Academic Regulations

All academic regulations governing undergraduates are administered by the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Academic regulations are subject to change by action of the Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education and the various committees responsible for the oversight of curriculum and academic standing. For the latest information consult the Handbook for Undergraduate Students.

When circumstances so warrant, a student may submit to the Office of Undergraduate Studies a petition requesting an exception a specific regulation.


See the Student Affairs section of this bulletin for more information about the academic integrity policy.


A student who has completed all graduation requirements in fewer than four years has the choice of graduating early or deferring graduation in order to graduate with his or her class. A student who completes all graduation requirements in four years or more must graduate at that time.
In addition, the student must file an on-line application for the degree through the Student Information System by October 15 for January graduation, by January 15 for May graduation, and by June 15 for August graduation; and the student must have discharged all financial obligations to Case Western Reserve University.


Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Each instructor is free to determine the extent to which absences affect the final grades of students but should make the policy regarding attendance known at the start of the course. Instructors should report excessive absences to the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Instructors who judge a student’s absences from class to be excessive may drop the student from the course with a grade of F. Instructors taking such action must notify the student’s dean in writing.
Students unable to attend classes because of illness should notify their instructors and make the appropriate arrangements directly with the instructor. The University Health Service and the Office of Undergraduate Studies do not provide medical excuses for class absence. Information concerning the policy of the Health Service and the Office of Undergraduate Studies is available in those offices.


A student may audit a course with the dean’s or advisor’s approval and the consent of the instructor of the course. An auditor receives no credit for the course. Registration in a course cannot be changed from audit to credit or the reverse after the end of the drop/add period. However, a student may take for credit a course he or she audited in an earlier semester. At the beginning of the course, the student and instructor should reach agreement regarding the requirements to be met for a grade of AD. The grade of AD is entered on the student’s transcript if approved by the instructor of the course. If the instructor does not approve the grade AD, the enrollment is not posted on the transcript.


Changes in course schedules must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office using the Student Information System or a drop/add form before the end of the second week of classes during the fall and spring semesters and on or before the second day of classes during the summer session.


In order to be classified as a full-time student, a student must enroll for a minimum of 12 semester hours. The normal full-time load is 12-19 semester hours. Continuing students may carry 20-21 hours if they have a cumulative average of 3.200 or better. To register for 22 or 23 hours, a minimum average of 3.500 is required. Any schedule of more than 19 hours requires a dean’s approval. Graduating seniors may be approved for overloads if they need such a schedule in order to graduate at the end of the semester in question.


No credit will be allowed to count towards degree requirements for foreign language or mathematics courses which duplicate work taken earlier in high school or in another institution. First year undergraduates who have questions regarding their eligibility to receive credit for foreign language or mathematics courses should see the assistant dean for first year students in the Office of Undergraduate Studies.


Students have the opportunity to retake a course in which they have received an evaluative grade (A, B, C, D, or F) in order to improve their performance. When a course is repeated, the first grade will remain visible on the transcript, but will be removed from the calculation of the cumulative grade point average and the grade point average for the semester in which the course was first taken. The new grade will then be used for calculation of the cumulative grade point average and the grade point average for the semester in which it was earned, regardless of whether the new grade is higher or lower than the first grade. The student’s transcript will show the comment “GRADE NOT COUNTED. COURSE REPEATED” directly below the original grade. However, if the first attempt of the course resulted in a passing grade, but the second attempt results in a failing grade, then the original grade will remain, both grades will be included in the grade point average calculation, and the student will continue to earn credit for the first attempt. Similarly, if a student withdraws from a course that is being repeated, the original grade will stand. Course repetition may be exercised according to the following conditions:

  1. A student may not use the Pass/No Pass Option on a course that is being repeated.
  2. An academic action that occurred under the earlier grade is neither reversed nor removed from the record as a result of a change in the semester or cumulative averages that results from the repetition of one or more courses.
  3. All grades earned at Case Western Reserve University, including those grades removed as a result of the application of the course repeat policy, will be applied to the Scholarship GPA that is reviewed in order to determine Case Western Reserve University merit-based scholarship retention.
  4. The course repeat option may not be exercised after a degree has been awarded.
    CAUTION: Students who are the recipients of any form of federal financial aid (grants, loans, work study, etc.) and repeat a course that previously earned a passing grade must enroll for a minimum of 12 credits for which credit had not been earned previously.


Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Examinations

Students may earn degree credit on the basis of advanced examinations taken while in secondary school. Examinations eligible for credit and/or advanced placement include, but are not limited to College Board Advanced Placement Examinations and International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations. Determination of the criteria for granting credit and/or placement is made by the appropriate department. In assigning credit or granting advanced placement for credentials from outside the United States, the university is guided by the placement recommendations and grade equivalencies approved by the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials.

Proficiency Examinations

Departments within each academic unit offering undergraduate programs may choose to offer students the opportunity to earn course credit in specific courses by proficiency examination. To qualify for proficiency examination credit for a course, the student’s examination performance must demonstrate knowledge and skills at a level no lower than that of an average student who successfully completes the course. Upon notification from the academic department, the Office of Undergraduate Studies will direct the Office of the Registrar to post credit for the course on the transcript. The grade will be recorded as PR, and will not be included in a student’s grade point average.

NOTE: Any student who receives proficiency credit for a course through a proficiency examination administered during a semester when the student is not registered for a full-time schedule (12 or more semester hours) at Case Western Reserve University is charged a fee equal to one-third of the present tuition charge for the course. No fee is charged if the student does not receive credit from the examination.


Final examinations normally are required in all courses and must be given during the final examination period at the time assigned by the Registrar; they may not be given during the final week of classes or on Reading Days. Any exception must be approved by the dean of undergraduate studies.

No student will be required to take more than two final examinations on a single day. A student who has three final examinations scheduled for a single day should go to the Office of Undergraduate Studies and obtain the assistance of the dean in arranging to take one of those examinations on an alternative day during the final examination period. Similarly, a student with conflicting examinations should seek the assistance of the dean of undergraduate studies in arranging to have the time of one examination changed.

A student must explain immediately and in writing to the dean of undergraduate studies an absence from a final examination. If the explanation is acceptable, the dean will authorize the assignment of the grade Incomplete and the administration of a make-up examination by the instructor. In the event of an unexcused absence from a final examination, the instructor should assign the student a final grade that assumes a grade of zero on the final examination and is consistent with the grading policy established for the course.

Grading System
See section on Registration.

Assignment of the Incomplete Grade

The Incomplete grade (I) is assigned by and at the discretion of the instructor when: a) there are extenuating circumstances, explained to the instructor before the assignment of the grade, which clearly justify an extension of time beyond the requirements established for and met by other students in the class, and b) the student has been passing the course and only a small segment of the course, such as a term paper, remains to be completed. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of the circumstances preventing completion of all assigned work. In the absence of notification or adequate justification the instructor has the authority to assign the student a final grade that assumes a failing grade for the missing work. An Incomplete grade should not be assigned when: a) a student has been absent for much of the semester and/or has done little of the work required for a course, or b) because a student is absent from a final examination, unless the dean of undergraduate studies has authorized the grade.

Changing the Incomplete Grade

The instructor shall submit to the Office of Undergraduate Studies for transmission to the Registrar a final evaluative grade to replace the Incomplete upon completion of the work outstanding by a date established for the student by the instructor. When a student fails to submit the work required for removing the Incomplete by the date established, the instructor shall submit to the Office of Undergraduate Studies for transmission to the Registrar a final grade that assumes a failing performance for the missing work. In the absence of the assignment of a grade by the instructor the Registrar will convert the I to F when the deadline for making up Incomplete grades from a previous semester has passed.

The amount of additional time allowed a student to make up incomplete work should serve to accommodate the student while being fair to other students in the course. It should be proportional to the duration of a student’s illness or absence and might be no more than a few days or weeks. At the extreme, it should not extend past the eleventh week of the session following the one in which the Incomplete grade was received. In certain cases (such as students on probation) the dean may establish a date for completion of courses with Incomplete grades.


Courses elected on a Pass/No Pass basis and completed with a grade of D or higher will be entered with the grade P on the student’s transcript. Courses taken Pass/No Pass for which a grade of F is earned will have NP entered on the transcript. Courses completed with a letter grade P under this option will be counted for credit toward the baccalaureate. Courses completed with the grades P and NP are not included in computing the grade point average. The Pass/No Pass option is subject to the following regulations:

  1. Students may submit an on-line Pass/No Pass Option form at any time in the fall or spring semester after the end of the drop/add period and before 5:00 p.m. on the last day of classes. Once the Pass/No Pass Option form is submitted, it may not be retracted or changed.
  2. The Pass/No Pass Option is available only during regular fall and spring semesters to students who are in good academic standing and who are currently enrolled in 12 or more hours.
  3. The Pass/No Pass Option can be exercised for only one course during any semester.
  4. The Pass/No Pass Option cannot be used for courses being taken for satisfaction of Engineering Core or General Education Requirements.
  5. The Pass/No Pass Option cannot be used for courses taken for the satisfaction of requirements of a major or minor concentration.
  6. The Pass/No Pass Option cannot be used for courses that are being repeated.
  7. Courses which are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis (e.g. PHED 055A) do not preclude the student’s use of the Pass/No Pass Option in another course taken that same term.
  8. Instructors are not notified of a student’s use of this option. They are required to submit evaluative grades for all students and these are converted to Pass/No Pass in the Registrar’s Office. The meaning of the P and NP will be noted on the transcript.
  9. Once a course is completed under the Pass/No Pass Option, the student CANNOT reverse the Pass/No Pass grade in order to reveal and have posted the actual letter grade earned, or use the course for a purpose for which the use of a Pass/No Pass is prohibited.

NOTE: Students majoring in any Weatherhead School of Management major may not use the P/NP option for any Weatherhead School of Management courses, either required or elective. (ACCT, BAFI, BLAW, ENTP, LHRP, MGMT, MIDS, MKMR, OPMT, ORBH, OPRE, PLCY).


Students may request exceptions to university rules and curricular requirements by petition to the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Please be reminded that a lack of knowledge of regulations that are published in the University General Bulletin, the Schedule of Courses, or the Handbook for Undergraduate Students is not justification for an exception. Petition forms are available in the Office of Undergraduate Studies, 357 Sears Bldg. Petitions are referred to the the appropriate committee of the Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education.

Proficiency Examinations

See Credit by Examination, above.


The standards for promotion are:

Reading Days

Prior to and/or during the final examination period two weekdays are set aside as Reading Days to be used by students for completing assignments and preparing for final examinations. In the fall semester there will be one reading day on Monday of the first exam week and one reading day on Friday of the first exam week. In the spring semester, the two days prior to the beginning of the final exam period are set aside as reading days. These days are not to be used by faculty for scheduling examinations or other course activities that require the attendance of students. They can be used by faculty to schedule review sessions for which attendance is optional.

Readmission After Separation

See section on Academic Standing


Students who have voluntarily withdrawn from the university and have not taken courses elsewhere following their withdrawal may re-enroll in any semester. Students who have taken courses elsewhere following withdrawal must provide official transcripts of their work with their request for re-enrollment. Upon re-enrollment following a voluntary withdrawal, students retain the hours earned and quality points for courses completed prior to withdrawal. In the first semester of re-enrollment, their academic status is the status in effect at the time of withdrawal, unless that status is changed by action of the Committee on Academic Standing.


Students may receive credit by transfer from another accredited college, university, or technological institute in the United States or from institutions of higher education outside the United States.

At the time of admission to Case Western Reserve University and upon presentation of an official transcript from each institution previously attended, credit will be awarded for courses equivalent or comparable to those offered by the university and completed with a grade of C or better. Any such courses taken prior to the student’s graduation from high school must be listed in the college’s catalog among courses offered for degree credit to the college’s undergraduates, taken in the company of matriculated college students, and organized and taught by college faculty. In addition, to be considered for transfer credit, such courses must not have been used to fulfill high school graduation requirements. The allocation of transfer credit is determined by the Office of Undergraduate Studies in consultation with the appropriate department.

After matriculation in the university, undergraduates are permitted to earn a maximum of 15 semester hours as transient students at other accredited institutions during the summer. Advance approval from the Office of Undergraduate Studies is required. Credit earned elsewhere after matriculation is not applied toward the 60 hour minimum required in residence.

Credit is not awarded for work done at an unaccredited institution in the United States except by proficiency examination in those departments of Case Western Reserve University offering that opportunity. The award of transfer credit for work done at institutions outside the United States is subject to departmental evaluation and to the recommendations of the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Credentials.

A student dismissed for poor scholarship from any institution cannot receive credit for courses taken in the first two sessions after that dismissal without permission of the dean of undergraduate studies.

Grades for courses taken at other institutions will not be entered on the student’s record nor will they be computed in the student’s grade point average.

Withdrawal from a Course

The First Undergraduate Year:

For the first two semesters of enrollment and after consultation with a dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies, matriculated students who are beginning their college studies may withdraw from a course at any time during the semester, but no later than the last day of classes. Any course for which a grade of W is assigned will not be posted on the official transcript. This policy is not available for transfer students and does not apply to the summer session.

After the First Undergraduate Year:

After consultation with a dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies, a student may withdraw from a course no later than the end of the 11th week of the semester and receive a grade of W. In extenuating circumstances, the dean may permit a student to withdraw from a course after the final date and receive a W. The grade of W will be posted on the student’s transcript.

For all course withdrawals:

Notice of a withdrawal from a course must be transmitted by the student to the Registrar on the appropriate form, signed by the student’s advisor and dean. Failure to attend class, or providing notice only to the instructor, does not constitute an official withdrawal from a course. Such an unofficial withdrawal normally will result in the student’s being assigned the grade of F. A student who withdraws from the university (see below) or is dismissed during a semester will receive the grade of WD for each course for which he or she is registered at the time of withdrawal.

Withdrawal from the University

To withdraw from the university during a semester or session, a student must complete an official withdrawal form in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. If unable to complete the withdrawal in person, the student must send written notification to the Office of Undergraduate Studies. If the withdrawal is necessary for reasons of health, a statement from the student’s physician to the University Health Service may be required as a condition of readmission. Grades of WD will be assigned in all courses in which a student is registered at the time of withdrawal, provided that a student follows the procedures stated above. Failure to attend classes or notification of instructors only, does not constitute withdrawal from the university.

A student who ceases to attend or otherwise participate in courses without officially withdrawing will be assigned the grade F for each course in which he or she is enrolled.

Students who do not plan to return for the following semester must notify the Office of Undergraduate Studies, 357 Sears Bldg., 216-368-2928, e-mail:, in person or in writing.

Academic Standing Regulations

Good Standing

The First Year: In order to maintain good standing a first year undergraduate must earn at Case Western Reserve a minimum of 9 hours and an average of 1.700 or higher in the first semester and a total of 21 hours with a cumulative average of 1.750 or higher by the end of the second semester of full-time enrollment.

Thereafter: Following the first year, the requirements for good standing for full-time students* are:

  1. a semester grade point average of 2.000 or higher and
  2. a cumulative grade point average of 2.000 or higher and
  3. a minimum of nine credit hours earned each semester and
  4. an average of 12 credit hours earned each semester during two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment

*For the purposes of academic standing, a student is full-time if he/she was enrolled for 12 or more hours at the end of the semester drop/add period. Semester and cumulative credit hour expectations for good standing will be adjusted and prorated for a matriculated student who enrolls as a part-time student. For example, a half-time student must have completed successfully one-half of the minimum number of required semester hours.
Students with incomplete grades may be placed on “probation (incomplete)” as described below.


Students who, at the end of any semester, fail to maintain the standard of performance required for good standing as specified above will be placed on probation. Students placed on probation are ineligible to represent the university in intercollegiate activities and may not hold an elective or appointed office or chair a committee in any campus organization. There are two categories of probation:

  1. Academic Probation: Students will be placed on academic probation for failure to achieve the standards of performance specified above. When placed on academic probation students will be required to meet a standard of improvement established for individual students by the colleges. They are normally eligible for a maximum of two consecutive semesters of probation for the purpose of restoring themselves to good standing. However, the second semester of probation will be granted only in those cases where during a first semester of probation progress has been made toward achieving good standing.
  2. Probation (incomplete): A student will be placed on Probation (Incomplete) if he/she has incomplete grades which if converted to F’s would result in the student’s being placed on academic probation. Once the incompletes are converted to grades, the student shall be restored to good standing or placed on academic probation as determined by the semester and/or cumulative grade point average that results.


Students on academic probation who fail to meet the standard of improvement established by the colleges will be eligible to be separated from the colleges for at least two academic sessions, including the summer session.
A student is eligible for separation without a semester of probation for either of the following reasons:

  1. the student’s semester grade point average is less than 1.000
  2. the student has not earned at least 19 credit hours in two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment.

Ineligible to Register

Students will be declared “ineligible to register” when they have Incomplete grades which if averaged as F make them eligible for separation. Such students will be required to finish the incomplete courses with grades that justify their retention before they will be allowed to continue in the colleges.

Restoration To Good Standing

Students will be restored to Good Standing at the end of their semester of academic probation if they have earned a semester grade point average of 2.000 or higher and have attained the 2.000 cumulative grade point average and cumulative hours that are required for good standing (see above).


Students separated for reasons of scholarship may petition for readmission after two regular sessions have elapsed. In determining the period of separation, summer session is considered a regular session. Students readmitted after being separated for reasons of academic performance will retain earned credit only for those courses passed with a grade of C or better. Readmitted students do not retain quality points earned before separation, and the cumulative grade point average subsequent to readmission will be computed solely on the basis of work completed following readmission. Students readmitted after being separated must thereafter maintain good academic standing. A readmitted student who performs below the level required for good standing will be eligible for permanent separation from the university. Students separated for reasons of academic performance may not offer for transfer credit work taken elsewhere during the two sessions after their dismissal unless such work has been specifically approved in advance by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.