Credits & Grades
The regulations published in the Undergraduate Catalog are a digest of the rules of the institution. Changes may be made in the regulations at any time to promote the best interests of the university and its students. Students are responsible for knowing the published regulations, policies, and standards of the university and of their college or school.
Credits and Grades
The Semester Hour
A semester hour is a unit of credit earned for academic work that includes no less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction AND a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately 15 weeks for one semester (or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time); OR a semester hour is a unit of credit earned for an equivalent amount of work, as required above, 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. A typical 3-hour course requires a minimum of 2,250 contact minutes each semester. For courses taught in an online and/or asynchronous format, the amount of instruction and student work must be equivalent to that for a traditional course.
The philosophy of the institution is that students who attend class learn more than those who do not attend regularly and that grades are a reflection of learning. Furthermore, the policy below affirms that faculty and students share important responsibilities for the quality of the overall in-class learning experience.
Responsibility of instructors
It is the responsibility of the instructor to determine the attendance guidelines that best promote learning in a particular course. On or before the first meeting of each class, the instructor is expected to articulate and inform students in writing via a course syllabus about specific class attendance requirements. Procedural information and best practices for constructing course attendance policies are given in the Guidelines for Class Attendance, which is posted on the institution’s policy directory. In general, instructors should exercise fair and consistent standards in determining when to excuse an absence and/or when to provide accommodations for missed major exams and assessments. An excused absence or accommodation must be provided to students who miss class to observe a recognized religious day or to fulfill a civic responsibility (e.g., jury duty or military service).
Responsibility of students
It is the responsibility of the student to comply with the class attendance guidelines/policies, including the general university requirement for verifying attendance (see paragraph 2 below), and to complete assignments, including those that involve out-of-class or online participation. Students are responsible for informing instructors in advance about anticipated absences. Students should recognize that individual sections of a course may be taught differently and that the attendance policy for individual sections of a course may not be the same.
Aside from the learning opportunities missed due to absences from class, there are cases when a class absence or multiple absences may result in a student being dropped from a course or dismissed from the University. Specifically,
- Students must attend the first meeting of every course for which they are registered, unless they obtain prior approval from the instructor. Without such approval, a student who is absent from the first class meeting may be dropped from that class by the dean of the school or college with the responsibility for the course.
- In addition, students must attend classes during the first two weeks of class in order to have their attendance verified by the instructor. A student who does not establish attendance will be dropped from that class by the dean of the school or college with responsibility for the course. Such an administrative course drop due to lack of attendance verification may result in an adjustment of financial aid received. (The above two week time frame for attendance verification applies to a course in a regular fall or spring semester. For other terms, the time frame is given in the Academic Calendar. For courses with an alternate format, including online courses, verification of participation will be determined in other ways.)
- A student who incurs excessive absences in a given course, but who has not been dropped from the course, may receive a grade of F. When it appears to an instructor that a student has stopped participating in a class without officially dropping the course, the instructor may report this fact to the academic dean controlling the course. The university reserves the right to dismiss from the university any student who has been excessively absent from multiple courses.
Faculty and staff who supervise student organizations and teams, including NCAA sports teams, are expected to schedule competitions and performances in such a way as to minimize the number of classes that students will miss. Names of participating students and the dates of class conflicts should be provided to the students’ instructors prior to participation. Students and instructors should attempt to resolve potential conflicts regarding class attendance before the semester course withdrawal deadline. In cases where absence from class results from travel delays or the unanticipated continuation of participation in a competition, the student or supervisor should inform the instructor within one business day so that reasonable accommodations for absences due to university-sponsored activities can be made. If a student informs an instructor in advance about an anticipated absence and the instructor decides not to provide an accommodation for a major exam or assessment, the student may appeal to the department chair or program director (or dean, when the instructor is chair or program director) who oversees the course. An appeal must be based on (a) failure of the instructor to articulate a policy, (b) failure of the instructor to follow the articulated policy, or (c) failure by the instructor to offer a reasonable accommodation for a documented absence that caused a student to miss an assessment that is worth 20% or more of the course grade.
Pass-Fail Grading for Exercise and Leisure Activity Courses
The pass-fail basis is the only grading available for all one-hour (EL) exercise and leisure activity courses.
A final grade is the instructor’s evaluation of a student’s achievement throughout a semester’s work in a course. Factors upon which the final grade may be based include attendance, recitation, written and oral quizzes and tests, reports, papers, the final examination, and other class activities. The evaluation is expressed according to the following letter system, with + and – adjustments possible for certain letter grades.
|Passing Grades||Failing Grade||Other Marks|
|A Excellent||F Failure||I Incomplete|
|B Good||IP In Progress|
|C Satisfactory||W Withdrawn|
|D Lowest passing grade||X Audit|
|Z Credit granted|
Grade Points and GPA
The grade-point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the number of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F-graded hours attempted at the University of Mississippi into the total number of grade points earned at the university. Grade points per credit hour are assigned as follows: A = 4.0; A- = 3.7; B+ = 3.3; B = 3.0; B- = 2.7; C+ = 2.3; C = 2.0; C- = 1.7; D = 1.0; F = 0. For the purpose of certain prerequisites and degree requirements, a B average and C average are defined as a GPA of 3.00 and 2.00, respectively, unless a more specific requirement is indicated.
The grade of F is recorded if the student has failed on the combined evaluation of work through the semester, or if the student officially withdraws from the course after the course withdrawal deadline and was failing the course at the time of withdrawal.
Whereas the university attempts to verify student attendance, as described in the section on Attendance, and to drop those students who do not appear to be attending class, it is ultimately the responsibility of each student to attend (or participate) in each course for which he or she is enrolled or to withdraw before the published withdrawal deadline
The grade of P is recorded for a student who earns a passing grade after enrolling in an exercise and leisure activity course on a pass-fail basis. P grades are not used in computing the student’s GPA. F grades recorded for pass-fail course work are, however, computed in the GPA as F grades. The P grade is not used in determining whether a student qualifies to graduate with academic honors.
The Z grade is given to a student who earns a passing grade in certain courses for which the traditional grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, and D are deemed inappropriate. Courses for which the Z grade is authorized are denoted in the catalog listings; A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, and D grades are not awarded in these courses. The Z grade is also given for advanced placement credit, for credit by examination as in the College Level Examination Program, for credit earned in some Study Abroad courses, for credit based on Armed Forces experiences, and for credit earned in a course for which a student has appropriately exercised the “Z grade option” described below.
Z grades are not used in computing a student’s GPA; F grades recorded for Z-graded course work are, however, computed in the GPA as F grades. The Z grade is not used in determining whether a student qualifies to graduate with academic honors. The Z grade in a course is considered to satisfy any “C or better” prerequisite requirements when enrolling in other courses.
The temporary mark of I (incomplete) is given to a student when, for unusual reasons acceptable to the instructor, course requirements cannot be completed before the end of the semester. The instructor will submit an I Mark Assignment Form online during final grade submission, which will detail the work to be completed and the deadline for completion. This information will be conveyed to the student via email. COURSE FAILURE OR UNEXPLAINED CLASS ABSENCES MAY NOT BE USED AS REASONS TO ASSIGN AN I MARK. I marks are not computed in determining a student’s GPA. If an I mark for an undergraduate student has not been changed to a regular grade before the course withdrawal deadline (the 30th day of classes) of the next regular semester (excluding summer terms), the I automatically changes to an F and is computed in the GPA. AN I MARK MAY NOT BE REMOVED BY FORMALLY ENROLLING IN THE SAME COURSE IN A SUBSEQUENT SEMESTER AT THIS UNIVERSITY OR ANY OTHER INSTITUTION.
The mark of IP (in progress) may be assigned to the first course in specifically designated course sequences whose nature is such that a regular grade would not be appropriate until the conclusion of the second course. Although a student’s course load reflects registration for the first course, both credit hours and grade points for the work done in both courses are assigned only upon completion of the second course. The IP mark is permanent, but is not used in computing the student’s GPA. Course sequences for which the IP mark is authorized are denoted in the catalog listings.
The W mark is recorded if the student obtains authorization to withdraw from a course after the course withdrawal deadline and was not failing the course at the time of withdrawal. The W mark is not computed in determining the GPA.
The Z Grade Option
A current undergraduate student who is classified as a junior or senior may elect to take one course for credit toward the student’s undergraduate degree that would ordinarily be graded on an A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or F basis but for which the student will receive either a Z or an F grade. Upon making this election, the student will receive a Z grade for the course if the student earns the equivalent of a C or higher in the course; otherwise, the student will receive an F grade. To make this Z grade election as to a particular course, the student must obtain the approval of the student’s dean. The election may not be made as to the following courses: (1) a course that a student will use to satisfy university core curriculum requirements; (2) a course that a student will use to satisfy the required curriculum component of any major or minor course of study or any degree (that is, the courses specifically identified as required or the minimum semester hours in particular subjects or in a department indicated as required); and (3) a course that a student will use to satisfy any requirement of a major or minor course of study or degree that a minimum number of hours be taken in courses of a particular level or higher (e.g., 300 level or higher). If a student elects to take a course on a Z grade basis but then subsequently changes degree plans such that the course becomes one to which one of the foregoing exclusions apply, then the student must retake and receive credit for the course on an A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or F basis. A student who elects to take a course for a Z grade under this policy may rescind this election up through the last day for registering or adding classes, but not thereafter. Conversely, a student who registers to take a class offered on an A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or F basis but would be entitled to elect to take the class on a Z grade basis according to this policy may make this election up through the last day for registering or adding classes, but not thereafter.
The mark of X is recorded for the student who enrolls as an auditor in a course and who fulfills all requirements established by the instructor for auditing students. If the student does not meet the requirements, no recording of the course is made to the student’s permanent record. The deadline for changing one’s status in a course to or from “audit” is the course withdrawal deadline.
Change of Grade
A course instructor may change a reported grade only if the original grade was incorrectly assigned due to clerical or computational error, or if a student meets the requirements for the removal of an I mark.
Repeating a Course
With the exception of courses that are specifically indicated to be repeatable for credit, students may repeat courses taken at the university according to the following requirements:
- The first or prior courses must have been completed with a grade of B-, C+, C, C-, D, F, Z or P;
- A course with an Incomplete grade cannot be repeated;
- A lower-division course may be repeated twice (e.g., three attempts) and an upper-division or graduate course may be repeated once; exceptions to these numbers of attempts must be approved by the chair of the department controlling the course;
- Letter grades for all attempts will appear on the student’s permanent academic record and will be calculated into the student’s cumulative GPA (unless the Forgiveness Policy is invoked for the course);
- Credit toward a degree will be granted only once;
- If a student passes a course at the university and then fails the course on a repeated attempt, the passing attempt will apply to degree requirements.
Individual schools may establish more restrictive requirements for their majors.
The Forgiveness Policy
An undergraduate student may improve his or her overall GPA by invoking forgiveness or exclusion on a maximum of four courses (not to exceed 14 credit hours) in which the student received a grade of C-, D or F and requesting that the original grade be excluded from the GPA calculation. If the course has been repeated, the repeat must be in the same course and must be taken at The University of Mississippi in fall 1992 or later. Under the forgiveness policy, a maximum of two courses (not to exceed 7 hours) in which the student received a grade of C-, D or F may be excluded from the student’s GPA calculation without repeating the course.
The student must file a Petition to Invoke Grade Forgiveness Policy with the registrar, stating which courses are to be forgiven or excluded. Once the student has declared one or more course, different courses cannot be substituted at a later date. The forgiveness policy cannot be used to remove grades given for reasons of academic discipline. Forgiveness of a course grade will not change notations concerning academic standing or honors in the student’s official record for the semester containing the forgiven course.
Although original grades will remain on the student’s permanent record, the forgiven or excluded grades will not be used to determine credit towards a degree and GPA. The original course will be recorded with both the grade earned and the symbol R to denote that it has been removed from the student’s GPA calculation either because it was repeated or excluded. The recalculated GPA will be used for determining graduation honors.
The forgiveness policy does not apply to students enrolled in the professional program in the School of Pharmacy for grades received in required professional courses as designated in the curricula for the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Doctor of Pharmacy degree.