instructor used standards that were different from those allowed for other students in the same class, or different from those allowed in departmental/college/school policies if specific departmental/college/school grading policies exist.
- A substantial and unannounced departure from the instructor's previously articulated standards was used in assigning the grade.
- A permanent "F" has been assigned and the student wishes to appeal.
Only grade appeals based on one or more of the above criteria will be considered. Outside the regular grade change procedure, only the chair of the Grade Review Committee, with proper written authorization from that committee, may initiate the grade exception process.
Exceptions to the Grade Appeal Policy and Procedure
The Grade Appeal Procedure shall constitute the sole internal administrative remedy for a change in grade, except when a grade dispute involves an Office of Equal Opportunity discrimination complaint. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university's Equal Opportunity policies, which address discrimination on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or status, such as Vietnam-era disabled veteran, the student should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity. The Office of Equal Opportunity process for resolution takes precedence over the university's grade appeal process.
Grade Appeal Procedure
The Grade Appeal Procedure shall have both an informal and a formal resolution process. The student must attempt informal resolution prior to filing a formal grade appeal.
Informal Resolution Process
The informal resolution process must take place before the last day of the fourth week of the semester following the assignment of the grade. The student must meet with the instructor prior to meeting with the chair or proceeding to the formal appeal process.
If the instructor is not available to meet with the student or does not respond to the student's request to meet and/or the student is not satisfied with the result of the informal meeting with the instructor, the student must meet with the chair of the department to attempt to resolve the grade concern prior to filing a formal grade appeal.
During the informal resolution process, the student may meet with the dean or the dean's designee to clarify the grade appeal policy and process. The student may also access Student Conflict Resolution Services for assistance in the process. Students are encouraged to use the informal resolution process to clarify any miscommunications with the instructor or confusion about course expectations.
Formal Resolution Process
Step 1: File Petition with the Dean
After meeting with the instructor and the chair and failing to resolve the grade concerns, the student may initiate a formal resolution process. The student must file a Petition for Grade Appeal with the dean of the instructor's school by the last day of the fifth week of the semester following the course for which the grade was assigned. Deans may designate an associate or assistant dean to act in their places for the purposes of the Grade Appeal Procedure.
Timeline: A Petition for Grade Appeal for a grade assigned in fall term shall be filed in the spring term. A Petition for Grade Appeal for a grade assigned in spring or summer term shall be filed in the following fall term. If the dean determines that it is academically necessary for the grade appeal to be processed during a summer term, they will facilitate the process by developing an appropriate timeline and submitting a copy of the timeline to the chair and the associate vice president of academic and student affairs. With the exception of the deadline set for filing the Petition for Grade Appeal, the timelines for the process may be extended by written agreement of the student and dean or by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs if good cause is shown.
Process: It is the student's responsibility to obtain and file the Petition for Grade Appeal form and to follow the procedural rules for the appeal process. The student is advised to keep a copy of all documents submitted. The Petition for Grade Appeal form is available through each academic dean's office and the Office of the Registrar. A separate Petition for Grade Appeal must be filed for each course in which a grade is disputed. Access to all documents submitted is restricted to those involved in the grade appeal process or otherwise having a need to know.
The student must provide the dean with a completed Petition for Grade Appeal and all material that relates to the disputed grade at the time that the formal Petition for Grade Appeal is submitted. The petition must include:
- A statement addressing how the appeal meets one or more of the four criteria necessary for a formal grade appeal.
- A description of what occurred during the informal resolution process.
- Copies of all graded materials from the course that are in the student's possession.
- Any relevant documents the student would like to be reviewed as part of the appeal process.
- A copy of the course syllabus/class policies (if the student has a copy).
The dean will forward a copy of the Petition for Grade Appeal to the chair of the department to notify the chair that a formal procedure has been initiated. The chair will be responsible for passing materials regarding the grade appeal on to the instructor. Within 15 working days of receiving the formal appeal, the dean will assess whether one or more of the criteria have been met in the Petition for Grade Appeal. The dean may contact the student, instructor or chair to ask questions and/or request further information or documents in the process of assessing whether the appeal meets the criteria. The dean may request that the instructor provide a written response to the student's Petition for Grade Appeal and may request any additional documentation necessary to assess the Petition for Grade Appeal at this point in the process. Additional documentation may include graded materials in the instructor's possession. If any of the material provided by the instructor is confidential, e.g., examinations that may be used in subsequent terms, such materials shall be made available for review but shall not be made part of the Petition for Grade Appeal. The instructor has five working days to provide the response and materials requested by the dean to the dean and chair. A copy of the written response will be provided for the student. In their decision, the dean may:
- Deny the appeal and send a letter or email to inform the student, the instructor and the chair of the instructor's department within five working days.
- Decide that one or more of the criteria may have been met, and continue the formal appeal process. If the dean has not already requested a written response to the Petition for Grade Appeal from the instructor, the dean will make that request. The instructor has five working days to provide the written response and any additional materials requested to the student, chair, and dean. The dean will contact the student, instructor and chair within 15 working days of receiving the Petition for Grade Appeal to convene a meeting of all parties. The purpose of the meeting is to seek resolution of the appeal. Minutes shall be taken at the meeting.
If the appeal is resolved through the process of the meeting, the formal appeal process will end. The dean will write a report summarizing the resolution.
If the appeal is not resolved at the meeting, the dean shall send a copy of the minutes from the meeting, with a written recommendation, to the student, the instructor and the chair within five working days after the conclusion of the meeting.
The dean will send a copy of all materials relating to the Petition for Grade Appeal to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or their designee for record-keeping purposes within five working days after the conclusion of the meeting or after sending a letter stating the appeal does not meet the criteria.
Step 2: File the Petition with the Grade Review Committee
If the appeal is not resolved to the student's satisfaction at the dean's level and the student wants the formal process to continue, the student must send a written request to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or their designee within five working days of receiving either a letter stating that the appeal does not meet the criteria or the recommendation based on the meeting from the dean. The VP of Academic and Student Affairs or designee will inform the dean, chair and instructor that the Grade Review Committee (GRC) will review the appeal.
The members of the GRC shall review all documents submitted by the dean and meet to discuss whether to hear the appeal or not within 20 working days. The GRC will not conduct a re-evaluation of the student's work and will not change the grade of an individual assignment. The GRC will hold a hearing for the Petition for Grade Appeal only if the appeal meets one of the four criteria necessary for a formal appeal.
The GRC may decide that they will not hear the appeal because no criterion has been met, or the petition is substantially incomplete. The GRC shall send written notification of their decision not to hear the appeal within five working days to the student, instructor, chair and dean, and the formal appeal process is over.
If the appeal is heard, the GRC shall notify the student, instructor, chair and dean, and will request their presence at the hearing meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to have all parties to the grade dispute provide answers and clarifications that members of the GRC may need in order to make a sound decision on the case.
The decision of the GRC shall be in the form of a motion, duly made and seconded, and adopted by a majority of the GRC members present and voting, assuming a quorum is met. In its decision, the GRC may:
- Deny the appeal on its merits, with the effect that the disputed grade will remain on the student's academic record.
- Grant the appeal and change the final grade to a grade or grade equivalent that is determined appropriate by the GRC.
The GRC will inform the student, instructor, chair and dean of its decision in writing within five working days of the hearing.
The decision of the GRC is final and cannot be appealed.
If the GRC finds in favor of the student's appeal, then the chair of the GRC acquires the authority to initiate the grade exception process. The chair of the GRC has five working days to notify the instructor of the decision and to initiate the grade exception process.
The Petition for Grade Appeal and all attachments will be kept in the Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs for a minimum period of three years.
Grade Review Committee Membership and Policies
- The GRC shall consist of eight members as follows:
- Two members shall be elected by and from faculty from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
- One member shall be elected by and from faculty from the College of Professional Studies.
- One member shall be elected by and from the faculty from the College of Business.
- One member shall be elected by and from the faculty from the School of Education.
- Two student members shall be appointed by the Student Government Assembly.
- One non-voting ex-officio member from the Office of Academic and Student Affairs shall be appointed by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Responsibilities of this member shall include staff assistance and record keeping.
- The term of membership on the GRC shall be two years, with terms staggered, except that the term of the student members shall be one year. Terms shall begin on the first day of classes of the fall semester.
- Members may serve successive terms.
- Elections of faculty from each school or college shall occur in the spring, and members shall take office on the first day of classes of the fall semester.
- The representative from the Office of Academic and Student Affairs shall convene the first meeting of the GRC in the fall, at which time the members shall elect a chair.
- A meeting of the GRC to consider and vote on a Petition for Grade Appeal must have a quorum of voting members.
- The GRC shall prepare a written summary of the committee's decisions, the rationale for its decisions and the vote tally on the appeal. The summary shall be added to all existing documentation of the appeal.
- All documentation in a grade appeal shall be maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for a three-year period.
- The Chair of the GRC shall provide a yearly report of appeal activities, including recommendations for amending the Student Grade Appeal Policy, to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs by the last day in June. Copies will be sent to all academic deans.
- Informal Resolution means informal discussions that lead to the resolution of a grade dispute the student may have with the instructor, the chair of a department and/or the dean of a school.
- Grade appeal procedure means the formal resolution procedure.
- The time limits refer to weeks, not days of weeks.
- The end of day means 5 p.m. on the designated day (i.e., end of a working day).
- The last day of the week means the Friday of a calendar week.
- Week ordinarily means Monday-Friday. If, for example, classes are not in session on a Monday, the designated week still ends on Friday.
- Working day means any day classes or examinations are scheduled, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- Assigned grade means a letter grade (e.g., A, B, C, D or F), grade equivalent (e.g. S/U), or the temporary grade of I (Incomplete).
Grade changes must be submitted within the first seven weeks of the semester following the completion of the class. Spring semester grades can be changed through the seventh week of the following fall semester. Faculty may submit a grade change online to the Office of the Registrar via the Faculty and Staff portal.
The faculty member may change an Incomplete (I) notation at any time within three consecutive semesters (including summer semester) after the end of the semester in which the class was attempted. At the end of the third consecutive semester (one calendar year), if the incomplete notation remains on the academic record, it will become an "F."
Grades may NOT be changed on the basis of revised standards of evaluation, new examinations, or additional work undertaken or completed after grades are submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Grades may only be changed on the basis of an error in evaluation, computation, or transcription.
Best Grade Stands
A student's grades for repeated courses will be removed from GPA calculations up to 18 semester hours, regardless of the original grade earned. If a student repeats more than 18 credit hours, the student may designate which of the course grades are removed from GPA calculations (up to 18 semester hours). Only the best grade and its associated credit will be calculated in the GPA and earned hours totals. Other attempts for the course will appear on the official academic record but will be annotated to indicate they do not count for academic credit or GPA calculation. This policy applies only to courses taken at MSU Denver, and it does not apply to courses designated as repeatable toward degree requirements.
To qualify for this policy, a repeated course must carry the same title, course number, and semester hours as the original course. Officially recognized course equivalencies will apply, excluding transfer course equivalencies. The determination of course equivalency will be made by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and the academic department offering the course.
A grade will not be removed from GPA calculations once a degree has been conferred if the course was required for the degree conferred. Students who have earned a degree at MSU Denver and subsequently take additional courses or work toward a second degree may use this policy for courses in which they are enrolled after the first degree is awarded.
A permanent "F" assigned as a result of academic dishonesty will not be removed from GPA calculations.
Honors and Awards
MSU Denver annually recognizes students who show outstanding leadership and service to the University and community, excellence in scholastic achievement, and outstanding personal character and integrity. Due to wide variation in definition and interpretation of class rank, the University does not (by policy) rank its students or graduates. Recognition of students includes: The President's Award (one senior); The Provost's Award (one senior); Special Service- Student Affairs Award (one senior); Outstanding Fall Graduate Award (one senior); Outstanding Student Awards (one senior from each College/School); American Association of University Women (AAUW) Award (senior woman). Other awards include Special Service Award for Exceptionally Challenged Students, Charles W. Fisher Award and the Colorado Engineering Council Award.
In addition to annual awards, students with outstanding academic achievements are recognized by being named on the University's Honor Lists. The President's Honor List contains the names of students who, at the time of computation, have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.85 or higher. The Provost's Honor List contains the names of students who, at the time of computation, have achieved a cumulative GPA of between 3.50 and 3.84, inclusively. Computation will occur initially when the student has completed between 30 and 60 credits at MSU Denver, then again between 60 and 90 credits, and finally after more than 90 credits. Honors will only be computed three times in a student's academic life at the University. Questions should be directed to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs at 303-615-1900.
Graduation honors are awarded to students who have demonstrated superior academic ability in their baccalaureate degree while attending MSU Denver. Honors designations are determined according to the following criteria:
- Summa Cum Laude - Top five percent of graduates within each school with cumulative MSU Denver GPA of no less than 3.65.
- Magna Cum Laude - Next five percent of graduates within each school with cumulative MSU Denver GPA of no less than 3.65.
- Cum Laude - Next five percent of graduates within each school with cumulative MSU Denver GPA of no less than 3.65.
To determine each honors category, GPAs from the previous spring semester graduates are arranged in rank order. This rank ordering is then used to determine the honors category thresholds for the following fall, spring and summer graduates. The current rankings are located on the commencement website.
The honors designation is calculated twice: once for the commencement ceremony; and again at the end of the final semester for the official designation.
To qualify for graduation honor recognition at the commencement ceremony, a student must have the specified GPA and must have completed a minimum of 50 semester hours of academic credit at MSU Denver by the end of the term of graduation. UCD Pooled classes and other transfer credits are not considered when determining honors. Recognition at the commencement ceremony does not guarantee final honors designation on the official record. Honors announced at the commencement ceremony will be based upon a preliminary calculation not including grades from the term of graduation.
Students who qualify for recognition at the ceremony will be sent a letter from the dean's office of the School in which their major is located. This letter authorizes students to purchase honor cords at the time they rent their caps and gowns.
Graduates with an Individualized Degree Program major will be identified for honors purposes within the School most prominent in their major.
Official Honors Designation
Grades earned for the graduating term will affect honors. GPAs are not rounded up (for example: a GPA of 3.149 is not rounded to 3.15). The Official Honors designation will be calculated following the processing of final grades. This recalculation will take into consideration any grade changes submitted to the Registrar's Office during your graduating term. Only the official honors designation is added to the final transcript and diploma. A student must maintain the specified GPA and must complete a minimum of 50 semester hours of academic credit at MSU Denver by the term of graduation. UCD Pooled classes and other transfer credits are not considered when determining honors.
Honors designations are added to the student's official academic record; no other notification will be sent. For additional information regarding graduation honors, contact the Office of Academic and Student Affairs at 303-615-1900.
Last Date of Attendance
Faculty who report a "U," "UE," or "F" grade to a student for any reason will report the student's last date of attendance when entering grades online.
For reporting purposes, the last date of active participation in the class will be considered the last date of attendance, which must be one of the following:
- Physically attending or participating in class (such as a class activity)
- Submitting an academic assignment
- Taking a quiz or exam, interactive tutorial, or computer-based instruction
- Attending a school-assigned study group
- Participating in online discussions about academic matters and/or initiating contact with faculty to ask questions about subject matter
Active participation does not include:
- Logging into an online course without active participation
- Academic counseling
If a student never attended class, the date of the first day of class will be reported as the last date of attendance.
The pass/fail option encourages students to venture out of their major and minor fields and thereby broaden their educational experience. A student must declare interest in the pass/fail option no later than the 12th day of classes for fall and spring, the eighth day of classes for summer or the second day of classes for parts-of-term of any semester (for specific deadlines, see the Academic Calendar ) by contacting the Office of the Registrar and completing the Request for Pass/Fail Option. Once approved, the request for the pass/fail option is irrevocable. A student who requests the option and later is declared ineligible will receive written notification from the Office of the Registrar.
Students who have completed at least one MSU Denver course with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA may choose to be evaluated for a certain course on a pass/fail basis rather than by a letter grade. Major, minor, General Studies and other courses required for a degree and courses for teacher licensure may NOT be taken on a pass/fail basis. Self-paced courses may NOT be taken under the pass/fail option. Maximum graduation credit for courses taken using the pass/fail option is 18 credit hours earned in no more than six courses and limited to one course per semester or part-of-term. Course work must be graded to determine if it is pass or fail.
The "pass" grade (P) has no effect on the GPA; the "fail" grade is equivalent to the grade of "F." The "pass" grade (P) is equivalent to the grade of "D-" or better. Pass/fail courses fall under the same withdrawal guidelines and deadlines as other courses in the institution, whether those guidelines and deadlines are established university-wide or by individual schools or departments.
The instructor will assign and record the pass/fail grade on the final grade list that identifies students electing and eligible for pass/fail grading. Some institutions do not accept credit in transfer for courses in which a "pass" grade is given. Therefore, students who plan to transfer or take graduate work should determine whether the institution of their choice would accept the credit before registering for courses under the pass/fail option. Additionally, the student is responsible for ensuring that the course is not a major, minor or General Studies requirement.
Posthumously Awarded Degrees
Metropolitan State University of Denver will award a posthumous degree to a deceased student who had maintained good academic and financial standing without a significant disciplinary incident. Any party interested in seeking a posthumous degree will contact the Dean of the College or School in which the deceased student's program resided. Upon final approval of the President and/or the Board of Trustees, the name of the deceased student will be announced at commencement as a Posthumous Degree and a plaque will be given to a person designated by the family.
If it is determined that the student was enrolled in their final courses sufficient to meet the University's graduation requirements, and therefore would have earned their degree had they successfully completed the last semester of enrollment, the degree will be counted as an earned degree within University completion counts.
If it is determined that the student was not enrolled in their final courses sufficient to meet the University's graduation requirements, and therefore would not have been granted a degree had they successfully completed the last semester of enrollment, the Office of the Registrar will expunge the academic record during the semester of the student's death.
Students may enroll in an individual, MSU Denver course a maximum of two times, unless the course is designated as repeatable. The department offering the course may approve additional attempts. A course for which a student has received an administrative withdrawal (AW) does NOT count as an enrollment attempt. All other grades and notations count toward the maximum number of enrollment attempts.
A repeatable course is defined as a course taken for additional credit toward graduation requirements. Examples include field experiences, internships, music ensembles, and theater presentations. Some departments place limits on the total number of credits that students may earn in a repeatable course. If a limit applies, the maximum number of credits permitted is identified in the course notes in the catalog and class schedule.
Academic Satisfactory Progress/Good Standing
A student is deemed to be making satisfactory progress toward his or her academic goal if the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. This student is deemed to be in academic good standing with the institution. However, other academic standards may apply to specific programs. A student must satisfy those other academic standards in order to be deemed in academic good standing with that program. See information on the program of interest to determine specific standards for that program.
Academic Warning Status
A student in good standing whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will be on academic warning status with the institution during his or her next semester. A student will be removed from this warning status and returned to good standing if he or she achieves a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at the end of his or her semester on warning status. More restrictive standards may apply to certain programs or schools. See information on the program of interest.
A student who fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at the end of his or her semester on warning status will be put on academic probation with the institution during his or her next semester at MSU Denver. A student will be on academic probation as long as he or she has a cumulative GPA below 2.0, but is making progress toward good standing as explained below and has not been on academic probation for more than three semesters. Other conditions may apply to given programs or schools. See information on the program of interest.
A student is removed from academic probation and is in good standing the semester after achieving a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. During any semester that a student is on academic probation, the student must make progress toward good standing with the institution by taking all of the following actions:
- achieve a semester GPA of 2.2 or higher
- register and complete a minimum of 3 but no more than 12 semester hours (3 to 6 semester hours for summer semester)
- take required activities as negotiated with the director of Student Intervention Services (may include certain classes, probationary tutorial, repeated courses, tutoring or other activities)
While on academic probation, a student may pre-register for the first semester following the academic warning status semester, but is prohibited from pre-registering any other semester. For subsequent academic probation status semesters, a GPA of at least 2.2 must be verified prior to registration. If a 2.2 semester GPA is not obtained, the student will be placed on Academic Suspension.
A student on academic probation not making progress toward good standing will be prohibited from registering for one calendar year from the date of suspension. Appeal of suspension for this reason will be submitted to the Associate Director of Student Academic Success and Intervention and is due by the Monday prior to tuition deadline for the anticipated semester. Students that do not submit an appeal by the deadline who have registered for the anticipated semester will be dropped from their courses. The Associate Director will deliver the appeal materials to the Student Academic Review Committee, which will review the appeal and notify the student of its decision. A student may appeal a suspension only two times in his or her academic career at the University.
A student making progress toward good standing, whose cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0 after three or more semesters on probation, will have his or her academic progress reviewed each semester by the Student Academic Review Committee. The committee will determine whether the student should be placed on suspension. In both cases, the decision of the Student Academic Review Committee is final.
Any student returning to the University after the one-calendar-year suspension must reapply and will be re-admitted on academic probation with the institution. For these students, all probation rules outlined above will apply.
A student who is suspended for a second time will be re-admitted only if he or she has successfully completed an associate degree program from a community college after suspension from MSU Denver or can demonstrate to the Student Academic Review Committee that chances for successful completion of an educational program are greatly improved.
Contact Student Intervention Services at 303-615-2025 for further information.