Guide to Academic Rules and Regulations
The university has adopted over the years numerous rules and regulations. Some of the principal rules and regulations are given here so that currently enrolled and potential undergraduates and graduate students will be apprised of what is expected of them, and what they can expect of the university.
This section concerns academic regulations. Additional regulations can be found in the Lehigh Handbook, and there is a comprehensive statement of all policy in the publication Rules and Procedures of the Faculty. The most up to date version of the Student Handbook can be found online at http://www.lehigh.edu/~indost/conduct/handbook/index.shtml; the Rulse and Procedures of the Faculty can be found online on the Provost’s website.
Eligibility for Degree
In order to be graduated, a candidate for a baccalaureate degree must achieve a minimum cumulative average of 2.00.
To be eligible for a degree, a student must not only have completed all of the scholastic requirements for the degree, but also must have paid all university fees, and in addition all bills for the rental of rooms in the residence halls or in other university housing facilities. Payment also must have been made for damage to university property or equipment, or for any other indebtedness for scholarship loans or for loans from trust funds administered by the university.
Responsibility for meeting academic requirements.
Each student is responsible for his or her progress toward meeting specific requirements for graduation. Academic advisers and department chairs are available to assist the student. It is strongly recommended that the student specifically consult with his or her adviser prior to the senior year to ascertain eligibility for the degree for which he or she desires to qualify and to determine that all program and hours requirements are met.
The registrar’s office will provide, at the student’s request, a printout of a degree audit noting all program deficiencies. The degree audits are also available on the web for all undergraduate students. All students are requested to go through this process before registering for their senior year.
Final date for completion of requirements. For graduation, all requirements, scholastic and financial, must have been satisfied prior to the date stated in the university calendar.
Application for Degree
Candidates for graduation on University Day in May must file with the registrar on or before March 1 a written notice of candidacy for the degree; candidates for graduation in September file a notice of candidacy on or before July 1; candidates for graduation in January file a notice of candidacy on or before November 1.
Failure to file such notice by such dates mentioned debars the candidate from receiving the degree at the ensuing graduation exercises. If a petition for late filing is granted, but before deadline to complete all requirements, a fee is assessed.
The original of the undergraduate thesis, when required, is accompanied by drawings and diagrams whenever the subject needs such illustration. The original is kept by the university, as a part of the student’s record, for future reference; but copies may be retained by students and may be published, provided permission has first been obtained from the faculty.
Undergraduate Credit and Grades
A “semester hour,” used interchangeably with “credit hour,” is a course unit normally involving three to four hours of student effort per week during one semester. This includes both in-class contact hours and out-of-class activities. The major parameters influencing the in-class/out-of-class division include the mode of instruction and the level of the course.
Latest date for registration. No registration is accepted later than the tenth day of instruction in any semester, or fifth day of a summer session.
Definitions of grades.
Course grades are A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D+, D, D–, P, F, N, X and Z. The meaning of each grade is as follows: A, A–, excellent; B+, B, and B–, good; C+ and C, competent; C–, continuation competency (the student has achieved the level of proficiency needed for the course to satisfy prerequisite requirements); D+, D, and D–, passing, but performance is not adequate to take any subsequent course which has this course as a prerequisite. The student must petition to waive a prerequisite. Upon presentation of evidence of substantially equivalent preparation and with the approval of the instructor of the course, the teaching department chair and the chair of the major department, the prerequisite will be waived. P, pass-fail grading with a grade equivalent to D– or higher; F, failing; N, incomplete; X, absent from the final examination; Z, absent from the final examination and incomplete.
Other symbols used for courses on student records are: Cr, credit allowed; NCR – no credit; W, withdrawn; WP, withdrawn with permission and with passing performance at the time of withdrawal; WF, withdrawn beyond the deadline and/or with failing performance.
Grades in the range of A through D–, P, and Cr may be credited toward baccalaureate degrees within the limits of program requirements. Grades of F, N, X, Z, W, WP, and WF cannot be credited toward the degree. Grades of W and WP do not count as hours attempted.
Courses in which grades of D+,D, D-,F, NCR, W, WF, N, X, or Z are recorded do not meet prerequisite requirements.
The grade N (grade) may be used to indicate that one or more course requirements (e.g., course report) have not been completed. It is the obligation of the student to explain to the satisfaction of the instructor that there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., illness or emergency) that justify the use of the N grade. If the instructor feels the N grade is justified, he or she assigns a grade of N supplemented by a parenthetical letter grade, (e.g., NA9). In such cases, the instructor calculates the parenthetical grade by assigning an F (or zero score) for any incomplete work unless he or she has informed the class in writing at the beginning of the course of a substitute method for determining the default grade.
In each case in which an N grade is given, the course instructor will provide written notification to the department chairperson stating the name of the student receiving the grade, the reason for the incomplete work, the work to be done for the removal of the N grade and the grade for the work already completed.
A student who incurs an N grade in any course is required to complete the work for the course by the fifth day of instruction in the next regular semester. The N grade will be converted into the parenthetical grade after the tenth day of instruction in the next regular semester following receipt of the N grade unless the instructor has previously changed the grade using the removal-of-incomplete procedure. The parenthetical grade will be dropped from the transcript after the assignment of the course grade.
In no case shall the grade N be used to report absence from a final examination when all other course requirements have been met.
N grades do not count as hours attempted and are not used in computations of cumulative averages.
The grade X (grade) is used to indicate absence from the final examination when all other course requirements have been met. The grade in parentheses is determined by including in the grade calculation an F (or zero score) for the missing final exam. The X grade may be removed by a make-up examination if the absence was for good cause (e.g., illness or other emergency). To be eligible for the make-up exam, the student must file a petition and the petition must be approved by the Committee on the Standing of Students. If the student fails to petition, or if the petition is not granted, or if the student fails to appear for the scheduled make-up examination, then the X grade will be converted into the parenthetical grade after the first scheduled make-up examination following the receipt of the X grade. If the petition is granted and the final examination is taken, the X grade will be changed by the instructor using the make-up examination procedures and the parenthetical grade will be dropped from the transcript.
Where valid reasons exist for not taking the make-up examination at the scheduled time, the student may petition for a later examination with a fee. A students grade that was originally assigned an N, X, or Z grade when converted or computed will be noted with an ‘*’ asterisk prefix.
The grade Z (grade) is used to indicate both absence from the final examination and incompletion of one or more course requirements. The instructor calculates the parenthetical grade using an F (or zero score) for the final examination and either an F (or zero score) or the substitute method of calculation as described above for the incomplete work.
The Z grade may be removed by the procedures presented in the previous paragraph for removing the X grade. If this results in an N grade because the course work is still incomplete, the provisional Incomplete (N grade) above shall apply, except that in no case shall the deadline for completion of the work be later than the last day of classes in the first full semester in residence (except summer) following receipt of the Z grade.
X and Z grades do not count as hours attempted and are not used in computations of cumulative averages.
Where failure to complete coursework prevents the student from taking the make-up examination at the scheduled time, the student may petition the Committee on the Standing of Students for a later examination.
A Z grade that is still outstanding after the tenth day of instruction in the next academic-year semester following receipt of the Z grade will be converted into the parenthetical grade. The parenthetical grade will be dropped from the transcript.
Scholastic Averages and Probation
Scholastic requirements for undergraduate students are expressed in terms of the cumulative grade point average (GPA)—the weighted average of all grades received in residence or at institutions specifically approved for grade transfer. The cumulative GPA is computed at the end of each semester and the second summer session. Following are the cumulative GPA requirements for good standing:
freshmen 1st semester 0 to 22 credits earned
sophomores 23 to 51
juniors and seniors 52 or more
For computational purposes students who have completed 22 or fewer earned hours shall be required to achieve a 1.70 cumulative grade point average. Students who have completed 23 but fewer than 52 earned hours at the end of the most recent graded term shall be required to achieve a 1.80 cumulative grade point average. Students who have completed 53 earned hours at the end of the most recent graded term shall be required to achieve a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. Other undergraduates including all General College Division, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent College cross registered students, high school scholars and R.O.T.C. students will be required to achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade point average – the minimum average required for graduation – to remain in good academic standing.
Any undergraduate student who achieves a l.69 or lower cumulative grade point average in a given term is eligible to be reviewed by and may be placed on probation or dropped for poor scholarship at the discretion of the Committee on the Standing of Students.
Students who do not meet the above requirements will be placed on scholastic probation. Students who, regardless of their cumulative averages, have failed more than eight hours of course work in any semester are also placed on scholastic probation.
While there is no specific credit hour requirement for good standing, certain categories of students (e.g., those on financial aid and those playing intercollegiate athletics) will be expected to maintain whatever hours are required for eligibility.
Removal from probation. Students are removed from probation at such time as they meet the standard listed above, effective at the end of any semester or the second summer session.
Dropped for poor scholarship. A student who makes a 2.2 GPA or better in the probationary semester but fails to meet the standards stipulated is continued on probation for another semester. A student who makes less than a 2.2 GPA in the probationary semester and fails to meet the standards stipulated above, is dropped for poor scholarship.
If a student goes on scholastic probation for a second (although not necessarily consecutive) term, a review by the Committee on the Standing of Students will determine whether the student will continue on scholastic probation or be dropped for poor scholarship.
Withdrawal From a Course. A student dropping a course within the first ten days of the semester (five days for summer sessions) will have no record of the course on the transcript. A student dropping all courses for which he or she is registered is considered to be withdrawing from the university and the policy is noted below. A student who drops a course with the approval of his/her advisor and section instructor after the tenth day of instruction and before the end of the eleventh week of instruction will have a grade of “W” assigned to the course. A student who drops a course with the approval of his/her advisor and section instructor after the eleventh week of instruction and before the end of classes receives a “WP” or “WF” at the discretion of the instructor. A “WF” is considered to be a failing grade. An Add/Drop form signed by the student’s advisor must be submitted to the registrar’s office, before the deadlines noted above, to be official. No course may be dropped after the last day of classes during a term as noted on the University Calendar.
University Withdrawal. A student withdrawing from the university (dropping all courses during a given term) must submit the withdrawal form to the dean of students office. Withdrawal after registration day and during the first 11 weeks of instruction will be noted on the academic transcript by assigning a grade of “W” to all courses. A withdrawal after the eleventh week of instruction and before the end of classes will have the grade of “WP” or “WF” assigned for each course at the discretion of the instructor. The date of the withdrawal will be noted on the academic transcript for a withdrawal at any time during the term.
A student who reduces his or her course load below the minimum required for standing as a full-time student, but does not withdraw from the university, becomes a part-time student for the rest of that semester. Some areas affected by part-time status are financial aid, athletic eligibility, veterans affairs, immigration status, insurance and loan deferment.
Release of Final Grades. Grades for undergraduate students are available from the registrar as soon as possible following the deadline for reporting of grades on line using the secure access facility. Undergraduates students who would like a grade report must submit the request in writing to the Registrar’s Office each term. Instructors may develop their own policies for release of unofficial reports of academic progress to individual students, or to their advisers, deans, or financial aid officers, on a need-to-know basis, including early release of unofficial final course grades. Any such policies must respect the rights of students to privacy.
Repeating of courses. If a course is repeated, the final grade received upon repetition of the course is counted in the cumulative average. The original grade and credit hours received will be dropped from the cumulative average.
A grade that was originally received in a course may not be changed by repeating the course under the pass-fail option.
Students repeating a course that has been graded C or better may not overload (greater than eighteen credits) during that term. For deletion of a grade from the cumulative average after repeating a course, a student must (a) file the deletion form with the registrar’s Office; and (b) repeat the identical course with a final grade at Lehigh.
Pass-Fail Systems for Undergraduates
Student Option System. The pass-fail grading option is intended to encourage undergraduate students to take challenging courses outside the major field that otherwise might be avoided for fear of lowering grade-point averages. Students are not permitted to take courses numbered below 100 and over 400 using the optional pass/fail grading system and should avoid wasting this option on unsuitable courses, such as courses having no college-level prerequisite or corequisite. The restrictions on the use of the system are listed below.
A student may register for no more than one course pass-fail numbered above 100 and below 400 in any one semester. Students should check the pass/fail restrictions for specific courses noted in section V of the catalog. He or she may take a maximum of six courses pass-fail per undergraduate career if the student is on a four-year program, or a maximum of eight courses per undergraduate career with a five-year, two-degree program. If a student changes a course after the first ten days of instruction from pass-fail grading to regular grading, as provided below, that course shall still count toward the maximum number of courses taken pass-fail during the student’s undergraduate career.
Each college faculty shall decide under what conditions and which courses or categories of courses throughout the university may be taken for pass-fail credit by students registered in that college, except for courses designated specifically for pass-fail grading. Each college shall keep the educational policy committee advised of changes in its rules.
A student designates the course(s) to be taken pass-fail normally at preregistration but not later than the fifteenth day of instruction in a regular semester or the fifth day of instruction in any summer session. Prior to this deadline, the student may transfer from pass-fail to regular grading, or vice-versa, without penalty. The courses designated for pass-fail grading by the student require the written acknowledgment of the academic adviser.
Since the instructor giving the course is not officially notified which students are taking the course pass-fail, a regular letter grade is reported to the Registrar for the pass-fail students. The Registrar then records “P” for reported letter grades from A through D–, and “F” for a reported letter grade of F.
Under this system, the student surrenders his or her equity to letter grades of A through D–, except as specified below. A grade of P applies to the student’s graduation requirements but is not used in the computation of the cumulative average; whereas an F grade is included in the cumulative grade point average.
If a student changes his or her program such that a course previously taken for pass-fail grading is not allowed for pass-fail grading in the new program, the student must submit a petition to the Committee on the Standing of Students requesting acceptance by the new program of the pass-fail grading for that course, or substitution of the original letter grade submitted by the instructor for the pass-fail grade, or the substitution of another course for the course taken pass-fail. The recommendation of the adviser must accompany the petition.
Transfer of credit from other institutions is the responsibility of the Registrar. Any students planning to take work at other institutions in the United States or elsewhere should initially check with the Registrar on policies and procedures. Full time students may not be concurrently enrolled at any other institution, except for the LVAIC Consortium cross registered courses, without the advanced approval of the Committee on Standing of Students. Transfer of grades from institutions other than the LVAIC System is not possible.
Pass/Fail credit/non-credit courses are not acceptable for transfer.
Courses taken at a two year or four year institution where a grade lower than a “C” has been earned will not transfer. (“C-” or below will not transfer)
Transfer courses may not be used to delete a prior grade from one’s cumulative grade point average at Lehigh University. Transfer grades are NOT calculated in the Lehigh GPA.
No student may receive more credit at Lehigh than was granted on the other institution’s transcript. Courses taken on the quarter system will have credit granted on a 3-2 ratio, no partial credit will be awarded. The student will receive credit equivalent to the number of credits indicated on the transcript, up to the number of credits for the equivalent course at Lehigh. The registrar has the final authority for the amount of credit awarded toward a Lehigh degree.
No credit will be granted for a course in which the student has already received credit for its equivalent at Lehigh.
No credit will be granted for continuing education units courses, courses taken on-line, January or intersession courses, correspondence, independent study or any course less than 5 weeks and/or 15 contact hours per credit without the advanced approval of a petition to the Standing of Students Committee.
Courses taken while in high school may require additional documentation. All questions should be directed to the registrar.
Courses must be taken at an institution that is accredited by one of the six regional associations.
A student who is in good academic standing and has not failed any courses in the previous term may be admitted as an auditor in not more than one course, which shall be outside the curriculum requirements. Application for such admission is by petition approved by the departmental chair and the Standing of Students Committee. In no case shall a student who has attended a course as an auditor be given an anticipatory examination for credit or register for the same course in the future. A student completing a course in this manner will have the course and the notation AU indicated on the permanent record. A student rostered on an audit basis may be withdrawn from the course with a grade of W for poor attendance. Audit courses do not count toward full-time status.
The Review-Consultation-Study (RCS) period is intended to provide a few days for informal academic work between the end of the formal instruction period and the beginning of the final examinations.
It is expected that students will use this period to consolidate their command of the material in their courses. Faculty members make themselves available to their students at announced times during this period.
No quiz or exam may be given during the last five class days before final examination period begins.
Beginning with all new degree seeking students in the Fall of 2004 or any students graduating in the Spring of 2008, degrees with honors are awarded by vote of the university faculty to those students who have attained an average of not less than 3.40 in a minimum of 90 credit hours in residence at Lehigh University or in programs approved by the faculty to have grades and credit accepted toward the undergraduate degree.
Degrees with high honors are awarded by vote of the university faculty to those students who have attained an average of not less than 3.60 in a minimum of 90 credit hours in residence at Lehigh University or in programs approved by the faculty to have grades and credit accepted toward the undergraduate degree.
Degrees with highest honors are awarded by vote of the university faculty to those students who have attained an average of not less than 3.80 in a minimum of 90 credit hours in residence at Lehigh University or in programs approved by the faculty to have grades and credit accepted toward the undergraduate degree.
For the purposes of graduation honors calculations, courses taken more than once at Lehigh will only have the most recent grade used in the calculation. Courses taken under the cross-registration policy of the LVAIC, the Washington Semester and the Urban Studies semester program will be used.
Students who spend part of their career at another institution, or are transfer admits to degree programs and have fewer than ninety hours of in residency courses, may qualify for graduation honors under the following conditions:
The student must have at least sixty credit hours of regularly graded (not pass/fail) courses that meet the residency requirement. The graduation honors category is determined by the lower of the two averages computed as follows: (1) the average of grades received at Lehigh; (2) the average of all grades received at Lehigh and grades for courses taken elsewhere for a regular grade and that are appropriate to be considered for transfer to Lehigh, or in provisionally approved study abroad programs.
Many departments offer honors work adapted to its curriculum for students who wish to demonstrate unusual academic ability and interest in exploring a chosen field through independent study and research. The precise nature of the program for each student is determined by the academic major department, but may include: unscheduled work or independent study, participation in graduate (400-level) courses, and an honors thesis or project.
Qualified candidates should inform their academic advisers by the end of the junior year of their intention to work for departmental honors. The adviser will give the college and the registrar names of seniors working for departmental honors in particular majors. Names of those students attaining departmental honors are published in the commencement program.
There are at least 18 honor and course societies. The three best-known are:
Phi Beta Kappa. The oldest honor society in the United States is represented at Lehigh by the Beta chapter of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the 27th oldest chapter in the nation. The chapter’s council considers for invitation into its membership those students in each of Lehigh’s three undergraduate colleges who satisfy the following profile:
At least 60 credit hours of coursework completed at Lehigh
A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.75
A minimum of 8 credit hours in the natural sciences (including a lab)
A minimum of 8 credit hours in the social sciences
A minimum of 8 credit hours in the humanities, especially textual analysis beyond first-year English (the council typically does not recognize some courses that carry Humanities credit at Lehigh, such as Public Speaking, Stage Design, one-credit Music lessons, etc.)
Calculus or advanced mathematics that requires calculus as a prerequisite
Two years of college-level foreign language study or its equivalent (may be satisfied by four years [9-12] of high school study with excellent grades)
No disciplinary violations sufficient to warrant probation, suspension, or expulsion
Please note: Satisfaction of this profile guarantees consideration by the Phi Beta Kappa council; it does not guarantee election to Phi Beta Kappa. Any undergraduate who has questions about any of the items in this profile should contact Prof. Scott Gordon, Executive Secretary of Lehigh’s chapter. Office phone: 610-758-3307; e-mail: email@example.com
Beta Gamma Sigma. Election to membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest scholastic honor that a student in business administration can achieve. Beta Gamma Sigma is the only national honorary scholarship society in the field of business administration recognized by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Tau Beta Pi. Tau Beta Pi recognizes engineering students who have a history of distinguished scholarship and exemplary character. The national organization was founded at Lehigh in 1885. A bronze marker in front of Packard Lab commemorates this event.
Among course societies are the following: Alpha Pi Mu, for those in industrial engineering; Alpha Sigma Mu, materials science and engineering (http://www.alphasigmamu.org/). Beta Alpha Psi, accounting; Chi Epsilon, civil engineering; Eta Kappa Nu, electrical engineering; Lambda Mu Sigma, marketing; Omicron Delta Epsilon, economics; Omicron Delta Kappa, leadership; Order of the Omega, leadership in Greek activities; Phi Alpha Theta, history; Phi Beta Delta, international; Phi Eta Sigma, freshman scholastic excellence; Pi Tau Sigma, mechanical engineering; Psi Chi, psychology; Sigma Tau Delta, English; and Sigma Xi, research.