Academic Regulations and Policies


Adding and Dropping Courses

A student may add a course before the end of the second week of instruction of a quarter, and with the approval of the instructor and department, add a course to the study list before the end of the final week of instruction.

A student may drop a course before the end of the ninth week of instruction via TritonLink, after first notifying the instructor and/or department.

A student who wishes to drop all courses is required to file an undergraduate request for withdrawal form with the college academic advising or dean’s office. https://students.ucsd.edu/academics/enroll/withdrawal/withdrawal-undergraduates.html

When an instructor has assigned a grade in a course in accordance with the Academic Senate policy on integrity of scholarship prior to the end of the ninth week of instruction, that grade may not subsequently be changed by dropping the course or withdrawing from the university. If an instructor has filed a charge with the academic integrity coordinator, the student may not drop the course.

Auditing of Courses

Interested individuals, including registered students, are permitted to audit courses only with the explicit and continuing consent of—and under such rules as may be established by—the faculty member in charge of the course. The instructor is not obligated to devote time to the work of individuals not officially enrolled in the course. All persons auditing are required to abide by university policies and campus regulations.

Credit by Examination

Credit by examination may be authorized and given by the instructor for a course with the concurrence of the student’s provost (or dean). The examination will cover work for the entire course.

The student requesting credit by examination must not have already received a grade or a W in the course.

The student requesting credit by examination must be registered and in good academic standing.

A part-time student who, by registering to take a course credit by examination, surpasses the number of units allowed for part-time status, must register and pay fees as a full-time student.

If credit by examination is authorized, the student will receive a grade of A+, A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D, or F unless the student’s petition for examination specifies the grade to be Pass or Not Pass. The student’s record will indicate that the course was attempted through credit by examination.

Examinations

Finals

Policy on Final Examinations

In laboratory courses, the department concerned may, at its option, require a final examination subject to prior announcement in the Schedule of Classes.

Midterms

Retention of Examination Papers

Instructors are required to retain examination papers for at least one full quarter following the final examination period, unless the papers have been returned to the students.

Grading

Grades in undergraduate courses are defined as follows: A, excellent; B, good; C, fair; D, poor; F, fail; I, incomplete (work of passing quality but incomplete for good cause); and IP (In Progress). The designations P (Pass) and NP (Not Pass) are used in reporting grades for some undergraduate courses. P denotes a letter grade of C– or better. A blank grade indicates no record or no report of grade was received from the instructor. W is recorded on the transcript indicating the student withdrew or dropped the course sometime after the beginning of the fifth week of a quarter.

Note: Students who drop certain laboratory courses after the second scheduled meeting period will receive a W grade.

Instructors have the option of assigning plus (+) and minus (–) suffixes to the grades A, B, and C. This option became available as of fall 1983.

Grade Appeals

If a student believes that nonacademic criteria have been used in determining his or her grade in a course, he or she may follow the following procedures. Nonacademic criteria are criteria not directly reflective of academic performance in the course. This includes discrimination on political grounds or for reasons of race, religion, sex, or ethnic origin. Appeals to the Educational Policy Committee shall be considered confidential. Neither any member of the committee nor the Academic Senate Office shall release any information about the appeal except as specifically provided in the Grade Appeals Regulation.

The student must attempt to resolve the grievance with the instructor within the first month of the following regular academic quarter. If the grievance is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may then attempt to resolve the grievance through written appeal to the department chair or equivalent, who shall attempt to adjudicate the case with the instructor and the student within two weeks. If the grievance still is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may then attempt to resolve the grievance through written appeal to the provost of the college, the dean of Graduate Studies, the dean of the School of Medicine, or the dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who shall attempt to adjudicate the case with the instructor, the chair, and the student within two weeks. If the grievance is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction by the provost or dean, the student may request consideration of the appeal by the Educational Policy Committee (hereinafter called the Committee) according to the procedures outlined below. This request must be submitted before the last day of instruction of the quarter following the quarter in which the course was taken.

The student’s request for Committee consideration should include a written statement outlining the nature of the grievance, including copies of any and all documents in his or her possession supporting the grievance. The submission of the statement to the Committee places the case before it and restricts any change of the challenged grade to a change initiated by the Committee, unless the Committee determines that all other avenues of adjudication have not been exhausted.

Upon receipt of the student’s request, the Committee immediately forwards a copy of it to the instructor, the department chair or equivalent, and the provost or dean with a request for written reports of their attempts to resolve the complaint. The Committee, after having determined that all other avenues of adjudication have been exhausted, shall review the complaint and the reports to determine if there is substantial evidence that nonacademic criteria were used.

If the Committee finds substantial evidence that nonacademic criteria were used, it shall follow the following procedure:

The Committee shall interview any individual whose testimony might facilitate resolution of the case. The complainant shall make available to the Committee all of his or her work in the course that has been graded and is in his or her possession. The instructor shall make available to the Committee all records of student performance in the course and graded student work in the course that is still in his or her possession. At the conclusion of the case each document shall be returned to the source from which it was obtained.

The Committee shall complete its deliberations and arrive at a decision within two weeks of its determination that evidence of the use of nonacademic criteria had been submitted. A record of the Committee’s actions in the case shall be kept in the Academic Senate Office for three years.

If the allegations of the complainant are not upheld by a preponderance of the evidence, the Committee shall so notify the complainant and the instructor in writing. Within one week of such notification, the complainant and the instructor shall have the opportunity to respond to the findings and the decision of the Committee. If there are no responses, or if after considering such responses the Committee sustains its decision, it shall so notify the complainant and the instructor in writing and the grade shall not be changed.

If the Committee determines that nonacademic criteria were significant factors in establishing the grade, it shall give the student the option of either receiving a grade of P or S in the course or retroactively dropping the course without penalty. A grade of P or S awarded in this way shall be acceptable toward satisfaction of any degree requirement, even if a minimum letter grade in the course had been required, and shall not be counted in the number of courses a student may take on a P/NP basis. If the student elects to receive a grade of P or S, the student may also elect to have a notation entered on his or her transcript indicating that the grade was awarded by the divisional grade appeals committee.

The Committee shall serve written notification of its finding and its decision to the complainant and the instructor. The complainant and the instructor may respond in writing to the findings and the decision of the Committee within one week of such notification.

If there are no responses, or if after considering such responses the Committee sustains its decision, the grade shall be changed; the Committee shall then instruct the registrar to change the grade to P or S or, if the student elected the drop option, to retroactively drop the course from the student’s record. Copies of the Committee’s instruction shall be sent to the complainant and the instructor.

If the Committee decides the allegations are without substance, it shall serve written notification of its findings to the complainant and to the instructor within two weeks. Within ten days the complainant or the instructor may respond to the findings. If there are no responses, or if after consideration of such responses the Committee sustains its decision, the grade shall not be changed.

These procedures are designed solely to determine whether nonacademic criteria have been used in assigning a grade, and if so to effect a change of that grade.

No punitive actions may be taken against the instructor solely on the basis of these procedures. Neither the filing of charges nor the final disposition of the case shall, under any circumstances, become a part of the personnel file of the instructor. The use of nonacademic criteria in assigning a grade is a violation of the Faculty Code of Conduct. Sanctions against an instructor for violation of the Faculty Code may be sought by filing a complaint in accordance with San Diego Division By-law 230(D). A complaint may be filed by the student or by others.

No punitive actions may be taken against the complainant solely on the basis of these procedures. Neither the filing of charges nor the final disposition of the case shall, under any circumstances, become a part of the complainant’s file. The instructor may, if he or she feels that his or her record has been impugned by false or unfounded charges, file charges against the complainant through the office of the vice chancellor for Student Affairs, the dean of Graduate Studies, the associate dean for Student Affairs of the School of Medicine, or the dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Blank on Student Transcript

A blank appearing on student transcripts in lieu of a grade indicates that no grade was assigned by the instructor.

If a student’s name appears on the end of quarter course list for a course, but no grade is reported, the registrar will leave a blank for that course on the student’s transcript.

A blank will lapse automatically into a failing grade if not replaced by a final grade by the last day of instruction of the subsequent quarter.

Changes in Grades

All grades except I and IP are final when filed by instructors. However, a final grade may be corrected when a clerical or procedural error is discovered. No change of a final grade may be made on the basis of revision or augmentation of a student’s work in the course. No term grade except Incomplete may be revised by further examination. No grade may be changed after one calendar year from the time it was recorded.

Grades and Grade Points

The work of students will be reported in terms of the following grades: A (excellent), B (good), C (fair), D (poor), F (fail), I (incomplete), IP (in progress), P (pass), NP (not pass), S (satisfactory), U (unsatisfactory). The grades A, B, and C may be modified by plus (+) and minus (‑) suffixes.

At the end of each quarter, the instructor of each course will assign a letter grade to each student who was enrolled in that course at the end of the ninth week of instruction on the basis of the work required for the entire course. According to Academic Senate regulations an I grade may be assigned, when appropriate.

For each student, the registrar will calculate a grade point average (GPA) over courses taken at any campus of the University of California, not including UC San Diego Extension courses. Grade points per unit will be assigned as follows: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0. When attached to the grades of B and C, plus (+) grades carry three-tenths of a grade point more per unit. The grade of A+, when awarded, represents extraordinary achievement but does not receive grade point credit beyond that received for the grade of A. When attached to the grades of A, B and C, minus (–) grades carry three-tenths of a grade point less per unit than the unsuffixed grades. Courses in which an I, IP, P, NP, S, U, or W grade has been awarded will be disregarded in grade point calculations. A graduate student’s GPA will be calculated over courses taken while in graduate standing.

Grade

Grade

Points

A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A– 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B– 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C– 1.7
D 1.0
F  0

The grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total unit value of letter-graded courses completed.

Incomplete (I) Grade

Intended Use of the Incomplete

The Incomplete is intended for use when circumstances beyond a student’s control prohibit taking the final exam or completing course work. An Incomplete may not be used simply to allow a bit more time for an undergraduate student who has fallen behind for no good reason. An Incomplete may be granted only to students who have a legitimate excuse. Examples of unacceptable reasons for approving an Incomplete include the need to rewrite a paper; the demands of a time-consuming job; the desire to leave town for a vacation, family gathering, or athletic contest; the desire to do well on GRE tests; and the like.

The Incomplete is not intended as a mechanism for allowing a student to retake a course. A student who has fallen substantially behind and needs to repeat a course can drop the course prior to the end of the ninth week of classes. Otherwise, the instructor should assign the appropriate final grade (D, F, NP, or U, for example).

Undergraduate and graduate students whose work is of nonfailing quality but incomplete for good cause, such as illness, may file a Request to Receive Grade “Incomplete” with the instructor. Students should complete their portion of the request form, including the reason they are requesting the Incomplete, and provide appropriate documentation to support their request (e.g., doctor’s note).

The instructor has the option to approve or disapprove the request and should state clearly how and when the I is to be completed. If approved, the instructor assigns the I grade to the student.

Academic Senate regulations state that the Incomplete grade (I) for undergraduates shall be disregarded in determining a student’s grade point average, except at point of graduation, when students must have an overall 2.0 (C) on all work attempted at the University of California. All work required for a degree must be completed by the end of the quarter the student filed for graduation. Notice to graduating seniors: requesting an “Incomplete” in a student’s final quarter, or extending an “Incomplete” past the quarter requested for graduation will delay a student’s graduation date. Students must also submit a new degree and diploma application form for the new quarter of graduation.

Failure to complete this work by the last day of instruction in the following quarter or an earlier deadline set by the instructor will result in the Incomplete lapsing to a permanent failing grade, depending upon the student’s initial grading option.

A student who has received an I grade should not re-enroll in the course to make up the missing work. If the student were to re-enroll, the course would be considered a repeat and would not remove the prior quarter’s Incomplete, which would lapse to a permanent F, NP, or U grade.

Extension of Incomplete

For justifiable reasons, such as illness, students can petition to extend the Incomplete past one quarter. Petitions to extend the Incomplete must be submitted to the Academic Senate and must have the prior approval of the instructor, the department chair, and the college provost (for undergraduate students) or the dean of OGS (for graduate students). Requests for extensions must be submitted before the Incomplete grade lapses to a failing grade. The extension cannot be made retroactively.

In Progress (IP) Grade

For exceptional and compelling reasons, a course extending over more than one quarter may be authorized with the prior approval of the Undergraduate Council (for undergraduate courses) or the Graduate Council (for graduate courses). In such courses an evaluation of a student’s performance may not be possible until the end of the final term. In such cases the instructor may assign the provisional grade IP (In Progress).

IP grades shall be replaced by final grades if the student completes the full sequence. The instructor may assign final grades, grade points, and unit credit for completed terms when the student has not completed the entire sequence provided that the instructor has a basis for assigning the grades and certifies that the course was not completed for good cause. An IP not replaced by a final grade will remain on the student’s record.

In calculating a student’s grade point average, grade points and units for courses graded IP shall not be counted. However, at graduation, courses still on the record as graded IP must be treated as courses attempted in computation of the student’s grade point average in assessing a student’s satisfaction of the Minimum Standards for Graduation.

Pass/Not Pass Grade

The Pass/Not Pass option is designed to encourage undergraduate students to venture into courses that they might otherwise hesitate to take because they are uncertain about their aptitude or preparation. Consistent with college policy, an undergraduate student in good standing may elect to be graded on a P/NP basis in a course. No more than one-fourth of an undergraduate student’s total UC San Diego course units may be graded on a P/NP basis. Departments may require that courses applied toward the major be taken on a letter-grade basis. Selection of this option must take place within the first four weeks of the course. A grade of Pass shall be awarded only for work that otherwise would receive a grade of C– or better. Units passed shall be counted in satisfaction of degree requirements, but such courses shall be disregarded in determining a student’s grade point average.

If students wish to change their selected grading option after enrolling, they may use WebReg in TritonLink, or complete an add/change/drop card and file it at the Office of the Registrar. The last day to change grading options is the end of the fourth week of instruction.

 Only a grade of P or NP is to be assigned for courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 195, 197, 198, and 199. Subject to the approval of the Undergraduate Council, departments may impose additional limitations or restrictions.

Only a grade of P or NP is to be assigned an undergraduate student’s work in a noncredit (zero-unit) course.

Note: See “Undergraduate Colleges” section for further information regarding the P/NP grading option.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Grade

The minimum standard of performance for a grade of Satisfactory shall be the same as the minimum for a grade of B–. With the approval of the Graduate Council, departments may offer graduate courses in which graduate students may elect to be evaluated on an S/U basis and courses in which S/U grading shall be the only grading option. Grading options for a given course are identified in course listings in the UC San Diego General Catalog. In addition, and with the approval of the department and the instructor concerned, graduate students may elect to have the following courses graded on an S/U basis: any upper-division or lower-division course taken (provided they have obtained approval of the instructor and the department), and any graduate or upper-division course outside their major department. If departmental requirements have been fulfilled for advancement to candidacy for the doctoral degree, graduate students may take any course on an S/U basis. Selection of S/U as a grading option must be made in the first two weeks of a quarter. Units graded Satisfactory shall be counted in satisfaction of degree requirements but shall be disregarded in determining a student’s grade point average. No credit shall be allowed for work marked Unsatisfactory.

W Grade

When a student withdraws from the university or drops a course, other than a laboratory course, between the beginning of the fifth week of instruction and the end of the ninth week of instruction of a quarter, the registrar will assign a W to the student for each course affected. Only the registrar may assign a W.

Note: Students who drop certain laboratory courses after the second scheduled meeting period will receive a W grade.

Courses in which a W has been entered on the student’s transcript will be disregarded in determining a student’s grade point average.

Except as provided in Academic Senate regulations regarding withdrawal, a student may receive a maximum of one W per course.

Instructional Apprentice, Undergraduate

An undergraduate instructional apprentice is an undergraduate student who serves as an assistant in an undergraduate course under the supervision of a faculty member. The purpose of the apprenticeship is to learn the methodology of teaching through actual practice in a regularly scheduled course.

Procedure

All departments and programs using undergraduate instructional apprentices shall submit to the Undergraduate Council a description of the role of the undergraduate instructional apprentice, as part of the petition for approval. Any deviation from the guidelines above must be explained and justified in a memo accompanying the petition. Any major change in the function or duty of the apprentice in a course should also be approved by Undergraduate Council. All UGIA applications must be received by the Undergraduate Council prior to the start of the quarter in which the student is to apprentice.

Integrity of Scholarship, UC San Diego Policy

Part-Time Study

Procedures

Students must apply for part-time status on the part-time study electronic form available on TritonLink prior to the end of the second week of the quarter. Approval for part-time study is granted for one academic year only–fall through spring quarters, winter through spring quarters, or spring quarter only. Students must reapply for approval each fall quarter and substantiate reasons for the request. Approval for part-time study will automatically exempt students from the thirty-six unit per year minimum progress requirement. Students who are receiving financial assistance should contact their college financial aid office regarding eligibility requirements.

Reduced Fees

For information regarding a reduction of fees for students who have been approved for part-time study, see “Introduction to Enrollment and Registration.”

Writing Requirement

A student may register in an upper-division course only if the student has satisfactorily completed the writing requirement of his or her college or has obtained the consent of the instructor of the upper-division course. The requirement is waived for a student who has been admitted as a transfer student and has not completed three quarters of residence at UC San Diego.

Progress toward Degree

Probation                                              

An undergraduate student is subject to academic probation if at the end of any term his or her GPA for that term or his or her cumulative GPA is less than 2.0.

Disqualification from Registration

An undergraduate student is subject to academic disqualification from further registration if at the end of any term, his or her GPA for that term is less than 1.5, or if he or she has completed two successive terms on academic probation without achieving a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Continued registration of an undergraduate who is subject to disqualification is at the discretion of the faculty of the student’s college or its authorized agent (generally the provost/Office of the Provost).

If a student is not currently in scholastic good standing or has been denied registration for the next ensuing quarter on the date on which he or she left the university, a statement of his or her status shall accompany his or her transcript. A student who has been disqualified from further registration at the University of California may not register for UC San Diego courses through summer session, through UC San Diego Extended Studies and Public Programs by way of the concurrent enrollment mechanism, or in UC San Diego Extension courses offered at the 100 level. Students receiving financial assistance should refer to information in the Financial Aid Office website. Unique scholarship eligibility requirements must be met.

Minimum Progress

A full-time undergraduate student is subject to disqualification from further full-time registration if he or she does not complete thirty-six units in any three consecutive quarters of enrollment. Continued registration of an undergraduate who is subject to disqualification due to lack of minimum progress is at the discretion of the faculty of the student’s college or its authorized agent (generally the provost/Office of the Provost).

Eligible students may file for an exemption from the minimum progress requirement by completing the part-time study application and receiving college approval prior to the end of the second week of the quarter. (See “Part-Time Study.”)

Religious Accommodation

It is the policy of the university to make reasonable efforts to accommodate students having bona fide religious conflicts with scheduled examinations by providing alternative times or methods to take such examinations. If a student anticipates that a scheduled examination will occur at a time at which his or her religious beliefs prohibit participation in the examination, the student must submit to the instructor a statement describing the nature of the religious conflict and specifying the days and times of conflict.

If a conflict with the student’s religious beliefs does exist, the instructor will attempt to provide an alternative, equitable examination that does not create undue hardship for the instructor or for the other students in the class.

Repetition of Courses

Repetition for credit of courses not so authorized by the Undergraduate Council (for undergraduate courses) or the Graduate Council (for graduate courses) is allowed subject to the following limitations:

Note: Although the University of California grade point average will not include these repeated courses, other institutions/graduate programs, and agencies may recalculate the grade point average to reflect all assigned grades.

Special Studies Courses

Subject to the limitations below, a student may earn credit for supervised special studies courses on topics of his or her own selection. An undergraduate taking one or more special studies courses must complete an application for each such course before the start of the course.

Course Number

Ordinarily, special studies courses are numbered 97, 98, or 99 for lower division and 197, 198, or 199 for upper division. The 97 and 197 courses are for individually arranged field studies. The 98 and 198 courses are for directed group study. The 99 and 199 courses are for individual independent study.

Limitations

  1. Enrollment requires the prior consent of the instructor who is to supervise the study and the approval of the department chair. The applicant shall show that his or her background is adequate for the proposed study.
  2. A student must have completed at least thirty units of undergraduate study at UC San Diego and must have attained a UC San Diego grade point average of at least 3.0 to enroll in a lower-division special studies course, and at least ninety units of undergraduate study and must have attained a grade point average of at least 2.5 to enroll in an upper-division special studies course.
  3. A student may enroll for no more than a total of four units of 98, 99, 198, and 199 special studies courses in one term.
  4. Except as may otherwise be authorized by the Undergraduate Council (e.g., for honors programs), only a grade of P or NP is to be assigned for undergraduates enrolled in any special studies course.
  5. Subject to the approval of the Undergraduate Council, a department may impose additional limitations on its supervised special studies courses.

Exceptions

On the advice of the instructor(s) and the department chair concerned, the provost of a student’s college may authorize exceptions to the limitations 2 and 3 listed above.

Procedures

Students must complete an application for UC San Diego special studies course enrollment, available in department offices and via TritonLink, and secure instructor and department chair approval. Students must submit an approved form to the Office of the Registrar within the specified quarterly timeline in order to enroll in a special studies course.

Student Petition

For exceptional circumstances, students may request approval for variances to regulations and policies. This should be done by filling out an undergraduate student petition (available on TritonLink), securing the necessary approvals, and filing the petition with the appropriate departmnt or college academic advising office.