Grading and Academic Standards
Westminster uses the following grades for the mid-semester and semester grade reports:
|B+, B, B-
|C+, C, C-
|D+, D, D-
|Exceeds Project Standards
|Meets Project Standards
|Does Not Meet Project Standards
Grades of NC, W, AU, T, and I yield no credit toward graduation and are not computed in the grade point average.
Grades of NC or I may not be used to replace any previous grade for a course.
“T” grades are intended to be a short-term, temporary grade to clear the registration for a given term and should only be used for senior projects, graduate or undergraduate thesis work, flight training courses, continuing registration coursework, and internships that require a very short extension only. “T” grades should be resolved and replaced with regular grades within one week of the end of the term except in the case of flight training courses. “T” grades are not intended to take the place of an incomplete grade when the student meets the criteria for an incomplete and should not be used for regular coursework when the student has failed to take a final examination or turn in final coursework that would otherwise result in a lowered grade.
Grade Points and Grade Point Average
A student’s academic standing is expressed by a grade point average. Grade points are assigned as shown below:
|Grade Points Per Credit Hour
Calculating the Grade Point Average
The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the sum of grade points earned by the total number of hours attempted. All hours taken at Westminster are counted except those for which a mark of CR, NC, W, AU, T, or I is recorded. Hours transferred from other academic institutions count for credit only; they do not count in the grade point average.
Changes to final grades submitted to the Registrar’s Office are only made in the case of instructor error and require the signatures of the instructor, the dean of the appropriate school, and the Provost.
Grade reports are available on Self-Service at the end of each semester or term. Individual course grade rosters are not posted. Students needing additional copies of grade reports for reimbursement programs or other verifications may obtain additional copies from the Registrar’s Office.
When extenuating circumstances occur beyond a student’s control, such as medical issues or family emergencies, students can request that faculty assign them an incomplete grade. At the time of request, students should have a passing grade and have completed at least two-thirds of the required course-work. Generally, incomplete grades are not given when the incomplete work includes team-based projects and assignments, although exceptions can be made.
If a faculty member determines an incomplete grade is warranted, all work must be completed by the date specified by the faculty member within 10 weeks after the course has ended. Adjunct faculty members must inform the department chair of the incomplete and devise a plan to assure follow through during the extended period. If the work is not completed by the end of the period specified, the temporary mark is changed to the grade indicated by the instructor, or if no grade has been indicated the mark is changed to an F. When coursework in which a student has received an Incomplete has been made up, the final grade is entered with I and the letter grade (for example, IA).
Alternatives to incomplete grades may include a) students repeating a course to improve the grade and their GPA, or b) filing a petition with the Review Committee for a late withdrawal when the extraordinary circumstances faced by the student are documented and resulted in failing all classes in a term. Faculty members may adopt late assignment rules or more restrictive incomplete policies and are encouraged to articulate those policies on the syllabus.
Note for graduating students: A grade of “I” for any class in a student’s last semester will automatically move them to the next graduating semester.
Ordering Official Transcripts
Specific information for ordering official transcripts may be found on the Registrar's Office webpage. Unofficial transcripts for current students are available on the web using Self-Service regardless of outstanding obligations.
Students may elect to audit courses at Westminster according to the guidelines listed in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. Courses that are entered on students’ permanent records as audited (AU) earn no credit and fulfill no requirements.
The grade and credit hours for a repeated course are entered into the computation of a student’s grade point average and counted toward graduation only once. That is, the credit hours and grade points cannot be used or counted twice. In the case of repeated courses, the highest grade awarded is used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average and completion of requirements.
Repeated course grades on student transcripts are marked by an R in front of the final grade.
Note: Some courses are designated as repeatable courses and are so noted in the individual course descriptions. These courses will count in the hours and the GPA more than one time.
Academic Probation and Suspension Policy
Students in all graduate programs are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must earn a semester grade point average of at least 3.0 the next semester in which they enroll. Students who are on academic probation may take no more than 4 credit hours each semester. Probationary students who fail to earn a semester grade point average of at least 3.0 that semester will be suspended from their graduate program.
Probationary students whose semester grade point average is 3.0 or higher but whose cumulative grade point average still remains below 3.0 will continue on academic probation. Probationary students whose cumulative grade point average reaches 3.0 or higher will be returned to good academic standing.
Probationary students are required to meet with the program director prior to enrolling for the upcoming semester. Please see the Academic Handbook of each graduate program for what constitutes a passing grade for individual classes.
Appeals for Readmission
Suspended students may petition their individual Program Review Committee for readmission at any time prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll; however, unless extenuating circumstances exist, suspended students are required to remain out of the university for at least one semester before appealing for readmission. Students who feel extenuating circumstances contributed to their failure to meet minimum grade point requirements may choose to appeal for readmission immediately following the suspension.
Students who have been out of the university for more than two semesters must also submit an application for readmission to the Admissions Office. Students readmitted after more than two semesters will be required to meet program requirements for the catalog in effect at the time of readmission.
To appeal for readmission, students must submit a letter to the program director giving evidence that supports the request for readmission. Petitioning students will be notified of the review committee meeting and will be given the opportunity to present their cases in person. Decisions of the review committee are final. Students readmitted through the appeals procedure are placed on continued probation and must meet the minimum 3.0 grade point average requirement that semester.
Students have the right to appeal or petition an academic decision. For the appeals procedure to be followed after suspension, see Appeals for Readmission. For other appeals or petitions, the student must make the appeal or petition, in writing. The student must file the grievance with the Dean of the school. Written appeals must be submitted during the first four weeks into the next semester and must include documentary evidence that the student feels has a bearing upon the request.
A faculty committee from the school involved reviews the appeal. The student may be present at the hearing. The decision of the faculty appeals committee will be reported to the student within five business days, of the date of the hearing, while school is in session.
If the decision of the faculty committee is not acceptable to the student, the student may file a written appeal with the Graduate Programs Grievance Committee within five business days, while school is in session, of notification of the faculty decision. The Graduate Programs Grievance Committee is made up of three Graduate Directors outside of the program, the Dean of Students, and three Academic Deans, except the one whose school is involved in the appeal. The student and faculty representatives may call members of the university, off-campus supervisors or mentors as supporting witnesses. All materials included in the faculty’s deliberations, including the student’s written appeal and the proceedings of the faculty hearing, are made available to the Graduate Programs Grievance Committee and become part of the proceedings. The hearing before the Graduate Programs Grievance Committee will be held within fifteen business days, while school is in session, of receiving the written appeal. The student may be present at the appeal hearing. The decision of the Graduate Programs Grievance Committee is reported to the student within five business days, while school is in session, of the date of the hearing.
Decisions of the Academic Grievance Committee are final. The final decision will be a majority decision from the committee. Students have the right to continue their enrollment and participation in academic programs until final decisions are reached. Failure of students to file appeals within specified time limits is considered acknowledgment of the action without intent to appeal.
Westminster University of Salt Lake City operates on the assumption that all academic work is the honest product of each student’s own endeavors. The faculty and staff at Westminster expect such integrity from the students, and violations are cause for disciplinary action, including suspension, probation, loss of credit, or expulsion from the university.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and furnishing false or misleading information to any faculty or staff member.
Cheating on examinations includes, but is not restricted to, copying from another student’s exam paper, using unauthorized notes during an exam, arranging for a substitute to take an examination, or giving or receiving unauthorized information prior to an exam. Cheating on written assignments includes plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration with others or submitting the same material for more than one class without the authorization of the instructor.
Plagiarism includes borrowing information or ideas, whether directly quoted or paraphrased, from any source beyond one’s first-hand experience and not acknowledging the source. The student must give credit to the material by identifying the source, using one of the generally accepted citation methods.
Initially, sanctions are the responsibility of the class instructor. The instructor may simply reprimand the student, or may demand the work be repeated, or may give a failing grade for the assignment or exam in question, or may give a failing grade for the entire course. In each case, a short report of the incident will be filed with the appropriate academic dean.
In the case of repeated or more serious violations, the faculty member may recommend to the dean of the school that the student is put on probation, suspended, or expelled from the university. The dean’s recommendation will then be sent to the Dean of Students.
Students may appeal such decisions to the Graduate Programs Grievance Committee. In the case of an appeal, the student has the right to be present at the hearing and refute the charges. A written copy of the decision will be distributed to all involved parties within 72 hours of the hearing.