Policies and Procedures
Generally, the policies and procedures contained in this University Catalog must be followed by students currently enrolled for the fall 2021 and the spring and summer 2022 semesters. The procedures and policies contained in this section are subject to change as the University deems necessary. If you have a concern, please check with the appropriate office.
Definition of a Student
The term student includes persons admitted to or enrolled at the University, and those who may not be currently enrolled but who have a continuing relationship with the University. All students will adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as included in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the Catalog.
Student academic records are protected under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Academic record protection begins no later than the time a student has begun attending class at the University. Attendance includes, but is not limited to:
- Attendance in person or by paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom; and
- The period during which a person is working under a work-study program.
More information regarding educational records can be found below and on the Office of the Registrar's website, msudenver.edu/registrar.
Petitions for Degree Exception
Students requesting Degree Exceptions should contact their academic department. Valid reasons for variances must accompany all petitions, and the petitions must be reviewed by the department chair and appropriate dean.
The following shall not be waived for any student for any reason:
- A minimum requirement of 120 semester hours for graduation with a Bachelor's degree.
- A minimum requirement of 40 semester hours of upper-division courses (3000- and 4000-level courses) for graduation with a Bachelor's degree.
- A minimum requirement of 30 semester hours for the major.
- A minimum requirement of 18 semester hours for the minor.
- A minimum requirement of 30 semester hours at MSU Denver prior to the term of graduation.
- A minimum required cumulative GPA of 2.00 in the major, the minor, or the program (as applicable and denoted in the Catalog).
- The following components of a degree: the major, the minor, General Studies, Multicultural graduation requirement, Senior Experience requirement, or emphasis (as applicable and denoted in the Catalog).
- Lower-division credit earned at another institution shall not be granted upper-division credit.
- The specified minimum credit hours required for a certificate program.
For all other situations not listed above, students should consult with academic departments regarding exception options.
As students, faculty, staff and administrators of Metropolitan State University of Denver, it is our responsibility to uphold and maintain an academic environment that furthers scholarly inquiry, creative activity and the application of knowledge. We will not tolerate academic dishonesty. We will demonstrate honesty and integrity in all activities related to our learning and scholarship. We will not plagiarize, fabricate information or data, cheat on tests or exams, steal academic material, or submit work to more than one class without full disclosure.
Students have the right to:
- Be informed of course expectations and requirements.
- Be evaluated fairly on the basis of academic performance.
- Participate in free and open discussion, inquiry and expression, both in the classroom and in conference.
- Receive competent instruction and advisement.
- Expect protection against professors' improper disclosure of students' personal information, views, beliefs, and political associations when such information has become known as a result of professors' instructions, advisement, or counsel.
- Expect protection, through established procedures, against prejudicial or capricious evaluation.
- Assess the value of a course to make suggestions as to its direction and to evaluate both the instructor and the instruction they have received.
- Have input in University policy-making, which may include, but shall not be limited to, course scheduling distribution of night and day classes, calendar arrangements, library policy and development, grading systems, course development, and curriculum.
- Expect instructors to conduct themselves professionally in the classroom in accordance with University policies and directives.
- Expect instructors to maintain office hours as required by University policy.
- Expect reasonable academic assistance from the appropriate department.
- Be informed of academic standards expected of them in the classroom through a syllabus and/ or course outline. Academic standards shall include, but not be limited to, classroom civility, class attendance requirements, objectives to be achieved, and the grading criteria that will be applied to a particular course of study.
Students have the responsibility to:
- Inquire about course or degree requirements if they do not understand them or are in doubt about them.
- Maintain the standards of academic performance established for individual courses and for programs of study.
- Learn the content of any course of study.
- Act in accordance with commonly accepted standards of academic conduct. If disruptive behavior occurs in a classroom, an instructor has authority to ask the student to leave the classroom for one class session and then report it to the Dean of Students Office. Should such disorderly or disruptive conduct persist, the instructor should report the matter to Auraria Campus Police, the Dean of Students Office, and the appropriate Department Chair and Dean's office.
- Maintain academic ethics and academic honesty.
- Pay the tuition and fees and be officially registered in order to attend a class.
- Initiate an investigation by contacting the department chair if they believe their academic rights have been violated.
Attendance during the first week of class is required. It contributes greatly to teaching and learning. Some departments determine a student's enrollment in a course based upon attendance during the first week of class. Consult the department for more information about the attendance policy for the class that you are attending. Students who drop classes are financially responsible for those classes in accordance with the withdrawal/refund policies stated on the Web class schedule available via the Student Hub.
Students are expected to attend all sessions of courses for which they are registered. Each instructor determines when a student's absences have reached a point at which they jeopardize success in a course. When absences become excessive, the student may receive a failing grade for the course. If students anticipate a prolonged absence, they should contact their instructors. If they find that they cannot communicate with the instructor, they should contact the chair of that department, who will inform the instructor of the reasons for the anticipated absence. Whenever an instructor determines that a student's absences are interfering with academic progress, the instructor may submit a letter to the department chair informing that office of the situation.
Students at MSU Denver who, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes, take examinations, participate in graded activities or submit graded assignments on particular days shall, without penalty, be excused from such classes and be given a meaningful opportunity to make up such examinations and graded activities or assignments provided that proper notice and procedures are followed.
Crime Awareness and Campus Security
In 1990, Congress enacted the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, which requires all post-secondary institutions participating in Title IV student financial aid programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. This information is available at msudenver.edu/campussafetyandcrime.
Equal Opportunity and Americans with Disabilities Act
Metropolitan State University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer; applications from minorities and women are particularly invited. Metropolitan State University of Denver does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability in admissions or access to, or treatment or employment in, its educational programs or activities. Inquiries concerning the University grievance procedures may be directed to the designated MSU Denver officials. Inquiries concerning Title VI and Title IX may be referred to the MSU Denver Office of Equal Opportunity, Campus Box 63, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217-3362, 303-615-0036. Inquiries concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or 504 may be referred to Amanda Berry, Benefits Manager, MSU Denver, Campus Box 67, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217-3362, 303-605-5321; Mr. Steve Monaco, Student ADA Coordinator, 303-615-9999; Mr. Greg Sullivan, Director Access Center, MSU Denver, Campus Box 56, P.O. Box 173361, Denver, CO 80217-3361, 303-615-1204. Otherwise, all inquiries may be referred to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 Speer Boulevard, Denver, CO 80204, 303-844-3723.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Metropolitan State University of Denver maintains educational records for each student who has enrolled at the University. A copy of the University's policy on student educational records may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar, Student Success Building, Suite 160. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 USC 1232g, and the implementing regulations published at 34 CFR part 99, each eligible student has the right to:
- Inspect and review his/her educational records;
- Request the amendment of the student's education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights;
- Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (see Nondisclosure and Exceptions); and
- File a complaint under 34 CFR 99.64, concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA, with the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
Procedure for Inspecting and Reviewing Educational Records
Students may inspect and review their education records upon a written request submitted to the Registrar, Student Success Building, Suite 160 (#3), or by mail to Campus Box 84, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, Colorado 80217-3362.
- The request shall identify as precisely as possible the record or records the student wishes to inspect.
- The record custodian or an appropriate staff person shall make the arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given within 45 days from the receipt of the request.
- When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records that relate to that student.
Procedure for Amending Educational Records
A student may make a written request to amend a record.
- In the request, the student should identify the part of the record to be changed and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy or other rights.
- Metropolitan State University of Denver shall comply with the request or notify the student that the University will not comply with the request and advise the student of the student's right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's rights.
- Upon written request, Metropolitan State University of Denver will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
- The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party, but who may be an official of the institution. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
- Metropolitan State University of Denver will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
- If Metropolitan State University of Denver decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy or other right, it will notify the student that the student has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
- The statement will be maintained as part of the student's education records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If Metropolitan State University of Denver decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.
Nondisclosure and Exceptions
Pursuant to FERPA, the University will not disclose a student's education records without the written consent of the student except to University officials with legitimate educational interests, to officials at other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll; in connection with providing financial aid to the student; to accrediting agencies in carrying out their functions; to authorized representatives in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs; in compliance with a judicial order or subpoena; to other outside providers who may be subject to a contractual obligation to maintain confidentiality of student information (e.g. Auraria Higher Education, National Student Clearinghouse, or legal and debt collection services); may release educational records to parents of dependent children in accordance with IRS code of 1986; and in connection with a health or safety emergency involving the student. However, the University may release directory information without the prior written consent of the student unless an enrolled student has notified the University's Office of the Registrar in writing that any or all types of directory information shall not be disclosed without the consent of the student. A request for nondisclosure will remain in effect until the student is no longer enrolled or cancels the request for nondisclosure.
A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position, including Auraria law enforcement personnel; or a person elected to the Board of Trustees; or a person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as attorney, auditor or consultant; or a student or other person serving on an official University committee or assisting a school official in performing the official's professional duties and responsibilities. A legitimate educational interest is the need of a school official to review educational records to fulfill that official's professional duties and responsibilities.
Other than Directory Information, which may be released to the general public, the University will not release educational records without a student's written consent, signed, and dated by the student.
Metropolitan State University of Denver has designated the following categories of personally identifiable information on students as directory information under section 438(a)(5)(B) of FERPA:
- Dates of attendance at the University
- Date of birth
- Degrees and awards received
- Enrollment status
- Last educational institution attended
- Major and minor fields of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Physical and email addresses
- Student classification
- Student name
- Telephone number
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
It is the general policy of MSU Denver to require final examinations of all students in all courses for which they are registered for credit, with the possible exception of seminar courses or special projects.
Freedom of Speech
Students shall have the right to assemble, to select speakers and guests, and to discuss issues of their choice. An invitation to a speaker shall not imply endorsement of the speaker's views by either the student organization or the University.
Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations shall not be used to the detriment of students and their institutional standing.
The right of peaceful protest is granted within the University community. The University retains the right to assure the safety of individuals, the protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process.
The student press shall be free of censorship and shall provide editorial freedom. The editors and managers shall not be arbitrarily suspended because of student, faculty, administration, alumni, or community disapproval of editorial policy or content.
All student communications shall explicitly state on the editorial page or in broadcast that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University and/or members of the University.
MSU Denver's latest, six-year graduation rate for the 2014 cohort of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students is 32%. MSU Denver has a six-year graduation rate of 52% for the 2014 cohort of full-time, transfer, degree-seeking students.
The University will not impede a student called to jury duty. If a student's jury duty conflicts with an MSU Denver class, lab or exam, faculty must cooperate with the student to reschedule the missed course obligations. Jury duty takes precedence over class attendance policies. The student has the responsibility to provide verification of attendance at jury duty to the faculty member.
Respect for Rights of Others
The student assumes certain obligations of performance and behavior while attending MSU Denver. Based on this premise, reasonable policies, procedures and regulations have been developed to guarantee each student's opportunity to learn and to protect the fundamental rights of others. MSU Denver students neither gain nor lose any of the rights and responsibilities of other citizens by virtue of their student status.
As members of an academic community, students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner. Students should try at all times to promote a sense of cooperation and civility within the University and work to build an atmosphere that will be most conducive to the goals of higher education within the institution.
Students, while within University facilities or while participating in University sponsored activities (on-campus and/or off-campus), are expected to comply with University rules and regulations and with the regulations of off-campus sites.
Student Code of Conduct
Students are required to follow the Code of Conduct available in this Catalog.
Student Complaint Policy
For information on MSU Denver's student complaint policy, visit msudenver.edu/deanofstudents/studentcomplaintsappeals.