academic policies


Academic Misconduct Academic Warning, Probation and Suspension Adding Classes
Administrative Withdrawal Catalog Governing Graduation Challenge of Courses
Cheating Class Attendance CLEP and AP Credits
Code of Academic Conduct Course Numbering System Course Waivers
Credits Credit Transfer Policy Designation of Degrees
"Double Dipping" Dual Majors Grade Appeal Procedure
Grade Change Policy Grade Completion Dates Grading System
Grade Reports Graduation Applications Graduation Participation Policy
Graduation with Honors "Incomplete" Policy Independent Study and Telecom Home Study
Non-Collegiate Learning Experiences Plagiarism Pre-Professional Academic Advising
President's Honor Roll and Dean's List Provision for Special Needs Recording of Degrees
Repetition of Courses Residency Requirements Simultaneous Enrollment
Student Classifications Student Conduct Student Credit Load
Student Records and FERPA Use of Requirements from Different Catalogs  









































Academic Misconduct: Students are expected to exhibit high standards of academic conduct. All acts of dishonesty in academic work constitute academic misconduct. Such acts include:



Cheating: Use or attempted use of unauthorized material or the work of another student in any academic assignment, paper, or examination.


Plagiarism: Intentional representation of another's work as one's own. This includes the unauthorized and unacknowledged use of the phrases, sentences, paragraphs, ideas, illustrations, drawings, photographs, or computer programs of another.
The course instructor is the initial judge of whether a student is guilty of academic misconduct. Should a student disagree with an instructor's judgment, the student may appeal the instructor's decision by following the "Academic Related Appeals Process" on page xxi of the UGF catalog.
The minimum penalty for an act of academic misconduct shall be a grade of "F" (failure) on the paper, assignment or examination involved. More severe penalties may be may be enforced by individual instructors, provided that such penalties are identified in the course syllabus. The maximum penalty for plagiarism that may be levied is a grade of ”F” (failure) for the course. Copies of plagiarized work will be placed on file with the Coordinator of Student Faculty Relations. Severe or repeated instances of academic misconduct will result in more severe sanctions up to and including expulsion. (UGF catalog: “Academic Policies”)



Academic Warning, Probation and Suspension:
Undergraduate students will be evaluated at the end of each semester or upon attempting a minimum of nine (9) semester credits, to ensure they are making satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees. To make satisfactory academic progress and remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a semester and cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.


Students whose semester GPA is between 1.99 and 1.0 will be placed on academic probation for the next semester of attendance (see Probation). Students whose semester GPA is .99 or below will be suspended for a minimum of one semester (see Suspension). Students whose cumulative GPA is below a 2.0 will be placed on warning (see Warning).

Students placed on probation will be required to participate in an individual academic recovery plan and will be limited to a maximum of 16 credits. If, during the subsequent semester of enrollment, or a minimum of nine (9) additional semester credits, the semester GPA remains below a 2.0, the student will be suspended and may not enroll in classes for a minimum of one semester.

Probation students whose semester GPA after one semester on probation, or a minimum of nine (9) additional semester credits, is above a 2.0, will be returned to good academic standing.

After a period of suspension, a student must reapply to the University. Readmission is not guaranteed. If the student is readmitted, the student will be placed on academic probation for the next semester of enrollment (or upon attempting a minimum of nine (9) semester credits). Students will be required to participate in an individual academic recovery plan upon readmission and will be limited to a maximum of 13 semester credits. The student will develop and follow the individualized plan in cooperation with his/her academic advisor, athletic coach, if applicable, and a member of the Center for Academic Excellence. If the semester GPA is below a 2.0, the student will be suspended once again. A second suspension requires at least one year (a fall and spring semester) away from classes and a third suspension results in expulsion and the student will not be allowed to return to the University.

Any instance of probation, suspension or expulsion will be recorded on the academic transcript.

The University will also monitor students cumulative GPA. After attempting a minimum of one semester or nine (9) semester credits, any student with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 will be placed on academic warning. Students on warning are not required to appeal or participate in the academic recovery plan unless they are also on academic probation (see above). However, students will be notified formally of their warning and reminded that a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for degree completion from the University.

Students may be placed on warning and probation at the same time if both the semester and cumulative GPA are below 2.0.

Appeal Process
An Academic Suspension may be appealed for extenuating circumstances only. Consideration will be given to extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control (e.g., serious personal illness, injury, the death of an immediate family member, or other extreme duress). To appeal a suspension, the student is required to prepare a clearly written statement describing the circumstances leading to suspension and the student’s plan for success in future semesters. Documentation to support the appeal, such as a letter from a physician, obituary notice, etc. must accompany the written statement. The appeal will be reviewed by the appeal committee. The student will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision. The decision of the committee is final.



Adding Classes: Students may register for courses through the first week of a semester. Permission of the instructor must be obtained to register for any course during the second week of a semester. Students may not register for additional courses after the first two weeks of a semester.



Administrative Withdrawal: In extraordinary circumstances, when a student is unable or unwilling to request a voluntary leave of absence or a voluntary medical leave of absence, and there is a clear need to protect the safety of the student and/or others, or to protect the integrity of the University’s learning environment, the Vice President for Student Development or the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or we could simply put University Administration) may withdraw a student.
Students will be dropped with a grade of WA to indicate an administrative withdrawal. Students who are administratively withdrawn will also be required to reapply for admission to the University to resume their studies in a future semester. In cases where students are removed for medical issues, students may be required to submit documentation from a medical provider that supports the students ability to return without medical implications.



Catalog Governing Graduation: As long as a student remains in continuous enrollment he or she may graduate by meeting the requirements of the catalog that was in effect at the time of entrance to the university. Continuous enrollment is defined as successful completion of at least twelve credits in residence per year.



Challenge of Courses: Whenever students believe that they have mastered the subject of any course for which there is no CLEP test available, they may challenge that course with the permission of the appropriate faculty member, dean of the college, and the Provost. Students obtain a Challenge Form from the Registrar's Office, pay the fee, which is 50% of the tuition rate, to the Business Office, and submit the form to the faculty member. The coursework and/or examination will be determined and evaluated by the faculty member.

If evidence submitted is satisfactory, a grade of "P" is submitted by the faculty member on the challenge form, and credit hours and a grade for the course are recorded on the student's transcript. The evidence submitted and the examination are subject to review by the dean of the college in the event of disagreement between the challenger and the faculty member. Students may not challenge a course that they have previously audited or taken for credit.

Challenge course credits earned at other institutions will not be accepted as transfer credit at the University of Great Falls. Students planning to apply for graduate school or to transfer University of Great Falls credits to another college or university should obtain that institution's policies regarding acceptance of challenge course credits.



Class Attendance"Students are expected to attend all classes and complete all assigned work. Attendance includes at­tending on-campus classes and logging on a minimum of 3 times per week for on-line courses. The specific attendance and grading policy for each class is de­termined by the instructor and is listed in the course syllabus. Students who miss classes due to participa­tion in University sanctioned events are required to make up any work or assignments they have missed in an equitable manner determined by the instruc­tor and should not have their grade affected by the absence itself. In isolated cases involving family or medical emergencies, students are encouraged to speak with their instructors. Instructors may require documentation of family or medical emergencies." (UGF Catalog: “Academic Policies”)



CLEP and AP credits: The University accepts CLEP credit in accordance with ACE guidelines. Specifically, at present, this policy provides for credit for CLEP scaled scores of fifty or above. In addition, the University accepts Advanced Placement (AP) credit in accordance with the recommendation of The College Board. At present, the policy provides credit for scores of 3 or higher. A chart detailing the specific correlation between CLEP and AP credits and University requirements is available through both the Student Services Office and the Registrar's Office.



Code of Academic Conduct: Please click here to view a PDF file of the Code of Academic Conduct.


Course Numbering System:
Course numbers reflect the level of academic preparation typically required for the course. Courses numbered 100-299 are typically introductory courses, while those numbered 300-499 are more advanced courses. Courses numbered 500 or above are graduate courses; students without a bachelor's degree may only take graduate level courses with the permission of the Provost.



Course Waivers: A required course may be waived by the dean of the college in consultation with the Provost and an instructor in the department in which the course is taught. While a waiver will satisfy the course requirement, it does not waive the credit hours which must be replaced with an equal number of credits from another course. The credits may be from any academic course including general electives. Course Waiver/Substitution forms are available in the Registrar's Office. Credit



Transfer Policies: The University accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions. Acceptance of transfer credit from institutions lacking regional accreditation is rarely granted and requires approval of the Provost. The University will not accept in transfer:

  • Credit for coursework that is remedial or developmental, usually courses below the 100 level, from any institution. · Credit for experiential learning not associated with a formal training program.
  • Credit for coursework in which a student earned a grade below "C", any grade designation below "P" (Pass), or audit grades.
  • Credit for coursework which is repeated; only the last course taken is eligible for transfer.
  • Challenge course credits from other institutions.


Credits: The University operates on a semester calendar. Typically, a semester will encompass fifteen weeks, and each credit corresponds to fifteen hours of instruction. Courses taught online and on site have similar outcome expectations. Online courses will use a variety of platforms to verify credit hour requirements are met for individual courses. Students should plan to spend an average of between two and three hours out of class study for each credit hour of instruction. Courses with required laboratory or studio time typically have thirty hours of supervised laboratory or studio time for each credit. Non-classroom courses, such as internships and field experiences, require sixty hours of documented work time for each credit hour.


Designation of Degrees: Bachelor's degrees will be designated as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science based on the major completed to earn the degree. Degrees, majors, and minors are recorded after the end of the term in which all requirements for graduation have been met.


"Double Dipping": Completion of a specific course that is required for the University Core or in a major, minor or concentration will fulfill any requirement of that same course in another category whether it be for University Core or a major, minor, or concentration. Additional credits are not required to substitute for a course that fulfills more than one category of requirements, so long as the student obtains the requisite 128 credits for graduation. However, courses used to fulfill elective requirements in a major, minor, or concentration may not be used to fulfill requirements in any other major, minor, or concentration or in the University Core.


Dual Majors: Students may graduate with a dual major so long as they complete all requirements for both majors, comply with the policy on "double-dipping" (above), and comply with all regular requirements for graduation.






Grade Appeal Procedure: All grade related appeals will be handled in the manner provided below and will apply to both graduate and undergraduate appeals.

Formal appeals must be filed within thirty (30) calendar days of the aggrieved incident. However, before a formal appeal is filed, the student should first attempt to solve the problem on an informal basis utilizing the following procedure:

  1. The student should speak to the instructor with whom he/she has a complaint.
  2. Should step one not provide a satisfactory resolution of the issue, the student should schedule a mediation meeting with the Coordinator of Student/Faculty Relations.
  3. Only after the above steps have been followed should the student request that the Coordinator of Student /Faculty Relations notify the Academic Dean that steps one and two have not resolved the problem.
  4. The student should write a letter to the Academic Dean carefully describing the reason(s) for his/her complaint. This letter should clearly state what circumstance has created the aggrieved incident and what redress the student seeks.


Within fourteen (14) calendar days of the receipt of the written complaint, The Coordinator of Student / Faculty Relations will refer the matter to the Academic Environment Committee (AEC). The chair of AEC will appoint an ad hoc Appeals Committee to hear the appeal consisting of three of its members and two students appointed by the Student Senate. In the matter of graduate student appeals, students will be graduate students. This Appeals Committee will choose a chair from among its members. In cases of conflict(s) of interest, the chair of AEC will recruit faculty members from outside AEC. The Coordinator of Student/Faculty Relations will facilitate the process and serve as Hearing Officer, a non-voting participant, in academic related appeals.

The hearing should take place within 14 days of the committee appointment.  The parties must mutually agree on any extensions.

At least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the hearing, the Hearing Officer will notify all parties involved in the appeal of:

  1. The time and place of the hearing
  2. The nature of the complaint
  3. The composition of the committee

At least 48 hours prior to the hearing each party will:

  1. Provide the Hearing Officer with all pertinent documentation.
  2. Provide a list of witnesses if either party chooses to call witnesses.  A list of these witnesses will be provided to the appeals committee when documentation is provided.  Each witness must provide a written statement to the committee no less than 48 hours prior to the hearing.

During the hearing:

  1. All parties are permitted to be accompanied by someone for the purpose of support and advice. That person will not be allowed to offer testimony. Unless identified as a witness in step 2 above.
  2. The Chair will call witnesses at the appropriate time and dismiss them after completing their testimony.
  3. Both parties will be in the hearing room at the same time.
  4. Procedure*
    1. A maximum of 10 minutes is allowed for student
    2. A maximum of 5 minutes is allowed for each student witness
    3. A maximum of 10 minutes is allowed for instructor
    4. A maximum of 5 minutes is allowed for each instructor witness
    5. A maximum of 5 minutes student is allowed for rebuttal
    6. A maximum of 5 minutes is allowed for instructor rebuttal
    *Committee members may ask questions at any time during the hearing.
    Their questions and answers are not included in the time limits listed above.
  5. An audio recording will be made of all testimony.

Appeals Committee hearings are private and all parties will be dismissed while the committee deliberates.  Only committee members who have heard all of the evidence may vote. Within ten (10) calendar days of the hearing’s conclusion, the Hearing Officer will forward its findings in writing to all parties concerned including the Academic Dean and the Coordinator of Student / Faculty Relations. The committee’s decision is final.

All proceedings and findings of the Appeals Committee are confidential. Committee members’ individual notes will be collected and destroyed at the end of proceedings. No record is made of the closed session deliberations of the committee. The Academic Dean and the Coordinator of Student / Faculty Relations will securely store the reports for a period of six years after which they will be destroyed.




Grade Change Policy: Once an instructor has submitted an official grade report to the Registrar's Office, a grade can only be changed within one year of its issuance and only in the case of fraud, clerical error, or a successful student academic appeal. A grade cannot be lowered by an instructor without the approval of the Provost.


Grade Completion Dates: Applicants for graduation must receive credit for any course required for graduation by the following dates: - December graduation February 1 - May graduation June 15 - August graduation September 30 If grades of I, IP, or RD have not been removed, applicants will not graduate and will need to reapply to qualify for the next graduation.


Grading System: The following grades are used to assess student work in courses:
  • A 4.0 points per credit
  • B 3.0 points per credit
  • C 2.0 points per credit
  • D 1.0 point per credit
  • F 0 points per credit.
  • No credit is granted for the course AU "Audit" An audit is not a grade, involves no credit, and is not calculated in the GPA.
  • P "Pass" Grades of "P" are not computed in the student's semester or cumulative grade point averages.
  •  I "Incomplete" An incomplete is given when the student, for reasons beyond his or her control, cannot complete the requirements for the course in a timely fashion. The "I" grade will only be given upon completion of the "Incomplete Form" and with permission of the instructor and the dean of the college. The instructor will make a grade change when requirements are met, otherwise the "I" will convert to the alternate grade indicated by the instructor or to an F if no alternate grade was indicated.
  •  IP "In Progress" This notation is used in courses in which the coursework by design extends beyond the normal term of registration. It may only be used when approved by the Dean or Provost and the course must be completed within 12 months.
  •  RD "Grade Report Delayed" This is not a grade. It is an administrative notation assigned by the Registrar to indicate that the instructor has not reported the grade for the course to the Registrar's Office.
  • W "Withdrawal" A student permitted to withdraw from a course after the drop deadline but before final examinations will receive a W for the course. This grade does not confer credit and is not calculated in the GPA.

A student's grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of credits attempted. Grades or notations of AU, P, W, I, IP, and RD are not computed in the grade point average.


Grade Reports: Within three weeks after final examinations, final grade reports are mailed to all students who are not indebted to the University. Summer term grades are recorded and mailed to students who are not indebted to the University within three weeks after all summer courses and sessions have been completed.


Graduation Applications: To graduate, students must submit a formal application for graduation to the Registrar's Office. Students should work closely with their academic advisor on course selection to ensure that course requirements for graduation are met; however, each student retains ultimate responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements. The formal application deadlines for graduation are listed on the Academic Calendar.

Applicants who do not meet the deadline for submission of their application will not be processed for graduation unless they receive approval from the Registrar. Applicants who do not meet graduation requirements in the term for which they applied must re-apply. The graduation fee is assessed for each degree including separate fees for undergraduate and graduate degrees.


Graduation Participation Policy: The commencement ceremony is a celebration and does not imply conferral of a degree. Students who have applied for a degree in December, May, or August of an academic year may participate in the May commencement ceremony. Participation in the December Commencement is reserved for students who completed a degree in the previous August or have applied for a degree in December.


Graduation with Honors: Graduation with honors is reserved for those students who are earning bachelor degrees and who have successfully completed a minimum of 64 credits at the University of Great Falls. To qualify for honors, students must possess the requisite GPA listed below in their University of Great Falls coursework.
  • The honor cum laude will be conferred upon graduates who have earned a University of Great Falls cumulative GPA of 3.50 - 3.74.
  • The honor magna cum laude will be conferred upon graduates who have earned a University of Great Falls cumulative GPA of 3.75 - 3.89.
  • The honor summa cum laude will be conferred upon graduates who have earned a University of Great Falls cumulative GPA of 3.90 - 4.00.



"Incomplete" Policy: Students are responsible for completing requirements for each course in which they are enrolled by the final day of the term. Incomplete grades may be given, with the permission of the instructor and the dean of the college, if students, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to complete the requirements for a particular course on time. Incomplete grades may be requested and given only during the final three weeks of a term. It is the student's responsibility to request an incomplete grade from an instructor, to obtain the Incomplete Form from the Registrar's Office, to secure the required signatures on the form, and to return the form to the Registrar's Office prior to the final day of the semester.


Independent Study and Telecom Home Study: With permission of the Provost, students may earn credit through Independent Study (IS) or Telecom Home Study (HS). Courses listed as HS or IS in the printed class schedule are pre-approved for students who meet all prerequisites or other qualifications for a course and will need no additional approval. Otherwise, students who wish to pursue IS or HS courses must submit written proposals to the prospective supervising professors and obtain all required approvals. Application forms for both IS and HS are available in the Registrar's Office.


Non-Collegiate Learning Experiences: Credit toward a degree may, with acceptable documentation, be granted for non-collegiate learning experiences such as professional workshops, law enforcement training, or other non-academic learning experiences. Application for this credit is made through the Registrar's Office. The maximum number of non-collegiate credits that can be applied toward a bachelor degree is thirty-two (32).


Pre-Professional Academic Advising: The University provides pre-professional advising for students who will seek admission to a professional school program after graduation. Pre-law students should seek counsel from the Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. Pre-medical students or students seeking other health-care related programs should see the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


President's Honor Roll and Dean's List: The University recognizes students who are excelling in their academic endeavors by publishing a President's Honor Roll and Dean's List three times per year. To earn inclusion on the President's Honor Roll, a student must have a grade point average of 4.0 and no grade of "I". To earn inclusion on the Dean's List, a student must have a grade point average between 3.50 and 3.99 and no grade of "I". At the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters, the University publishes a President's Honor Roll and a Dean's List for students who are enrolled full-time and earned inclusion for that semester. At the conclusion of the academic year, the University publishes a President's Honor Roll and a Dean's List for students who have not been enrolled full-time for either semester but who over the course of the two semesters and the preceding summer term completed at least twelve credits and earned inclusion.





Provision for Special Needs: “Accommodation for documented disabilities: If you have a documented disability and would like the professor to make accommodations, visit the Center for Academic Excellence on the first floor of Sullivan Hall to complete the Testing Accommodations Form.”


Recording of Degrees: Degrees, majors, and minors are recorded after the end of the term in which all requirements for graduation have been met.



Repetition of Courses: If a course is repeated, the new grade is entered on the transcript with a special notation and the previous grade is not calculated in the GPA. All course titles and grades remain on the transcript. The last grade earned in a course is the only one included in the GPA calculation, and only those credits are applicable for satisfying graduation requirements.



Residency Requirements: Resident credit is defined as credit offered through the University. Resident credit includes courses taught on campus, by Telecom, and at Extended Campus sites. To satisfy the University graduation residency requirements, thirty (30) of the final forty (40) credits earned for the bachelor degree (or twenty [20] of the last thirty [30] credits earned for the associate degree) must be credits completed from the University of Great Falls. Students enrolled in an approved SOCAD program leading to a bachelor degree may satisfy the residency requirements with coursework taken at any time during their enrollment at the University. Students enrolled in an approved SOCAD program leading to an associate degree may satisfy the residency requirements by completing at least sixteen semester credits at any time during their enrollment.



Simultaneous Enrollment: Students proposing to enroll simultaneously at the University and another accredited institution must complete a consortium agreement. Students receiving financial aid should contact the Office of Financial Aid to confirm continued eligibility. Unauthorized credits obtained through simultaneous enrollment will not be accepted for transfer to the University.



Student Classifications: A freshman is a student who has earned fewer than 32 semester credits. A sophomore must have completed 32 semester credits. A junior must have completed 64 semester credits. A senior must have completed 96 semester credits.



Student Conduct: Rules and regulations governing student conduct are provided in the Student Handbook.


Student Credit Load: During the fall and spring semesters, the maximum student load is nineteen credits per semester, and any student taking at least twelve credits is regarded as a full-time student. During the summer terms the maximum load is a total of fourteen credits per summer in any combination of terms. Permission to exceed the maximum load at any time must come from the student's advisor and the Provost.


Student Records and FERPA: In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the University has established policies and procedures to protect the privacy rights of students. The University designates the following categories of student information as public or "directory" information: student name (including previous names), current enrollment, dates of attendance, class standing, previous institution(s) attended, major field of studies, awards, honors, degree(s) earned and date conferred, full or part-time status, local and permanent address, telephone numbers, and past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, including physical factors (height, weight). "Directory" information may be disclosed by the University at its discretion unless a student notifies the Registrar's Office, in writing, that "directory" information should not be disclosed. A copy of the university's FERPA policy is available in the Registrar's Office.


Use of Requirements from Different Catalogs: Students who have enrolled in the University prior to Fall 2001 may choose to complete a major, minor, or concentration under the requirements of this catalog even though they choose to continue with the University Core, major, minor, or concentration requirements of the catalog under which they first matriculated at the University.

 University of Great Falls | 1301 20th Street South, Great Falls, Montana 59405 | 800-856-9544 | Contact