The credit hour or semester hour, terms used interchangeably, is the unit of instruction. One credit hour is constituted by a minimum of one hour of classroom or direct instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for a semester (or its equivalent). An equivalent amount of work (minimum three hours per week for a semester or its equivalent of combined direct instruction and out-of-class student work) must be represented for a credit hour in other academic activities such as laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work. A semester is defined as not less than 15 weeks. Courses offered in shorter timeframes must have an equivalent number of hours dedicated to instruction and student work as that spent in a semester-based class.
First-year student/freshman entering directly from high school — fewer than 30 credit hours
Sophomore — 30 to 59 credit hours
Junior — 60 to 89 credit hours
Senior — 90 credit hours and above
Regular class attendance is expected of all students, although the specific attendance policy in each course is determined by the instructor. Information on the attendance policy of each college and school is available in the deans’ offices or college/school Web site.
The minimum requirement for the degree is a cumulative GPA of 2.00 ("C") for all work attempted at Drake University.
Grade points are earned on the following basis: four grade points for each credit hour completed with a grade of "A"; three grade points for each credit hour completed with a "B"; two grade points for each credit hour completed with a "C"; one grade point for each credit hour completed with a "D"; and no grade points for a grade of "F" (Failure).
Transfer college work earns credit only and is not included in computing the Drake University cumulative GPA.
The GPA is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of credit hours attempted. Grades of "F" are computed in the GPA, but no credit toward graduation is earned. Only passing grades ("A", "B", "C", "D", "CR") are used to award graduation credit.
A student may repeat a course. Only the highest grade and credit hours are used in computing the student’s cumulative GPA. Lower grades removed from the computation by a student repeating a course appear on the permanent record marked by a designated symbol. Students cannot remove unsatisfactory grades received at Drake by repeating those courses at other institutions and transferring the credit to Drake.
Students should be aware that most law schools and many graduate schools re-compute a student’s GPA in such a way as to count all grades received and not just the highest grade earned for a course.
The mark “I” (Incomplete) indicates a student has not submitted all evidence required for a final grade. The student must make satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the work by the end of the next semester of enrollment (excluding enrollment in summer terms or the January term). The instructor writes out the conditions that must be met to remove the incomplete. As a component of these conditions, the instructor may demand an accelerated deadline (the midterm of the following semester) or may provide an extended deadline if special circumstances warrant (a semester abroad, student teaching, etc.). The instructor will indicate online the final grade for the course in the event the work is not completed. A copy of conditions that must be met to complete the course is also given to the student. Marks of incomplete are changed to a final grade either by the instructor (upon completion of the work) or by the Office of Student Records (upon attaining the specified due date). Marks of incomplete are not computed in the GPA.
The mark of “IP” (In Progress) may be given in certain courses where special conditions make the grade of Incomplete unrepresentative of the status of the students at the close of the semester. The grade of “IP” is appropriate only when the coursework could not be finished during the semester for the entire class (e.g., internships, practicums or courses that do not fit the standard academic calendar; fieldwork or research presentations that may take place after a semester has ended; theses or dissertations; or other special situations where coursework extends beyond one semester). A grade of "IP” must be changed to a final grade by the instructor by the end of the next semester (excluding the summer or January term). The instructor must indicate to the appropriate dean’s office in what courses students will be assigned an “IP.”
A student may not graduate/earn a degree from Drake University with an "I" (Incomplete) or an "IP" (In Progress) notation on his/her transcript.
The mark of “AU” (Audit) is recorded in place of a letter grade in courses when the instructor and dean have consented to such enrollment. Students who audit classes are not required to take part in discussions or complete examinations. If the attendance requirements are not completed to the satisfaction of the instructor, a permanent record of the enrollment is not retained. Courses taken for audit are charged the same fees as courses completed for academic credit.
Students intending to enroll in a course on an audit basis must indicate this intention at the time of registration. Students wishing to change from a credit to an audit basis during the semester must have the approval of the instructor, the adviser, and the dean, and must do so no later than the midpoint of the semester or, in the case of a short course, no later than the midpoint of that course.
After achieving sophomore standing, a student may elect to register for a maximum of 12 credit hours of work (of the total 124 credit hours required for the degree) on a credit/no credit basis. Neither the “credit” nor the “no credit” grades are included in the student’s cumulative GPA.
The student may elect to take any course in the University as credit/no credit which is open to students who meet the usual standards for admission to the course except a course that satisfies basic requirements, or a primary or related course applying to the major. Not more than seven credit hours may be taken in a semester on this basis. A student receives credit for a course in which the student earns the equivalent of the grade of "C" or better.
The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 before registering for a course on a credit/no credit basis. A senior with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average is eligible to take a maximum of two courses in a semester on a credit/no credit basis, provided the adviser has approved the arrangement.
Although the University requires that a student indicate at the time of registration that a specific course is being taken on a credit/no credit basis, some exceptions are made allowing students to change from credit/no credit grading to regular letter grading — or from regular letter grading to credit/no credit grading — until the midpoint of the semester, or, in the case of a short course, no later than one week following the midpoint of that course.
Students should be aware that most law schools and many graduate schools re-compute a student’s GPA in such a way as to count courses graded “no credit” as “F” grades.
Visiting students from other institutions may elect to register for undergraduate courses on a credit/no credit basis.
The President’s List and Dean's List are announced after each fall and spring semester of the academic year. The President’s List includes the names of all undergraduate students who have satisfied certain other requirements and earned a term GPA of 4.00. The Dean's List includes the names of undergraduate students with similar qualifications in each college or school who have achieved a term GPA of 3.50 and above.
The appeal for a change in grade is handled through the college or school in which the course in question is offered. The appeal process for students who question a final grade in a course is to discuss the matter with the instructor; then with the department chair, if the matter is unresolved; and, finally, with the dean of the college or school.
Policy: In this policy, the word “student” means an undergraduate student. The term “academic year” means any period of 12 consecutive months embracing two regular semesters, a summer term, and a January term. The “cumulative GPA” refers only to credits taken at Drake University. The provisions of Drake University’s probation and suspension policy are grounded in the philosophy that any student enrolled at the University should:
Procedures: Files of students subject to probation and suspension are reviewed immediately after final grades are recorded. Between the fall and spring semesters, when time is of the essence, assistant/associate deans may gather information before grades are processed by Student Records and begin a preliminary review.
Suspension decisions are made by the associate/assistant dean of each college and school. Before the final decision is made, input from various sources, including the student, adviser, professors and other relevant sources may be obtained. Students are suspended from the college/school and the University.
It is the college/school practice to mail suspension letters within 5 working days after grades are due from faculty. Suspended students are notified by certified mail, return receipt requested. A copy of the probation and suspension rules is attached to the letter or a reference to those rules is made in the letter.
End-of-term grade reports are not withheld from students because of financial indebtedness. However, “holds” are placed on the release of permanent records (transcripts). Transcripts will not be released by the Office of Student Records until satisfactory arrangements have been made by the student with the office that has placed the hold on the record. A student is promptly notified by the Office of Student Records if there is any reason why that office cannot comply with the request to release his/her transcript. The student should resolve this matter by contacting the appropriate office(s).
Any student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better in order to represent the University in intercollegiate or major leadership activities. Consequently, a student on academic probation may not represent the University in such activities. This includes but is not limited to intercollegiate athletics and mock trial competition, non-credit fine arts performances, elected student government positions, residence life positions and student ambassador or peer mentor positions.
Once a student is removed from academic probation, he/she may again represent the University in intercollegiate and major leadership activities. Student organizations within the University are encouraged to adopt a similar policy for persons in or aspiring to leadership positions in such organizations.
Any student who is on probation or is having academic difficulties that might lead to probation is encouraged to contact the associate or assistant dean of his/her college and/or the Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success, who will assist the student in obtaining additional academic support services.
Modifications of the required curricula may be made only on the recommendation of the student’s adviser and the dean of the college or school. Reasons for such modification include: (a) transferring from another college or university; (b) bypassing of basic courses by scoring satisfactorily on special examinations.
Credit is given only for courses in which the student has been regularly enrolled or for courses in which the student has scored satisfactorily on special examinations. A student who receives a satisfactory score on a special examination receives credit for the course but does not receive a letter grade.
A student may add a course through the end of the first five class days of each semester or, in the case of a short course beginning later in the semester, may add the course before the second class-meeting of the course.
The time during which a student may drop from a class with no mark of ‘W’ recorded and a full tuition refund (if appropriate) is as follows:
Intent to drop must be filed using the procedures specified for the type of course and term in which it is offered:
Attendance records will be used to verify attendance dates.
A student may drop a course up to five class days (Monday - Friday) after the midpoint of the semester (or the midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester). For drops that occur during that period, the administrative mark of "W" officially is recorded. A student may drop a course after that point only if the instructor or dean's office finds extenuating circumstances that would make the withdrawal appropriate, in which case the administrative mark of "W" officially is recorded. In cases where extenuating circumstances were not identified, the instructor of the course will be responsible for assigning the grade earned by the student in that course.
When a student withdraws from a class after the “no W drop date” as specified above, but before the midpoint of the semester (or midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester), the administrative mark of “W” is officially recorded. A student may withdraw from a course after the midpoint of the semester (or the midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester), only if the instructor or dean’s office finds extenuating circumstances that would make the assignment of the “W” appropriate. In cases of withdrawal from a course after the midpoint of the semester where extenuating circumstances were not identified, the instructor of the course will be responsible for assigning the grade earned by the student in that course.
In practice, for classes that meet on weekends, the end of the second full weekend accounts for 67% of the direct instructional time of a course. Withdrawal anytime between the start of Day 2 of the first weekend and the end of Day 2 of the second weekend should result in a ‘W’ on the academic record. Notices of intent to withdraw that are received after the second full weekend but prior to the third full weekend can be backdated in the system as appropriate to reflect the actual date that intent was submitted, and to meet this standard regarding aid eligibility.
Individual colleges and schools may have additional academic regulations that are stated under the “Specific Regulations” of that college or school in the catalog. Information on the academic regulations of the Drake University Law School appears in the Law School Student Handbook at the Law School web site.
Tuition Adjustments Based on Enrollment Changes (other than complete withdrawals):
A reduction of credit hour enrollment within the time specified for dropping without a mark of ‘W’ for the term length and type of course may occur without tuition penalty. After the “no W drop date”, a change from full-time to part-time status or a reduction in credit-hour enrollment, other than a complete withdrawal, will not change tuition charges. For example, a student enrolled full-time will receive no tuition adjustment if he or she drops below full-time enrollment after the “no W drop date.” Tuition adjustments for increased enrollment continue throughout the term.
Changes in Enrollment (other than complete withdrawals):
Financial aid may be adjusted until the “no W drop date” based upon changes in enrollment and changes in tuition and fees. Eligibility for financial aid for increased enrollment is not automatically calculated with an enrollment change. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning to discuss changes in enrollment and financial aid eligibility.
A student who withdraws from courses, repeats courses, receives incompletes in courses or takes noncredit courses may not be able to complete the number of credit hours required for satisfactory progress; therefore, the student may be jeopardizing his/her financial aid by withdrawing from or repeating courses, receiving incompletes in courses or taking noncredit courses.
A student may withdraw from the University at any time during a semester, up to and including the last day of class, by obtaining the consent of the dean of the college or school in which the student is enrolled. The application for withdrawal must document the extenuating circumstances that form the basis for the requested withdrawal, such as a serious illness or a family emergency.
Upon approval of the withdrawal, the student’s transcript records the courses in which the student was enrolled that semester. If the student leaves the University without obtaining the consent of the dean of the student’s college or school, the student’s transcript records the courses in which the student was enrolled that semester and the grades assigned by the instructors.
Students who are working to pay all or most of their expenses in college are advised not to carry more than 12 credit hours each semester. Students who are below a 2.00 GPA for the previous semester may be required, at the discretion of the dean of the college or school, to carry proportionately reduced programs.
Individual colleges and schools may have additional academic regulations that are stated under the “Specific Regulations” of that college or school in the catalog. The academic regulations for graduate students are stated in the Graduate Catalog. Information on the academic regulations of the Law School may be obtained by writing to the dean of the Law School.
The Provost’s Office and its various subdivisions maintain student education records as an integral part of providing student services. All student education records and the information contained therein are subject to the provisions of the federal privacy act known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and, subject to exceptions stated in FERPA, are not available for inspection by others without a written release from the student unless the person making the request is a University faculty or staff member with legitimate educational interests. Such personnel might include a faculty adviser, professor, dean or a counselor. Parents may or may not be excluded from seeing their student’s education records or receiving information from the records without a release signed by their student, depending on the applicable provisions of FERPA. (See “Special Note from the Provost”.)
Generally, students may inspect their own education records at any time the record keeping office is open. Prior notice is required to inspect your own file as inspections are done under the supervision of the office staff. Students may copy the contents of their own education records, although if the file is extensive there may be a reasonable copying charge. The following restrictions apply to student review of education records:
In all cases where access to records is denied, the student and supervisor of the record shall attempt to informally resolve the matter. If the situation is not resolved in this manner, then the Provost, or his/her designee, shall make a final and binding decision regarding access after reviewing the arguments for access and denial of access.
If students find objectionable material in their files, they should call it to the attention of the supervisor of that record. If the supervisor agrees, the material can be deleted or amended. If the supervisor of the record does not agree to a student’s suggested deletion or amendment after the student has had a chance to present all evidence in his/her favor, then the student may add additional or explanatory material to the file, which will be kept as part of the educational record.
University files pertaining to students are normally purged after five years, although each department and College follows its own procedures.
FERPA also prevents the University from releasing certain information about students to persons outside the University without first notifying the student.
Drake University may release the following “directory information” about each individual student without prior consent unless the student has previously requested these records be withheld:
Any student not wanting the above-referenced directory information released to the public must timely notify the appropriate office. Forms are available from the Office of Student Records and Academic Information. A notice remains in effect until the student requests lifting of the hold in writing. If personally identifiable information is removed from education records, the records can be disclosed without student notification.
Personally identifiable information other than directory information can be released without prior approval under the following circumstances:
Generally, it is Drake University’s policy to request a signed consent from the student before the University will release the student’s education records (including grades) to parents. The University treats students as adults and encourages parents to become partners with their students. The University believes that this approach reinforces the importance of autonomy and accountability in student development.
There is no law forbidding students from voluntarily sharing all their information with parents after the student receives it from the University, and no consent form is required for such voluntary sharing between student and parent.
Under the following special circumstances, the University may release student education records to parents or others without student consent:
The University’s policy regarding disclosure of student information to parents is explained to parents and students at summer orientation. Students may authorize their parents’ access to their record via the Student Services tab in blueView (the campus web portal).
Questions regarding FERPA, University policy or parental access to student education records can be addressed to the Office of Student Records and Academic Information, 515-271-2025, or to the Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success at 515-271-3751.
More information about FERPA can be found at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
Adopted by the Faculty Senate, May 9, 2002
Supplemented by Provost to reflect University Policy concerning release of student education records to parents and guardians, November, 2007
Revised by Provost to reflect full FERPA disclosure details, January 2012
For the informal complaint process, please click here.
For the officially documented complaint process, please click here.