Jul 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Information

Undergraduate Appeals/Petitions

An undergraduate student may appeal certain decisions related to policy stated in the Undergraduate Catalog. The appeal process will vary depending on the situation. Administrative offices, schools and/or academic units will designate the individual(s) authorized to review the appeal.  If the student is not satisfied with the appeal decision, the petition plus any additional information is again reviewed by the appropriate Director and forwarded to the next appropriate body for review. 

To ensure compliance with federal and state laws, codes, regulations, and accreditation requirements, the following policies are not subject to appeal by the student:

  • The minimum overall grade point averages (UCM, cumulative, major/minor, etc.) required to receive an undergraduate degree, certificate, major, or minor.
  • The minimum overall number of semester credit hours required to receive an undergraduate degree or certificate.
  • The minimum number of required semester credit hours taken at the 3000/4000 level at the University of Central Missouri to receive an undergraduate degree, certificate, major, or minor.
  • The minimum number of semester credit hours completed in residence at UCM required to receive an undergraduate degree, certificate, major, or minor.

Credit Hours

Academic units are measured in credit hours. Most classes are worth three credit hours, but credit hours may vary from 0 to 5 or more depending on the course. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is not less than: (a) 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 hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (b) at least an equivalent amount of work for other activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward the award of credit hours; or (c) institutionally established reasonable equivalencies for the amount of work as described above as represented by verifiable student achievement of intended learning outcomes.

Academic Load

The normal academic load per semester for an undergraduate student is 15 or 16 credit hours per semester. A full-time undergraduate student is one pursuing 12 or more credit hours per semester or 9 credit hours in the summer session (12 hours is required in the summer to be considered full-time for financial aid). Most of UCM’s undergraduate degrees require 120 credit hours and may be completed in a four year time period if an average of 15 credit hours is earned per semester. Some programs require additional hours but may still be completed in four years with additional hours per semester or summer classes.

The maximum academic load for fall and spring semesters is 18 credit hours for freshmen and sophomores (less than 60 earned hours). Juniors and seniors (60 or more earned hours) in good academic standing may enroll in as many as 19 credit hours with the assistance of their Academic Success Advisor or the Registrar’s Office. Freshmen/sophomores desiring to exceed 18 credit hours and juniors/seniors desiring to exceed 19 credit hours must have the overload approved by their major school chair, or the Director of the Success Advising Center (UN 128, 660-543-4721) if no major is declared. Students on academic probation may not enroll in more than 15 credit hours during any fall or spring semester or 12 credit hours during any summer semester of academic probation.

If students are enrolled for coursework at other institutions of higher education while concurrently enrolled at UCM, the total number of semester credit hours taken in any enrollment period may not exceed the maximum specified for a full-time, resident student at UCM.

International students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.  Please note that full-time status for UCM’s Intensive English Program is 6 credit hours (20 contact hours) per 8-week session.  The International Student Services Office (ISS) must approve concurrent enrollment for any international student prior to the beginning of each semester. To meet concurrent enrollment requirements, international students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 semester hours of work at UCM and at least 6 semester credit hours of work at another SEVIS-approved higher education institution for a minimum total of 12 semester credit hours of work in a semester.  

Summer Course Load Policy

The maximum course load is 12 credit hours for the entire summer semester. Undergraduate students may enroll for more than 12 hours with the approval of their major school chair, or if open options, the Director of the Success Advising Center. While UCM recognizes nine (9) hours as full-time status during the summer, twelve (12) hours is considered full-time for federal financial aid purposes (6 hours for graduate students).

International students are not required to enroll in summer hours unless they are in the first semester of their academic program at UCM. International students beginning their academic program in the summer must complete a minimum of nine credit hours for the entire summer semester.  Please note that full-time status for UCM’s Intensive English Program is 6 credit hours (20 contact hours) per 8-week session.

Class Attendance

Class participation and attendance are essential for student success. The University has no provisions whereby a student can enroll and receive credit at the University of Central Missouri without having attended and/or participated in class. This principle applies to all courses for which credit is awarded regardless of mode of delivery.

Students are expected to attend all lectures, seminars, laboratories, and fieldwork for each registered class and to complete all work assigned by the instructor for the course. Advance arrangements for unavoidable absences should be made with the instructor whenever possible. When absent for three days or more, a student may ask the Office of Student Experience and Engagement (660-543-4114, ADM 214) to send an informational note to his/her instructors. Neither absence, nor notification of absence, relieves the student of the responsibility for the fulfillment of all course requirements.

Make-up of missed course requirements due to extenuating circumstances shall be arranged between the instructor and the student upon the student’s initiative. Instructors are required to allow the student the opportunity to earn full credit for missed work when a student is absent due to participation in approved university activities, university programs (that the student is required to attend), or when absence has been verified by the Office of Student Experience and Engagement. A student must contact the assigned instructor on the first day the student returns to class. Instructors may stipulate special attendance requirements in the course syllabus, as long as they do not conflict with the student’s right to make up missed work as described above.

When absent due to extenuating circumstances such as documented medical issues, a death in the family, or military order, a student may ask the Office of Student Experience and Engagement to verify the absence. If the absence is verified, the student will be provided a written electronic notice which (s)he may distribute to faculty. It is the responsibility of the student to make the request within a reasonable time frame, distribute the documentation to faculty within two days of receiving it, and to make arrangements with faculty to make up all missed work.

The University Health Center (UHC) does not provide medical excuses and/or Time-In Time-Out slips to students for the purpose of being excused from class. When medically indicated, the health center may recommend a student not attend class. Student Experience and Engagement will be contacted by UHC staff to communicate the recommended absence to the student’s instructors.

To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, students must have a documented record of attendance in the classes for which they enroll. Registration for classes is, in itself, not sufficient to prove attendance. A student who receives or otherwise benefits from federal or state financial aid, but has no documented record of attendance in the class(es) for which (s)he is enrolled, is not eligible to have received/benefitted from the aid, and will be required to repay all the federal and state assistance credited to his/her UCM account for the semester.  For information on return of federal funds, review the Student Financial Services policy.

Students who are not reported as absent during the Enrollment Validation period and never attended a course will receive an “F” grade and are financially responsible for the course. UCM does not have an administrative drop policy to remove students from courses after the Enrollment Validation period.

Classification of Students

Freshmen are defined as those students who have completed zero through 29.9 semester hours of college credit. Sophomores are those who have completed 30 through 59.9 semester hours. Juniors must have completed 60 through 89.9 semester hours. Seniors are defined as all students who have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours.

Field Trips

At times, field trips are planned in conjunction with course assignments. Students in classes for which such trips are planned are to be given sufficient advance notice to make necessary arrangements for absence from the campus. Field trips are not scheduled during final examination periods, nor can they be required by an instructor. Work missed in other classes may be made up, although instructors are not required to provide tutoring. All arrangements are subject to the limitations of university liability coverage.

When transportation is provided for the class, faculty may arrange for wheelchair accessible transportation by contacting Accessibility Services (Elliott Student Union 224, 660-543-4421).

Final Examinations

Final examinations are given at the end of each semester according to a published schedule. Permission to take an examination out of scheduled hours is granted only in special cases, with the approval of the instructor of the class and the Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement. A fee of $10 per final is charged for rescheduling of final examinations. Any student who has three final examinations scheduled on any one day may request permission to move one of the examinations to another day during the final examination period. There is no charge for this, but approvals must be secured as described above. Resolution of conflicting examination schedules, as well as arranging make-up examinations, must be made with class instructors.

Final Grades and Transcripts

Final grades can be reviewed online in MyCentral. A student number and password are required to access MyCentral. Grade reports are not mailed or e-mailed to students from UCM. Official transcripts are processed by the Registrar’s Office for a fee. Unofficial transcripts are available to students free of charge in MyCentral. Unofficial transcripts do not show degrees or certificates earned. Students who have a financial hold on their account may not place orders for official transcripts or view unofficial transcripts in MyCentral. The Central Degree Audit in MyCentral has a Course History feature that is similar to a transcript and is available to students who have financial account holds.

Central Degree Audit (DegreeWorks)

The Central Degree Audit (also called DegreeWorks) is the degree audit reporting system used at UCM. The Central Degree Audit produces a report that reflects a student’s degree or certificate requirements in a given catalog year and degree or certificate program. It includes both transfer credit and UCM credit and shows a students’ progress toward graduation. This report designates the number of credit hours earned, both cumulative and UCM grade point averages, and a listing of courses completed.

Students can access their Central Degree Audit in MyCentral. 

In addition to the Central Degree Audit reflecting the student’s current academic major(s) and minor(s) (if applicable), students may run a “what-if” degree audit as a way to explore how their current completed courses would apply to different majors, minors, or catalogs.  The Central Degree Audit also has a feature called Plans.  Students can work with their Academic Success Advisor to create a plan of study for graduation.

Degree audits will reflect the specific requirements for The Honors College for those students accepted into The Honors College. Honors students who take courses outside of the typical honors choices may need substitutions provided from The Honors College for the audit to reflect them properly.

Degree audits may include double majors and double minors. Students pursuing double degrees can view two different degree audits, one for each degree. Individualized major and minor curriculum is not reflected on degree audits. Students pursuing an individualized major or minor should use the Central Degree Audit for general university requirements and general education requirements and consult their individualized major/minor agreement for major/minor requirements.

Students should run a copy of their Central Degree Audit prior to enrollment in future semesters to see what requirements are remaining. After enrollment, a second degree audit should be run and saved to ensure that the courses scheduled fulfill degree requirements as expected.

Deviations from the major or minor requirements must be approved in writing by the school chair and submitted to the Office of the Registrar to be reflected on the Central Degree Audit.

Degree/Certificate Revocation Policy

It is the policy of the University of Central Missouri that a degree or certificate may be revoked when it is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that:

  • A degree/certificate had been erroneously conferred when all requirements had not been satisfied at the time the degree or certificate was granted.
  • A degree/certificate had been erroneously conferred as a result of an act of academic dishonesty.

The university president is charged with developing procedures to implement this degree/certificate revocation policy. The president, the provost, and the faculty will develop such procedures including the appropriate levels of procedural due process extended to the degree or certificate recipient.

Unauthorized Persons in Classrooms

Persons who are not officially enrolled in a course may not attend any class session without the prior consent of the instructor and the school chair. In unique situations, the instructor and the school chair may, at their discretion, approve a request for a child/guest to attend a class session.  In these instances, the student is responsible for supervising the child/guest and for any inappropriate behavior.

Students who have a “U” grade (unfinished work) from a prior semester may finish only the portion of the course remaining. They may not sit through an entire course again in order to complete the unfinished work. Students who need to attend the entire class must re-enroll in the course and pay fees accordingly.  An individual who wants to attend a class for no academic credit may do so by following the University’s policy on auditing courses.