May 19, 2024  
2016-2017 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2022 
2016-2017 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2022 [Archived Catalog]

Academic Policies and Procedures

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Foreign Language



Students must enroll in a foreign language course at the appropriate level. Before their arrival on campus, freshmen who have had previous experience in a foreign language are required to take a placement examination online; details are mailed to them with registration materials. On-campus students who wish to enroll in a foreign language in which they have had previous experience must report to the Department of Classical and Modern Languages (MC 310) in order to receive additional information regarding the placement examination.

Students may enroll for credit only in the course in which they have been placed. Students with three years or more of high school coursework in a foreign language will not earn credit for the first semester of the elementary level in that language, regardless of placement results. Such students may choose to audit the first semester of the elementary level or any higher course they have bypassed through placement. No self-placement is permitted. Placement test results must be followed. Only the instructor of the course in which the student is enrolled or the Classical and Modern Languages Department Chair can revise this placement. Students should consult their advisors for their placement level. Heritage speakers (students who have spoken the language in a home setting) should contact the Classical and Modern Languages Department for further placement evaluation.

Non-traditional students merit special consideration, since they have taken off one year or more from formal study after graduation from high school. Such students who have taken three or more years of one foreign language in high school and who wish to continue their study of the same language are not barred from taking the first semester of an elementary course in that language if they are so placed, unless the last year of such study was within the last four years. If the last year of their high school foreign language experience was that recent and yet they still score in the lowest range on the placement test, they too are encouraged to audit the first semester but are not permitted to take it for credit.


Degree seeking students enrolling at the University for the first time in the summer of 2012 or later may be eligible to receive a maximum of three semesters (9-11 credits) of retroactive credit in foreign language. A student who is officially placed into Elementary II of a foreign language and passes that course with a grade of C or better on the first attempt is awarded retroactive credit for Elementary I of the same language with a grade of T (Test). A student placed into Intermediate I of a foreign language who passes that course with a grade of C or better on the first attempt is awarded retroactive credit for Elementary I and Elementary II of the same language with a grade of T. A student placed into Intermediate II or higher of a foreign language who passes the course into which he or she was placed with a grade of C or better on the first attempt is awarded retroactive credit for Elementary I, Elementary II, and Intermediate I of the same language with a grade of T. Retroactive credit may not duplicate credit already on the student’s record earned through Advanced Placement, CLEP, International Baccalaureate or transferred to Truman from another college or university.  


Admission to the University automatically qualifies all non-native English-speaking undergraduate international students for a waiver of the foreign language requirement for the Liberal Studies Program and for the foreign language requirement for a Bachelor of Arts degree. This waiver does not apply to major requirements.

Native English-speaking students placing into a foreign language at a level higher than that required by their degree program may fulfill their foreign language requirement in any of the following ways: 1) take the course in which they are placed even though it is at a higher level than required, and by successfully completing this course fulfill the foreign language requirement; 2) take the appropriate waiver examination in those languages which offer an on-campus exam, and by passing this examination fulfill the foreign language requirement, but no credit is granted; 3) take the CLEP exam for French, German, or Spanish, and if an appropriate score is earned, the student may waive the foreign language requirement. University credit is granted, depending on the score earned by the student.


Truman complies with the State of Missouri’s law on American Sign Language satisfying foreign language requirements. While Truman does not offer ASL, courses in ASL taken at other Missouri institutions can be transferred in as foreign language credit.

Class Load


The unit of academic credit at Truman State University is the credit hour. A credit hour is defined as:
An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

In the case of a program subject to the clock-to-credit-hour conversion requirements, institutions must determine the credit hours to be awarded for coursework under those requirements.

An academic year commonly consists of 30 to 34 credits. A typical class carries 3 credits. The terms semester hour and credit are synonymous.The normal class load for the semester is 15-17 credits. Twelve credits must be taken to be considered a full-time student for financial aid and other purposes. Students employed in outside work should make necessary adjustments in the number of credits they attempt to carry. It is recommended that the class load be reduced by 2 to 3 credits for each 12 hours of outside work undertaken per week. A veteran must be enrolled for 12 credits as an undergraduate to receive maximum benefits.

The maximum standard class load for fall and spring semesters is 17 credits. The maximum standard class load for the summer term is 9 credits. The maximum standard class load for an interim session is one course or workshop. Students desiring to enroll in more than the maximum standard class load should have either a 3.0 GPA for the semester (excluding summer school) immediately preceding the semester in which the overload is desired or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. The student must obtain the permission of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to carry an overload. Additional tuition costs are incurred by taking an overload.

Course Numbers


Courses are numbered to include the level at which the course is generally recommended; i.e., 100- and 200-level courses would usually be completed during the freshman and sophomore years, and 300- and 400-level courses would usually be completed during the junior and senior years. The 500 classification indicates courses of graduate performance level which may be completed by seniors who meet the graduate performance standards demanded in the course.

Registration Procedures & Regulations


In no case is credit allowed in any course for which the student is not duly registered. Registration is not complete until all fees have been paid.


Students are not allowed to add full-semester or block courses after the published deadline except in extraordinary circumstances. In those circumstances, the student must submit an Add/Drop Form signed by the instructor, the academic advisor and the Department Chair of the course. After the fourth week of classes, the approval of the Dean of the School in which the course is housed is also required. (Students may add second block courses prior to the start of these courses with their advisor’s signature only.) If approved, the student must process the Add/Drop Form through the Registrar’s Office. A $50 per day processing fee is charged for changes initiated by the student after the first five days of the semester (or the equivalent period of time for summer and special sessions). A student may not drop a full-semester course and take the same one as a block course in the same semester.


Students who initially enroll after the first day of classes are limited to a schedule with a reduced number of credits. No late registrant may enter a class after the first week of classes without consent of the instructor, advisor, and Department Chair of the course. After the fourth week of classes, the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is also required. Normally, students may register for no more than 14 credits during the first three days of classes and no more than 12 credits during the fourth and fifth days of classes. Except in extraordinary circumstances, students may not enroll after the first five days of classes.


Changes in class schedule should be made during the specified “Drop and Add Period” (prior to or during the first five days of the semester or the equivalent period of time for summer and special sessions).

Students dropping individual courses on or after the first day of the semester are not entitled to a reduction in enrollment fees for that semester.

Students should consult with their academic advisor before making any changes to their course schedules.

A $50 per day processing fee is charged for changes initiated by the student after the first five days of the semester (or the equivalent period of time for summer and special sessions). Failure to follow the proper procedure results in assignment of a grade of “F.”

If a course is dropped before the end of the fourth week, it does not appear on the student’s transcript. If a course is dropped between the end of the fourth week and the normal drop deadline (tenth week) a grade of “W” is placed on the student’s transcript. Individual full semester courses cannot be dropped after the tenth week of the semester. See the schedule of classes for exact dates. Any drops after the schedule change deadline must be approved by the Academic Standards Committee. If this approval is granted, the instructor of record for the course is asked to assign a “W” or a “WF” grade. A grade of “WF” is calculated in the grade point average.

Courses other than a full academic semester of fifteen weeks (e.g., block or summer courses) have a “W” assigned if dropped after the first quarter of the courses, and a “W” or “WF” assigned if dropped after the first two thirds of the courses.


Some specialized courses require permission of the instructor and the Department Chair before a student may enroll.  Additionally, students not meeting the prerequisites, co-requisites and/or other requirements to enroll in a course may request a waiver from the Department Chair with responsibility for that course. The Department Chair has the authority to issue the waiver and permit the student to enroll.

Grades and Grade Point Average


Grades are expressed in letters, with equivalents as follows:

A   Superior   4 honor points
B   Above Average   3 honor points
C   Average   2 honor points
D   Below Average   1 honor point
F   Failure   0 honor points
WF   Withdrew Failing   0 honor points

The following grades do not affect a student’s grade point average (GPA):

W   Withdrew
P   Pass
AU   Audit
Y   Credit earned in a credit/no credit course
Z   No credit earned in a credit/no credit course
IC   Incomplete
IP   In Progress
T   Test Credit
NC   No Credit (generally assigned to laboratory courses)

To compute the GPA, the total earned honor points are divided by the total credits attempted.


Some Truman courses have a Pass/Fail grading system instead of “A” to “F” grading. Primary examples of Pass/Fail courses include Truman Week and some internships. Students receive either a “P” (Pass) or “F” (Failure) grade. The “F” grade is calculated in the student’s grade point average.


To provide students the opportunity to broaden their experiences, Truman allows students to enroll in a limited number of classes on a Credit/No Credit basis. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. The following Credit/No Credit guidelines apply.

  1. A student may complete “free elective” classes using the Credit/No Credit grading option. “Free electives” are those courses that are not used to fulfill requirements in the Liberal Studies Program, in the student’s major program (including required support), in the additional foreign language component for the BA, in the additional science component for the BS, minor requirements, departmental honors requirements, or honors scholar requirements. A student may not elect the Credit/No Credit grading option in courses that cannot be used as “free electives” (COMM 170, ENG 190, MATH 156, MATH 157, MATH 186, and STAT 190). Required English courses for international students may not be taken as Credit/No Credit.

  2. A student may complete a course that is being used to fulfill the writing-enhanced requirement, the Missouri Statute requirement, the 40 required credits of 300+ level undergraduate coursework, and/or the cumulative credit requirement using the Credit/No Credit grading option if that course is not being used to fulfill any other requirements in the student’s program.

  3. Credit standing is achieved by a “D” grade or above, while failing a course results in No Credit.

  4. A student may take up to five (5) credits per semester as Credit/No Credit. Upper classmen may request a waiver to take two courses (up to 8 credits) in a single semester. The request must be submitted in writing to the VPAA’s Office, MC 203.

  5. Up to 12 credits of Credit/No Credit may be counted toward graduation.

  6. A student may change to or from a Credit/No Credit grading system by the last day allowed to drop the course.

  7. With a Credit standing, the student receives credit for the course, and recognition of passing the course appears on the student’s transcript.

  8. With a No Credit standing, the student does not receive credit for the course though the student’s transcript shows that the student attempted, yet no credit was received, for the course.

  9. Courses taken under the Credit/No Credit grading option do not affect the student’s grade point average.

  10. Courses taken under the Credit/No Credit grading option cannot be repeated.

  11. During the semester, the student, the student’s advisor, the instructor, and the Registrar’s Office know that the student is taking the course on a Credit/No Credit basis.

All students should consult their advisors prior to deciding to take any course Credit/No Credit.

Pre-Education students are advised that professional education courses cannot be taken Credit/No Credit. Students planning to pursue the MAE degree should contact the Certification Office in the Department of Education for specific information.

Courses taken Credit/No Credit do not fulfill requirements for load considerations by the Veterans Administration if the final grade assigned is No Credit.


A student may audit a class for no credit only on the approval of the instructor. Regular fees and enrollment procedures are required. However, the student is not permitted to take the final examination and no credits earned nor any indication of the level of performance appears on the transcript entry. Audit enrollments do not fulfill requirements for load considerations by the Veterans Administration, and they may not be applied toward the determination of full-time or part-time status.

Students auditing a course are expected to make a commitment to their education by attending classes regularly. If the auditing student fails to meet the regular attendance requirement as defined by the instructor, the instructor notifies the Registrar to record a “W” on the final grade report.

Students who initially enroll in a course for credit may be permitted to change their enrollment to audit during the free add-drop period of the semester.

During the term that a course is being audited, the audit cannot be changed to graduate or undergraduate credit. However, the student may enroll in the same course for credit during a subsequent semester. Coursework must be completed during the semester that credit is earned.


An Incomplete is to be awarded only when extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control (i.e., illness, military service, hardship, or death in the immediate family) have impeded the timely completion of requirements for a class. In order to receive a grade of “IC” (Incomplete), an agreement must be made between the student and instructor and its terms described in the “Incomplete Agreement” form. The form must be signed by both the student and the instructor and submitted to the Department Chair of record for the course for approval. A student receiving a grade of Incomplete is allowed a certain period of time (determined by the instructor, but no longer than the end of the subsequent fall or spring semester), in which he or she must complete the course requirements to receive credit. If the requirements are not met in that period, the grade becomes what has been predetermined by the instructor and specified on the Incomplete Agreement form. All “IC” (Incomplete) grades must be resolved prior to graduation.


The grade of “IP” (In Progress) is assigned only in cases when it is expected that more than one semester is required for course completion. All “In Progress” grades must be resolved prior to graduation. The only exception to this policy, is if a graduate student is receiving two degrees; has completed all of the requirements for the first degree and the “IP” (In Progress) is being used only for the second degree, the graduate student will be allowed to graduate with the first degree.


In a case where a student has a grievance regarding the validity of a final course grade, the student must first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor, no later than fourteen calendar days after the first day of class of the following semester, spring or fall. If the instructor agrees, it is the instructor’s responsibility to fill out a Change of Grade Request, which must be approved by the instructor’s Department Chair, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). 

If the instructor does not agree to the proposed change and the student wishes to appeal, the student must fill out the Grade Appeal Form, which is available in all department and school offices, as well as from the VPAA Office. The form must be submitted to the instructor’s Department Chair no later than fourteen calendar days after the date of the instructor’s decision or within 28 calendar days of the beginning of the semester whichever is later. The Chair consults with the instructor. If the grievance is not resolved at the department level, the next step is an appeal to the faculty member’s school, to be initiated no later than fourteen calendar days after the student receives email notification of the results of the departmental process. The final phase is an appeal to the VPAA, which must be initiated no more than fourteen calendar days after the student receives written notification of the results of the appeal to the school. Final authority in regard to changing grades rests with the VPAA. 

Once the process is initiated, and a Grade Appeal Form begun, it is the responsibility of each reviewing authority to review documentation forwarded by the previous reviewer, and notify all participants by email of the opportunity to present additional arguments and evidence regarding the validity of the grade; to inform the student by email of the decision; to identify the contact person for the next level of appeal; to sign/date the form, and to forward the form to the next level. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the next phase of appeal within fourteen calendar days of the date on which the reviewer’s email was sent. The student indicates her or his intention to appeal in a reply to the reviewer’s email. Expired forms - that is, where fourteen or more calendar days have elapsed since the last decision date - should be forwarded to the VPAA Office for collection and annual reporting purposes.

At the end of the process, the VPAA instructs the Registrar to alter the grade if approved. The form and its accompanying documentation are filed in the Office of the VPAA with a copy sent to the instructor of record.  At the end of each academic year, VPAA Office reports, as an information item, the number of petitions received and the number approved, with a breakdown of the categories of grounds for petition. The report goes to Faculty Senate, Student Senate, and such entities as state regulations may require. 

The instructor’s grade shall not be changed unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the grade was invalid or was determined in an unreasonable manner or in violation of some other established ethical or legal rule. Reasons for invalidity may include, but are not limited to, errors in computation of the grade, application of standards not specified in the syllabus, or discrimination based upon factors irrelevant to academic standards (for example, race, gender or ideology). Instructors are entitled to the widest range of discretion in making judgments about academic performance consistent with accepted measurement/assessment standards of validity.


The course description indicates whether a course may be repeated for credit. The description indicates how many times or how many credits can be earned by successfully completing the course. If the course is not described as repeatable, a student may only count the course once toward degree requirements and credits earned.

If a course description indicates that the course may be repeated for credit, all attempts are counted in calculating the grade point average and all attempts may be used to satisfy degree requirements and credits earned.

If a course description does not indicate that the course may be repeated, only one successful attempt can be used to satisfy degree requirements and credits earned, but all attempts are used in calculating grade point averages. The successful attempt with the greatest credit is used in calculating earned credits.

Students who wish to enroll in a non-repeatable course for which they previously earned credit and earned a grade of D or better require an override from the Office of the Registrar. Students who previously earned a C or better and want to repeat the course must wait to enroll until after all students with no credits in that course have had the chance to register for classes. Students who earned a D or an F may enroll as soon as they are eligible for registration.

Academic Standards


The University has established the following academic standing categories to guide and support students in meeting minimum academic requirements to graduate. Academic standing is determined at the end of each fall, spring, and summer term. Academic standing does not change during a term if the student attempts fewer than six credits.


Students who earn a semester GPA less than 2.0 are on academic probation. Students return to good standing at the end of a term in which they pass at least six credits at Truman with a semester, Truman, and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.


Students whose Truman GPA is below 2.0 and who earn semester grade point averages below 2.0 for two consecutive terms of six hours or more are suspended. Academically suspended students may not take courses at Truman. Academically suspended students must wait at least one semester before appealing to be reinstated on probation. Their appeal letter should include evidence of their capability and commitment to succeed academically, specifically noting changes which would allow the student to succeed academically if readmitted.

Students who become eligible for suspension a second time will be permanently dismissed from the University.


A student who believes that he or she had special or extenuating circumstances contributing to his or her poor academic performance has the right to appeal a suspension decision. The appeal must be in written form accompanied by supporting documentation, and be sent to the Academic Standards Chair, c/o the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.


After one semester of suspension, a student may petition for reinstatement. The application must be in written form accompanied by supporting documentation, and be sent to the Academic Standards Chair, c/o the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, at least 21 days before the opening of the semester in which the student wishes to enroll. In evaluating a petition for approval, the Chair considers evidence of academic achievement (transferable credit from another college during the suspension period), any activities or plans that may lead to improved scholastic performance, the student’s grade point average, reasons for poor academic performance, and extenuating circumstances.

Withdrawal from School


Students are responsible for initiating withdrawal procedures for any term for which they are enrolled. If a student fails to withdraw from the University officially, grades earned for all courses are entered on the student’s official transcript.

Regardless of whether a student has attended any classes in the term of withdrawal, the student should officially withdraw by completing the steps covered on TruView. Please choose “Withdraw from all Courses” under the “My Registration” option to withdraw from a semester.

Students may withdraw from school until the last day of regular classes. However, the deadline for withdrawing without academic penalty is the last day to drop full semester courses. After this deadline, instructors assign a “W” or “WF” in each course. If a student withdraws between the end of the fourth week and the end of the tenth week, a grade of “W” appears on the transcript by each of the courses in which the student was enrolled. Check the Schedule of Classes or with the Registrar’s Office for exact dates.

A student who withdraws from all courses during a semester may re-enroll for the the following semester without submitting an application for readmission to the Admission Office.


Students who need to drop courses or withdraw from school for medical reasons have the following options.

None of these options guarantee a refund of enrollment fees. Enrollment fee refunds are made in accordance with guidelines stated in the Return of Enrollment Fees paragraph of this catalog in the Fees and Financial Aid Section and in the schedule of classes.

Any of these options could affect your financial aid. Please contact the Financial Aid office to discuss your plans.

Dropping Courses or Withdrawing from School Before the Final Drop Date

Students who need to drop courses or withdraw from school for medical reasons before the final drop date should use the normal drop or withdrawal process, which allows them to drop or withdraw from school until the final drop date with no GPA penalty. The final drop date for each semester is provided on the Registrar’s website

Personal Leave

Students who need to withdraw from school for personal issues (including medical issues) may apply for a personal leave. The head of Student Affairs works with students to structure a leave that makes the most sense for a student’s circumstances, so personal leaves vary and may include incompletes and withdrawal from courses with “W” grades recorded. Students may not appeal for retroactive personal leave.

Medical Drops of Individual Courses after the Final Drop Date

Students who need to drop individual courses for medical reasons after the final drop date must submit an appeal and medical documentation to the Academic Standards Chair, c/o the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Their appeal and medical documentation must demonstrate why the medical condition specifically affected their academic performance in the course to be dropped (e.g. my broken leg prevented me from completing the swimming class). Approved medical drops will result in a “W” for the course.

Medical Withdrawal

Students wishing to withdraw from a semester for medical reasons must submit an appeal to the Academic Standards Chair, c/o the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. The appeal and medical documentation must detail:

  1. diagnosis of condition being treated
  2. why and how this condition affected the student’s academic performance
  3. why the student will not take a personal leave
  4. measures the student is taking to ensure their future academic success in light of the diagnosis

If a medical withdrawal is approved, “W” grades will be recorded for all courses for the semester. Appeals for medical withdrawal will only be considered within one year from the end of the semester when the courses were originally enrolled.

Academic Procedures



An undergraduate student who wants to change his or her major should select the “Change, Add Drop Majors/Minors” option under the Student Tab in TruView.

Some majors require certain courses or grade point averages prior to accepting students into the major. Students should consult the appropriate major section of this catalog before submitting a “Change, Add, Drop Majors/Minors or Catalog” form to ensure that they meet any requirements for entrance into their intended major.


An academic record (transcript) is permanently maintained for each student who enrolls at Truman State University. Transcripts ordered online cost $8 each and those ordered in the office cost $10. Transcripts are issued by the Registrar’s Office upon receipt of the appropriate authorization, in accordance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. Partial transcripts cannot be issued.


Matriculated students have access to their academic records, including unofficial advising transcripts, accepted transfer credit, semester schedules, early progress reports and final grades via TruView, Truman’s web-based student information portal. Students who first matriculated to Truman in or after the Fall 2004 semester also have access to Truman’s automated degree audit system via TruView. Students are responsible for reviewing all academic information, particularly early progress reports and final grades, that are posted and distributed via TruView. Students are also strongly encouraged to use these services in consultation with their academic advisors to track their progress toward degree requirements.


The University academic year is divided into fall and spring semesters, a summer session, and December, May, and August Interims. The summer session classes are generally five or eight weeks in length. Interim session offerings are three weeks or less in length. Admission to Truman may be effected at the beginning of any semester or term.


Students may appeal for an exception to University policy if they have experienced special or extraordinary circumstances. This process is separate from the Grade Appeal, Attendance Policy Appeal, and other appeal processes described elsewhere in this catalog.

Students who appeal must demonstrate that they have experienced extenuating circumstances beyond their control. The appeal must be submitted in writing (an appeal form is available on the Academic Affairs website) and must be sent with appropriate supporting documentation to the Academic Standards Chair c/o the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Academic appeals will only be considered within one year from the end of the semester when the courses were originally enrolled. Students may not submit more than three academic appeals during their attendance at Truman State University.


The date of the General Catalog by which credits are checked may not be more than five years earlier than the date of the issuance of the degree. A student may not be checked by a catalog dated earlier than the time of his or her entrance. If a student’s work is interrupted by required service in the armed forces, an extension of time is allowed equal to the period of interruption.


Workshops and clinics are short, concentrated study experiences with unique purposes and objectives, examining content and issues not otherwise addressed in the curriculum, sometimes utilizing unique pedagogical experiences and techniques. Students interested in such workshops should examine the University website for a description of available workshops. No more than 6 credits earned through workshops may be applied toward undergraduate degree requirements.


The designation of class level is based on the number of credits earned to include credits transferred into Truman:

Freshman 0-29 credits
Sophomore 30-59 credits
Junior 60-89 credits
Senior 90 credits and above