This is an archived copy of the 2013-14 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.wvu.edu.

Academic Policies and Procedures

In This Section:

Academic Integrity Tab Covers:

  • Academic Integrity and Dishonesty
  • Responsibilities
  • Process to Initiate a Charge of Academic Dishonesty
  • Appeal Procedures for Cases Involving Academic Dishonesty

Grades tab covers:

  • Grading System
  • Auditors
  • Evaluation of Student Progress
  • Grade Points
  • GPA Calculation
  • Grade Reports
  • Honors - Dean's and President's list
  • Repeat Policy
  • Final Grade Appeal Process
  • Pass / Fail Grading

Probation and Suspension Tab Covers:

  • Undergraduate Academic Probation and Suspension Policy
  • Suspension Guide
  • Probation Procedures
  • Suspension Procedures
  • Duration of Suspension
  • Appeal of Suspension
  • Summer Enrollment for Students Suspended for Fall
  • Immediate Reinstatement after Suspension
  • Reinstatement after Serving Suspension

In the Section :

Academic Integrity and Dishonesty

The academic development of students and the overall integrity of the institution are primary responsibilities of WVU. Academic dishonesty is condemned at all levels of life, indicating an inability to meet and face issues and creating an atmosphere of mistrust, disrespect, and insecurity. In addition, it is essential in an academic community that grades accurately reflect the attainment of the individual student. Faculty, students, and administrators have shared responsibilities in maintaining the academic integrity essential for the University to accomplish its mission.

For the detailed policy of West Virginia University regarding the definitions of acts considered to fall under academic dishonesty and possible ensuing sanctions, please see Board of Governors Policy 31 at bog.wvu.edu/policies and the Student Conduct Code

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Responsibilities

The integrity of the classes offered and research and scholarship undertaken by any academic institution solidifies the foundation of its mission and cannot be sacrificed to expediency, ignorance, or blatant fraud. Students should act to prevent opportunities for academic dishonesty to occur and in such a manner to discourage any type of academic dishonesty. Faculty members are expected to remove opportunities for cheating, whether related to test construction, test confidentiality, test administration, or test grading. This same professional care should be exercised with regard to oral and written reports, laboratory assignments, and grade books.

Deans and department chairpersons are expected to acquaint all faculty with expected professional behavior regarding academic integrity and to continue to remind them of their responsibility. Deans and department chairpersons shall assist faculty members and students in handling first-offense cheating allegations at the lowest possible level in the University with discretion to prevent damage to the reputation of any person who has not been found guilty in the prescribed manner.

Each member of the teaching faculty and all other WVU employees, including but not limited to assistants, proctors, office personnel, custodians, and public safety officers, shall promptly report cases of academic dishonesty to the appropriate supervisor, department chairperson, or dean of the college or school concerned, and to the Office of Judicial Affairs, Office of Student Life.

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Academic Dishonesty Defined

WVU expects that every member of its academic community shares the historic and traditional commitment to honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is defined to include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

1. Plagiarism is defined in terms of proscribed acts. Students are expected to understand that such practices constitute academic dishonesty regardless of motive. Those who deny deceitful intent, claim not to have known that the act constituted plagiarism, or maintain that what they did was inadvertent are nevertheless subject to penalties when plagiarism has been confirmed. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, submitting, without appropriate acknowledgment, a report, notebook, speech, outline, theme, thesis, dissertation, or other written, electronic, visual, or oral material that has been copied in whole or in part from the work of others, whether such source is published or not, including, but not limited to, another individual’s academic composition, compilation, or other product, or commercially prepared paper.

2. Cheating and dishonest practices in connection with examinations, papers, and projects, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Obtaining help from another student during examinations.
  2. Knowingly giving help to another student during examinations, taking an examination or doing academic work for another student, or providing one’s own work for another student to copy and submit as his or her own.
  3. The unauthorized use of notes, books, or other sources of information during examinations.
  4. Obtaining an examination or any part thereof without authorization.

3. Forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Forging or altering, or causing to be altered, the record of any grade in a grade book or other educational record.
  2. Use of University documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud.
  3. Presenting false data or intentionally misrepresenting one’s records for admission, registration, or withdrawal from the University or from a University course.
  4. Knowingly presenting false data or intentionally misrepresenting one’s records for personal gain.
  5. Knowingly furnishing the results of research projects or experiments for inclusion in another’s work without proper citation.
  6. Knowingly furnishing false statements in any University academic proceeding.

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Process to Initiate a Charge of Academic Dishonesty

To initiate and process a charge of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, cheating, and academic fraud, and/or to begin the process of issuing an Unforgivable F, the instructor must do the following:

1. Notify the student in writing of the charge and the penalty and schedule a conference within five academic days of discovering the infraction. 

2. Meet with the student to discuss the issue, to review all relevant materials, and to complete the Notification of Academic Misconduct (NAM) form (http://facultysenate.wvu.edu ) as soon as possible but no longer than five academic days following the discovery of the violation.

3. Responsibility/Resolution

  1. If the student accepts responsibility for both the charge and the sanctions, he or she signs the NAM, and the case is closed. Within five academic days of resolution of the case, faculty should make three copies of the NAM form: one for the student, one for faculty records, and one for the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (84 Boreman North, P.O. Box 6430).
  2. If the student does not accept responsibility as charged, he or she may appeal to the chair of the department. If the student and chair reach a resolution, the chair should make three copies of the NAM form: one for the student, one for departmental records, and one for the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (84 Boreman North, P.O. Box 6430). These copies should be distributed within five academic days of resolution of the case.
  3. If the student and the chair do not reach a resolution, the student may appeal to the Student Conduct Board, which is comprised of members of the University Committee on Students Rights and Responsibilities. This appeal must be initiated within five academic days of the student’s meeting with the chair.

4. If the student appeals to the Student Conduct Board, a panel of three faculty and two students or any odd number with faculty comprising the majority will be convened, the case will be examined, and a decision will be reached.

5. If the student disagrees with the decision of the Student Conduct Board, he or she may appeal to the provost, whose decision is final.

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Appeal Procedures for Cases Involving Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, cheating, and dishonest practices in connection with examinations, papers, and projects, as well as forgery, misrepresentation, and fraud. Some cases of forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud that occur outside the context of courses or academic requirements may be referred directly to the Office of Student Life/Judicial Affairs by any member of the University community. In such cases, the Office of Student Life/Judicial Affairs will arrange a hearing following the procedures outlined in the BOG Policy 31.

An Unforgivable F (UF) is a University sanction levied as a result of a violation of the Student Conduct Code Article III (B) 1. Thus, the appeal process for a UF as well as for other cases involving academic dishonesty is different than a standard grade appeal (see above), which follows academic channels that end with a decision by the dean of the college involved. This sanction can be given only after a student has gone through the University student conduct process.

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In this Section:

Grading System

Grade Description
AExcellent (Given only to students of superior ability and attainment.)
BGood (Given only to students who are well above average but not in the highest group.)
CFair (Average for undergraduate students.)
DPoor but passing (Cannot be counted for graduate credit.)
FFailure
IIncomplete
WWithdrawal from a course before the date specified in the University calendar.
PPass (See Pass/Fail grading below.)
XAuditor, no grade and no credit.
CRCredit but no grade
PRProgress; final grade to be issued at end of second semester (HSC)
SSatisfactory
UUnsatisfactory (Equivalent to F)
HHonors (Professional School Courses only.)
IFIncomplete grade not removed by next regular term (Computed as an F.)
UFUnforgivable F (Not eligible for D/F repeat policy.)

 

Note: Grades that are not reported by faculty at the end of a term will be designated with an NR on the official transcript. Grades that are not reported will become an F at the conclusion of the next semester if a final grade is not submitted.

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Auditors

An auditor may register for courses and must pay full fees but does not receive credit for the course. A student who audits a course must let one semester pass before enrolling in the course for credit. A student may change his or her status from audit to grade or grade to audit only during the registration period. Attendance requirements for auditors are determined by the instructor of the course. The instructor may direct the Office of the University Registrar to remove an auditor from a class list or grade report if attendance requirements are not met.

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Grade Points

Each letter grade has a numeric value. Grade points are based on this number value and the credit hour value of the course.

  • A- 4
  • B- 3
  • C- 2
  • D- 1
  • F- 0
  • I- 0
  • U- 0

The grade point average is computed on all work for which a student registers, with the following exceptions:

  • Courses with a grade of W, P, S, and X carry no grade value. The grade of incomplete (I) initially carries no grade value.
  • The grade of I is given when the instructor of the course believes that the work is unavoidably incomplete or that an additional examination is justified. There must be a written contract between the student and instructor, including a timeline for completion of the work. To remove the grade of I, a student does not register for the course again; instead, he or she arranges to submit incomplete or supplemental work to the original instructor of the course.
  • When a student receives the grade of I and the incomplete grade is later removed, the grade point average is calculated on the basis of the new grade. If the I grade is not removed within the next semester, the grade is treated as an F (failure). The Academic Standards Committee of the appropriate college or school may allow a student to postpone removal of the I grade if the student can justify a delay.

If a student is working toward teacher certification, he or she is responsible for every registration in a course in which the grade of A, B, C, D, F, P, X or I is received.

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Grade Point Average

All academic units of the University have minimum standards of scholastic quality that must be met or exceeded. Grade point average (GPA) is computed on grades earned in courses taken at WVU and institutions in the West Virginia system of higher education; beginning in January 2012, grades earned in baccalaureate-level college work attempted at other accredited institutions are also included in the calculation of the overall GPA. To be eligible to receive a baccalaureate, a student must have a GPA of at least 2.0 at the time of graduation. Some degree programs require a higher grade point average overall or in the major courses. GPA is based on all work for which a student received a letter grade other than W, and P. See D/F Repeat Policy. The grade point average for honors consideration for a baccalaureate is based on baccalaureate-level college work attempted at WVU as well as other accredited institutions.

Students are responsible for knowing their grade point standing and can obtain the necessary information from their advisor or the dean of their college or school. GPA is determined according to the method described in the section on grade points.

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GPA Calculation

  1. Students need to know how to calculate their overall and semester grade point averages. The following example shows how to do it. Assume you are registered for 16 hours and receive the following grades in these courses:
    1. English 101 – B
    2. Mathematics 126 - A
    3. Geology 101 - C
    4. Political Science 101 - B
    5. Spanish 101 - D
    6. Psychology 201 - P
  2. Course, Credits, Grade, Value, Credits x Value, Grade Points Earned
    1. English 101, 3, B, 3, 3 x 3 = 9
    2. Geology 101, 3, C, 2, 3 x 2 = 6
    3. Spanish 101, 3, D, 1, 3 x 1 = 3
    4. Mathematics 126, 3, A, 4, 3 x 4 =12
    5. Political Sci. 101, 3, B, 3, 3 x 3 = 9
    6. Psychology 201, 1, P, 0, 1 x 0 = 0
  3. Multiply the credit by the grade value to get the grade points earned for each course
  4. Add the total grade points, in this case, 39.
  5. Divide the total grade points earned by the total credit hours with a grade value. Remember that P grades have no grade value, so in this case, there are 15 credit hours for the GPA calculation: 39 divided by 15 = grade point average of 2.6.

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Evaluation of Student Progress

Progress is evaluated by a variety of methods. The measurement and evaluation of learning are consistent with the objectives of the course and provide the opportunity for the student and instructor to evaluate progress. The University discourages evaluation by final examination only. The student is responsible for all materials presented or assigned in scheduled instructional sections. Students who do not complete all assigned work may earn an incomplete (I) or a failing grade (F). A grade of incomplete (I) requires a written contract between the student and instructor and must include a timeline of no more than one semester.

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Grade Reports

During the seventh week of classes in the fall and spring semesters, instructors submit a grade for all undergraduate students earning grades of D or F in undergraduate courses. These grades are used for counseling, are not recorded on the student’s official transcript, and disappear from the computer system after the semester is completed. These grades are sent first to the Office of the University Registrar and then to the student via MIX.

Final grades are due to the Office of the University Registrar within 48 hours after the end of the University’s final examination and are viewable to students within one week of submission to the Office of the University Registrar. The final grades of all seniors provisionally approved for graduation at the close of each semester or summer term are reported to the deans of the students’ colleges or schools. Special report forms for this purpose are supplied by the student’s dean.

At the end of each semester, grades are available through MIX.

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HONORS - Dean's and President's list

Outstanding academic achievement is recognized by awarding President's List and Dean's List status to students who obtain a 4.0 GPA or 3.5 GPA, repsectively. Students must be enrolled full-time to be eligible for such recognition.

Students may receive summa cum laude (with highest honors a minimum 3.8 GPA); magna cum laude (with high honors, a minimum 3.6 GPA to less than a 3.8 GPA); or cum laude (with a minimum 3.4 GPA to less than a 3.6 GPA) recognition upon graduation. These guidelines are set by the University.

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Repeat Policy

D/F Repeat

WVU has a D/F repeat policy for undergraduate students who have not received their initial baccalaureate degree. If a student earns a D or F in a course at WVU or at any school in the WV State System and the course is taken no later than the semester or summer term in which the student completes the sixtieth hour (including any class in which the student earns a grade and transfer classes), the student may “D/F repeat” that course. Hours from the Intensive English Program do count towards the sixty hours. The course can be repeated only at WVU Morgantown or at one of WVU’s divisional campuses. Students have only one opportunity to improve their original grades under the D/F repeat policy. The new grade becomes the grade that counts toward the student’s cumulative GPA and credit hours for graduation, even if the repeated course grade is lower than the original grade in the course. The D/F repeat policy will be enacted any time an eligible course is repeated.

When a course is D/F repeated, the following procedure occurs:

  1. The original grade is disregarded for the purpose of determining the overall GPA; it is marked as excluded (E) in the semester that the student originally took the course.
  2. The original grade is not deleted from the student’s permanent record.
  3. The second grade is entered on the student’s transcript and marked as included (I) in the semester that the course was repeated.
  4. Grades of Unforgivable F (UF) are not eligible for D/F repeat. Such a failure is indicated on the student’s permanent record by an UF and is calculated in the GPA.

Other Repeated Courses

Courses repeated, but not eligible for the provisions of the D/F repeat policy, follow this procedure:

  1. The original grade is included in determining the overall GPA. It is excluded from earned or degree hours and is marked with an (A).
  2. The original grade is not deleted from the student’s permanent record.
  3. The second grade is entered on the student’s transcript and marked as included (I) in the semester that the course was repeated.
  4. Courses repeated more than once are handled the same way with the final attempt carrying earned or degree hours. All attempts are used for determining the GPA.

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Final Grade Appeal Procedures (Not Involving Charges of Academic Dishonesty)

Students have the right to appeal final course grades which they believe reflect a capricious, arbitrary, or prejudiced academic evaluation, or reflect discrimination based on race, sex, age, handicap, veteran status, religion or creed, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. The grade appealed shall remain in effect until the appeal procedure is completed or the problem resolved. This procedure provides a mechanism whereby a student may appeal a failing grade or a grade low enough to cause the student to be dismissed from some program or to require the repetition of a course. Grade appeals that do not meet this classification are not precluded.

Step 1 - The student shall discuss the complaint with the instructor involved prior to the mid-semester of the succeeding regular semester, whether the student is enrolled or not. If the two parties are unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily, if the instructor is not available, or if the nature of the complaint makes discussion with the instructor inappropri­ate, the student shall notify the chairperson of the instructor’s department or division (or, if none, the dean). The chairperson or dean shall assume the role of an informal facilitator and assist in their resolution attempts. If the problem is not resolved within five academic days from when the complaint is first lodged, the student may proceed directly to Step 2.

Step 2 - The student must prepare and sign a document that states the facts consti­tuting the basis for the appeal within five academic days from when the original complaint was lodged. Copies of this document shall be given to the instructor and to the instructor’s chairperson (or, if none, to the dean). If, within five academic days of receipt of the student’s signed document, the chairperson does not resolve the problem to the satisfaction of the student, the student will forward the complaint to the instructor’s dean (see Step 3).

Step 3 - Within five academic days of receipt of the complaint, the instructor’s dean shall make a determination regarding the grade, making any recommendation for a grade change to the instructor involved. If the instructor involved does not act on the dean’s recommendation, or if the student disagrees with the decision of the dean, the dean will refer the case to a representative committee, appointed by the dean, for final resolution. This committee shall consist of three or more faculty members, including at least one person outside the instructor’s department.

  1.  Upon receiving an appeal, the committee will notify in writing the faculty member involved with the grade challenge, which shall include a statement of the facts and evidence to be presented by the student.
  2. The committee shall provide to the faculty member involved and the student making the appeal written notification of their right to appear at a hearing to be held before the department, college, or school representative committee, together with the notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
  3. The administrative procedure is not adversarial in nature; the formal rules of evidence do not apply.
  4. The final decision of this committee shall be forwarded to the instructor and to the dean involved. If the decision requires a change of grade, the instructor shall take action in accordance with the committee’s decision.
  5. If the instructor does not act within five academic days, the dean shall make any necessary grade adjustment.
  6. In the case of grade appeals, the dean functions as the president’s designee; therefore, implementation of this decision shall end the appeal procedure.

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Pass/Fail Grading

Pass/fail grading encourages students to take elective courses not related to their degree concentrations. Pass/fail grading also facilitates grading in competency-based courses that may be an integral part of an academic program.

Any full-time student who has completed fifteen hours or more and who has maintained a 2.0 grade point average may take a maximum of four hours each semester or summer term on a pass/fail basis. Any course taken on a pass/fail basis must be a free elective. Students are limited to a total of eighteen hours of pass/fail credit in the collegiate career. Unless otherwise indicated, courses in the major, courses in other subjects that are required by the major, and courses taken to satisfy University, college, school, or departmental requirements are excluded from pass/fail. For example, courses elected to satisfy the General Education Curriculum (GEC) or foreign language requirements may not be taken for pass/fail grading.

A course taken on a pass/fail basis is graded as a graded course. The instructor turns in the appropriate letter grade to the Office of the University Registrar. This letter grade is then converted to a P on the basis of A, B, C, or D for a pass and F for a fail. The grade of P does not affect your grade point average. However, any F grade affects a student’s grade point average whether it is a regular grade or a pass/fail grade.

A student chooses the option of pass/fail grading for a course during the registration period. Once the registration period has ended, he or she may not change the grade status in the course.

A department or unit may designate any performance- or competency-based course as exclusively pass/fail. To institute this, the college or school must have the approval of the Faculty Senate. Courses offered only as pass/fail are not included in the maximum of eighteen hours that may be freely elected as pass/fail under the student option.

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In this Section:

Undergraduate Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

This policy concerns academic probation and suspension (referred to below as probation and suspension) from the University. Individual schools, colleges, and programs may place students on probation or dismiss them from their programs as well, using criteria that are the same as or different from those below. Students who are dismissed from a program may transfer to another program if they meet the program’s admission requirements or they may be advised in the University College until they are able to be accepted to a program.

Any student with an overall grade point average (GPA) below 2.0 is considered to be on probation and may be eligible for suspension. The standards that are used to determine a student’s eligibility for suspension are based on overall GPA in relation to credit hours attempted. Credit hours attempted include all credits included on the student’s WVU transcript (regardless of where or how completed and including credits with grades of F). Students whose GPAs are below the following requirements are eligible for suspension from the University: 

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Suspension Guide

Total Hours Attempted* Minimum cumulative GPA*
1-28 hours 1.40
29-58 hours 1.70
59-88 hours 1.90
89 or more hours 2.00

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Probation Procedures

At the conclusion of every term, students on probation (i.e., with a GPA below 2.0) are sent a probation letter (via e-mail to their MIX account and by post to their permanent address) from the Office of the University Registrar (OUR). This letter informs students about their academic status, explains what is meant by probation, provides information on resources available to help them improve their academic performance, and describes the consequences of continued poor performance, including the standards and procedures concerning suspension.

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Suspension Procedures

At the conclusion of each spring term only, students eligible for suspension are sent a suspension letter rather than a probation letter from the OUR (via e-mail to their MIX account and by post to their permanent address) and are suspended from the University effective at the end of the summer term. This letter informs students that they have been suspended from the University, explains what that means, and provides information about appealing the suspension. The letter also describes procedures for reinstatement to the University after their suspension period and the impact of taking classes at other institutions during the suspension period.

Students may also be suspended at the end of fall or summer term, as recommended to the OUR by the designated academic officer in each school or college, based on a failure to meet the provisions of a prior contract put in place for a reinstated student.

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Duration of Suspension

Students who are suspended for the first time may not enroll in classes at WVU (including sections offered through Extended Learning) for the following major term (fall semester). Students suspended for a second time will not be allowed to enroll in classes at WVU (including sections offered through Extended Learning) for one calendar year. Students suspended for a third and final time will not be allowed to return to WVU for a minimum of five years.

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Appeal

Suspended students have until early June (exact date specified in written notice of suspension) to appeal the suspension by sending a request to their school or college by e-mail or post. A designated academic officer in each school or college will then have until July 1 to review the requests and to reinstate students whose appeals are approved. Students who appeal and are denied or who do not appeal their suspension will be removed from their fall classes.

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Summer Enrollment

Students who are suspended for fall may enroll in summer courses at WVU (main campus, Extended Learning, Potomac State College and WVU Institute of Technology). Students who are enrolled in summer courses as of July 1 will not be removed from their fall classes until summer grades are available. Students who rehabilitate their GPA above minimums required for their class will be automatically removed from suspension. Colleges and schools may elect to defer a reinstatement decision as well until summer grades are available. Each college or school will communicate to the OUR the final decision on reinstatement immediately after summer grades are released. Only summer courses taken at WVU will be considered in determining eligibility for reinstatement for the fall following suspension.

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Immediate Reinstatement after Suspension

Students who are suspended and subsequently reinstated following a successful appeal or a successful summer term may be retained in their major for advising.

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Readmission after Serving Suspension

Suspended students who wish to be readmitted into the University after their required suspension period must contact Undergraduate Admissions. Students, at the discretion of their College/School, may remain in their major at the time they leave WVU or change majors upon return. All reinstated students whose GPAs are below the suspension cutoff are given a contract that describes the conditions that must be met to avoid suspension in future terms.

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