2022-23 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Policies and Procedures

Planning an Educational Program

Students are responsible for selecting the particular educational program they choose to pursue. Faculty and staff are available to advise students in selecting programs and courses. For those students who are unsure of a program or area of study, faculty and staff will assist them in making career choices based upon the students’ interests and aptitudes. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor. The Career Services & Vocational Discernment Office offers programs throughout the year. YouScience is also a helpful tool introduced in the First Year Experience courses and available throughout the university career. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising in Colonial Hall.

Academic Majors

A major is the area of study that a student chooses to pursue in greatest depth. It consists of a set of courses designed to prepare the individual to enter the job market or to pursue further study in graduate or professional school. A major at UTS consists of a minimum of 30 hours of coursework; all students are required to complete an approved major in order to receive a baccalaureate degree. Some majors lead to a specialized vocation while others are broader in scope and prepare students for a variety of vocations. To learn more about a particular major, the student should consult the program coordinator for that major. In addition, each major includes a four-year suggested course of study listed in the Catalog. Within a major, there may be concentration areas in which a student may specialize (e.g., Exercise Science in the Human Performance and Physical Education major). However, in the Catalog, the terms “major” and “program area” are used interchangeably.

Academic Minors

A minor, typically eighteen credit hours, is a grouping of courses in a particular academic field of study designed to provide students with expanded knowledge and competency in an area outside the major. To ensure appropriate advising and planning, students who are considering a minor should discuss it with their assigned faculty advisor and consult the appropriate program coordinator for the minor program.

Area of Concentration

An area of concentration within a major allows students the opportunity to explore a particular area of interest within the major in greater depth. A concentration requires more credit hours than a minor (e.g., a concentration in Forensic Chemistry within the major of Chemistry).

Pre-Professional Programs

The University offers a number of pre-professional programs in various fields of study. These programs are designed to prepare students to meet the minimum requirements for admission to a professional or graduate school. Because the requirements for admission to various professional programs differ according to the program and to the professional school, students should be familiar with the requirements of the institution they wish to enter and plan their curriculum accordingly. Students who wish to pursue health-related and legal careers should be aware of the high level of competition for admission to these programs and should recognize the need for hard work, high academic achievement in all course work attempted, and demonstrated aptitude on the required professional school admission test (MCAT, DAT, LSAT, etc).

Advising for pre-professional programs is assigned to specific academic advisors within certain academic schools. Students should refer to the designated academic school to learn more about these programs. For information on pre-professional programs in the health sciences, see program information in the School of Mathematics and Sciences or Nursing and Health Sciences; for pre-law, see the School of Social Sciences; for pre- physical therapy see either the Program Coordinator for Human Performance and Physical Activity or the School  of Mathematics and Sciences.

Academic Advising

The faculty and staff of the University of Tennessee Southern want every student to have a successful college experience and are committed to providing them the best academic advisement possible. Each student who enters the University is assigned a faculty advisor who assists with schedules and academic concerns. For first year students, the academic advisor is the FYE instructor in coordination with an advisor in the discipline and the Director of Academic Advising. Undecided majors work with faculty and career services. It is the immediate responsibility of all students to make contact with their assigned advisor or the Director of Academic Advising in person, by phone, by Teams/Zoom, or by e-mail in order to ensure proper scheduling of the academic program of study while at UT Southern.

Generally, new first-time freshmen or transfer students are advised and may register during summer orientation. During the initial semester of enrollment, all students are assigned a faculty advisor as assigned by the Director of Academic Advising. All students are encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor throughout their stay at the University of Tennessee Southern. Should there be a need to change advisors, students may complete a Change of Major/Advisor form available electronically.

Additionally, the Director of Academic Advising works closely with faculty and students providing degree audits upon request, checking to ensure that students are registered for appropriate courses, and sending degree audits each year to the student and advisor beginning the junior year.

Effective academic advising is vital to the success of students; however, the ultimate responsibility for enrolling in appropriate classes lies with the student. The degree requirements for all programs at UTS is 120 credit hours. Over eight semesters, these numbers require an average of fifteen credit hours per semester. 

First Year Experience

First-time entering freshmen are required to participate in a year-long First Year Experience Program, which begins just prior to the start of the Fall semester and continues through the end of the Spring semester. During FYE, students are introduced to the campus community, the academic program, and student life. Placement testing, if needed, occurs during this time to help identify strengths and weaknesses in prior academic training. Based upon these results, students may be advised or required to take one or more courses designed to help them overcome prior academic deficiencies or accelerated to reflect academic strengths. First Year Experience (FYE) covers a variety of topics designed to promote a successful transition to college as well as using the YouScience evaluation to explore aptitude and interests and how that translates to major and career choice. First year students are advised by their FYE instructors in coordination with faculty in the student’s chosen major. The typical first year student will enroll in 13-16 hours per semester.

Firehawk Forums

Developing a sense of community and broadening cultural perspectives are a major part of the college experience and vital to the concept of a liberal arts education. UT Southern is committed to assisting in this enrichment by providing a variety of opportunities to come together for cultural, spiritual, and intellectual events. To insure that students benefit from these opportunities, the University encourages all students to accumulate a prescribed number of cultural/intellectual/religious enrichment credits, called Firehawk Forums.

Events fall into the following four areas, and students are encouraged to select events from different areas although there is no requirement that every area be included. Firehawk Forums take place across days and times, so students have multiple opportunities each semester to satisfy this requirement.

Event Options

Cultural Enrichment: Dramatic productions, concerts (Della Clayton Lee Series, choir presentations, recitals, etc.), special events
Intellectual Enrichment: Big Picture, guest lectures
Campus Life: Selected student activities programs
Convocations: Opening, Honors, etc.


Several convocations are held annually at UT Southern: Opening Convocation, Honors Convocation, and one or two others. Attendance is required of all students.

Disabilities and Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are individualized and based on the nature of the documented disability and the requirements of specific courses. Accommodations are designed to meet the needs of students without fundamentally altering the nature of the University's instructional programs. Below are examples of commonly requested accommodations:

  • Extended time on exams
  • Testing in a distraction-limited environment
  • Use of computer for in-class written work
  • Preferential classroom seating
  • Permission to record lectures to supplement note-taking
  • Housing access accommodations
  • Services for students with temporary conditions, such as concussion, broken leg/arm, or surgery recovery.

Students requesting academic accommodations are directed to file their documentation with the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. That office maintains the files and shares the appropriate or recommended accommodations to the faculty teaching the student, with the student’s permission. The Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Life and the Provost/Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs consult with each other regularly to make sure the student is being served appropriately. Information regarding accommodations is also placed on every syllabus published by the University.

Late Registration

Following the regular registration period, students are allowed a period of one week. The Academic Calendar lists exact dates during which students may register late. Students registering after the seventh day of classes, or the first class of a six- or eight-week term, may do so only with the permission of the Provost. Students registering late will be charged a late registration fee (see fee schedule for amount), and may be counted absent for each class period they have missed.

Change of Schedule

After the registration period has ended for a given semester, permission to drop, add, or change a course must be obtained by completing a Drop/Add form and processed by the Registrar’s Office. Each change in schedule is governed by the following regulations:

  • A fee of $25.00 will be assessed against the student for changing, adding, or dropping from one course/section to another after the free drop/add period.
  • No change in schedule from one course/section to another will be permitted after the seventh calendar day in a semester or the first day of class in a summer or evening session.
  • A student who stops attending a class but does not officially drop the course will receive a grade of “F” in the class.
  • In order to officially drop or add a course after the registration period, a Drop/Add form must be completed with the appropriate signatures and processed by the Registrar’s Office. The $25.00 fee will be charged.

Course Loads, including Overload

The unit of academic credit awarded by the University is the semester hour, which represents the equivalent of a one-hour period of class work or at least one two-hour period of laboratory work each week of the semester. The normal full-time student academic load is 14-16 semester hours per week, 13-16 for a first-year student, exclusive of physical education activity courses. Lighter loads are sometimes required or recommended based on a student’s previous academic record. Students must register for at least 12 semester hours to be considered full-time. Students who elect to take fewer than 12 hours are classified as part-time, which carries financial aid implications. Students who wish to take more than 18 hours may do so by completing an Overload Request form with appropriate signatures and final permission granted by the Provost. To take an overload, the student must have a 3.0 GPA or above. Additional overload fees apply. The Office of Academic Affairs monitors student class loads.

Directed Study

All efforts should be made to take classes while they appear in the regular schedule. Students should check the listing of classes in the Catalog to see which courses will be offered each semester. A directed study may be taken by students who have extreme and/or mitigating circumstances that prevent their taking regularly-scheduled classes. Students must complete a Directed Study Form with appropriate signatures and final approval granted by the Provost. There is a limit of six (6) semester hours that any student may take by directed study during their academic career at the University of Tennessee Southern. This total limit may not include more than three (3) hours of lower-level courses nor more than six (6) hours of upper-level courses overall for a total of six (6) semester hours. Registration for directed study courses must be during a scheduled registration period. Permission to take a class by directed study is contingent upon the student having a 3.0 GPA or above, along with approval of the faculty member involved and the Provost. A Directed Study tuition is $430 per credit hour. A student may not take a course by directed study if he/she has previously taken and failed the course. Change of major, a desire for early graduation, and/or an addition of a minor or second major are not considered sufficient reasons for a directed study.


A person may audit a course with permission from the Provost. In that case the course is recorded on the student’s permanent record, but it is marked “audit.” A grade of “AU” is indicated on the record. Fees apply. The outcome of an audited course has no bearing on a student’s GPA.

Cancellation of Classes/Change of Class Delivery Systems

The University reserves the right to cancel classes that do not meet established criteria relating to availability of qualified instructors or sufficient enrollment. Some classes may be moved to virtual or totally online delivery because of issues related to the pandemic. Students will be notified through their UTS email accounts.

Course Placement

ACT scores and/or placement scores for first-year students will be evaluated to determine placement in writing, mathematics, or science classes. Placement in writing classes is also based on a diagnostic essay administered and evaluated by members of the English faculty. Should a student dispute his/her placement in one of these classes, the objection must be submitted in writing to the program coordinator for English within one week of the placement, upon which time a second diagnostic essay will be scheduled. This essay will be evaluated by three independent members of the English faculty. Students who are placed into a developmental course must make a C- or better in order to continue on to the next course in the sequence or to use the course as a prerequisite for another course. Final placement is mandatory.

ACT scores in English for placement in writing classes are as follows:

18 and below Placement in ENG 101E and ENG 101L
19-24 Placement in ENG 101
25 and above Placement in ENG 103

ACCUPLACER Next-Generation Score Ranges for UTS Writing Placement are as follows:

Sentence Skills 200-260/WritePlacer 0-4 Placement in ENG 101E and ENG 101L
Sentence Skills 261+/WritePlacer 5+ Placement in ENG 101

ACT scores for Mathematics placement are as follows:

16 or below Placement in MAT 100
17-18 Placement in MAT 112
19-24 MAT 131, MAT 171, MAT 211, or MAT231
25 or above Recommended placement in MAT 142

ACCUPLACER Next-Generation Score Ranges for UTS Mathematics Placement are as follows:

200-225 Placement in MAT 100
226-260 Placement in MAT 112
261+ Placement in MAT 131, MAT 171, MAT 211, or MAT 231
279+ Placement in MAT 141

Students who enter the University with basic deficiencies in reading, writing, mathematical or study skills may be required to take classes designed to help them overcome these deficiencies and to prepare them to succeed in college-level composition or mathematics courses (MAT 100, FYE 100, and ESL courses). These courses do not count toward graduation requirements, and the grades earned are not included in the grade point average (GPA).

Course Exemptions/Exceptions to Policy

Students who are medically or physically disabled may be exempt from the one-hour physical education requirement. A physician’s statement is required and should be brought to the Office of Academic Affairs. Exemption from the physical education requirement does not reduce the total number of hours required for graduation.

Students who have had prior military service may receive two hours of physical education credit for basic training or its equivalent, upon review of official military transcripts. To obtain credit, students should submit to the Registrar’s Office a copy of their American Council on Education transcript.

Additional exceptions to policy may be made with an approved Exception to Policy with final approval from the Provost.

Transfer Credits

The University of Tennessee Southern accepts transfer credits from other accredited institutions or those which otherwise meet the requirements for transfer credit as defined by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Credit will be given for those courses in which a grade of “C-” or better was earned. Courses that are clearly vocational or occupational in nature will not be accepted as credit towards the associate degree or baccalaureate degree. Students who complete all courses listed for a particular Tennessee Board of Regents Tennessee Transfer Pathway and who hold an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from a Tennessee Community College or from a senior institution within the state that meets the Transfer Pathway will be admitted with junior standing and will have satisfied the General Education core requirements for the B.B.A., B.S., B.S.N., and B.A., except for courses required for their major. Students who have not followed an approved Transfer Pathway and who hold an A.A. or A.S. degree, or students holding an applied degree (e.g., A.A.S.) must have their transcripts evaluated on an individual basis, and recognized courses will be credited toward graduation. The final determination of acceptability of courses will be made by the Registrar and the Provost. Following enrollment at the University of Tennessee Southern, only grades earned in coursework at UT Southern will be used in determining satisfactory academic progress, graduation honors, and grade point average. See Transfer Students.

Transient Classification

A person currently enrolled in good standing at another college or university may enroll for credit by applying for admission and by presenting to the Registrar a statement from the first institution giving permission to take course work at The University of Tennessee Southern. This person will be classified as a transient. Note that transient classification may have financial implications. See Transient Admission

Non-Degree Seeking Classification

Individuals who do not wish to pursue a degree may apply as non-degree seeking students. Non-degree status is usually used for applicants who are practicing professionals in the field and who wish to take one or more courses for professional development. See Non-Degree Seeking Classification.

Special Dual-Enrollment Classification

A student completing the sophomore year of high school with an accumulated grade point average of 3.00 or better may be admitted as a special dual-enrolled student. This classification applies to students who wish to take classes during the summer between their junior and senior year in high school, and to those students who wish to take special college-level classes on a dual enrollment basis in their high school or on the UTS campus. Special dual-enrolled students must obtain permission of their high school principal and guidance counselor. The grades may also be transferred to other colleges or universities in accordance with the regulations of those institutions. To continue in the program, dually enrolled students must maintain a UTS grade point average of 2.0. See the Dual Enrollment Handbook for additional information. See Dual Enrollment

Transfer Procedures

Once a student has enrolled in a program on campus, he/she must complete a Transfer Credit Request form with the appropriate signatures before registering for any courses at other institutions if planning to transfer the courses to The University of Tennessee Southern. Failure to obtain prior written approval may render the courses non-transferable. Full instructions are available on the form.

Students who academically have not performed satisfactorily during the fall term are not allowed to take correspondence or other forms of distance learning courses prior to the beginning of the spring semester to maintain eligibility for scholarships that require minimum GPAs, for participation in college-sponsored performing groups, athletic teams, etc., or to overcome academic probation or suspension.

Courses taken at another institution do not affect the UTS grade point average (GPA).

Alternative Scheduling Options

UT Southern offers evening, hybrid, and online classes as convenient and affordable ways for working adults to earn a two- or four-year degree while maintaining a full-time job. Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration: Management, Elementary Education (K-5), and Criminal Justice are offered completely in the afternoon, evening, or online. In these programs, students generally only have to attend classes two nights per week, sometimes only one depending on the use of hybrid (online) coursework. Classes typically run in eight week modules fall and spring, and six week modules in summer. The amount of time spent in each class is the equivalent to that spent during a regular semester in a day class. Many courses in the evening are taught as hybrids. There are six terms within a year. For students over the age of 21, the ACT exam is usually not required and the GED is accepted, though placement testing may be required.

Many students who attend in the evening may receive some type of financial aid to assist with expenses. Students may apply for federal Pell Grants, state grants, and federal student loans. Also, some employers have tuition reimbursement plans for their employees. Inquiries about the program should be directed to the Office of Admissions.

Summer School

The University operates a summer session consisting of two, six-week terms with day classes meeting Monday through Thursday, evening classes typically meeting two nights a week, or online classes. The summer sessions serve students who wish to begin college work early; continuing students who either want to get ahead or must retake courses; and sometimes those students who need summer grades for fall admission. The summer sessions also provide a trial period for academically marginal students as indicated in the admission section of the Catalog. The typical summer load is six hours per session.

During the summer terms, the University reserves the right to cancel any class with fewer than six students registered.

Honors Program

The W. Garie Taylor Honors Program of the University of Tennessee Southern promotes a community of scholars through the development of challenging curricula, cultural enrichment, and face-to-face interaction with guest speakers who are leaders in the religious, political, academic, business, scientific, and arts arenas. The program fosters community through participation of academic scholarship winners; small class interaction with Honors Program professors; visits to museums or to places of historical, ecological, scientific, economic, or artistic importance; and community service. Guest speakers expose program participants to ideas of both new and historic significance.

       The Taylor Honors Program is open to all students with a 25 ACT and a minimum 3.5 GPA in high school. Students invited to join the program will be required to complete an honors section each of the first four semesters they attend the University of Tennessee Southern. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in order to continue in the Honors Program.       

Students who do not meet the above requirements may participate in the Honors Program if they have a cumulative 3.0 GPA after their first semester of at least 15 hours at the University of Tennessee Southern. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in order to continue in the Honors Program.      

Transfer students may enter the University of Tennessee Southern Honors Program by:

  • graduating from an honors program at a two-year college, or
  • completing honors classes at another college and having a transcript evaluation upon matriculation to the University of Tennessee Southern.       

For more information, contact Dr. Jac Cole or Dr. Dan Scherr the chairs of the Honors Program.

International Studies Program

The University of Tennessee Southern offers multiple opportunities for students to participate in credit-bearing travel study and study abroad programs around the globe.

Study Abroad programs are summer or semester-term programs for language immersion, academic exchange, or international internships. These programs usually carry 6-18 hours of credit.

Students wishing to participate in Study Abroad programs should schedule a visit with the International Studies Office personnel to review potential program options which are being re-visited pst-Pandemic.

Events highlighting international studies, students, and activities occur throughout the year. 

For information concerning any International Studies Program, please contact Dr. Rebecca Garvin or Prof. Amy Little.

Continuing Education Program

The purpose of the Continuing Education Program at the University of Tennessee Southern is to assist the University in achieving its mission “to serve the region through educational, social, and cultural programs.” Non-credit courses are offered periodically for personal and professional enrichment. These courses are available to serve special needs or interests within the community. Inquiries about the program should be directed to the Office of Admissions, the Office of Academic Affairs, or the Director of Career Services.

Online Classes

The University of Tennessee Southern offers synchronous and asynchronous online and hybrid courses available to students both on- and off- campus. The policies and procedures described in this Catalog apply to students enrolled in online courses as well as to those enrolled in classes offered in the traditional classroom setting. Online students may be either degree- or non-degree seeking students who are enrolled in classes that are taught in an online format. The MBA and MS in Criminal Justice are offered as a hybrid programs. Students may attend class either in person or virtually via Teams.

Academic Standards of Conduct

As an institution of higher learning, the University of Tennessee Southern strives to provide an environment for students, faculty, and staff in which members of a diverse community can live together, interact, and learn from one another in ways that protect personal freedom and community standards.

The University has certain basic expectations regarding both social and academic behavior of faculty, staff, and students, and expects these to be actively supported within the University community. The expectation is based upon a firm understanding of and commitment to the following values: respect for the individual, the importance of truthfulness, intellectual honesty, academic and personal integrity, and respect for the educational process.

Because these are values fundamental to academic and social success within the college community, it is anticipated that each student will actively subscribe to the University's Honor Code. Anyone who violates the Code will be held accountable. See Student Life Code of Conduct, online or in print in the Student Handbook.

UT Southern Student Code of Conduct

Standards of Conduct

Students are prohibited from engaging in the following types of misconduct:

  1. Academic Dishonesty. Cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of academic dishonesty, including, without limitation, an act in violation of the Code of Conduct.

Honor Statement

(1) Honor Statement. An essential feature of the University is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As such the University utilizes an Honor Statement that reads, “As a student of the University, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.” Each student is responsible knowing and adhering to the terms and conditions of the Honor Statement.

(2) Academic Dishonesty. The Honor Statement prohibits cheating, plagiarism, and any other type of academic dishonesty.

(3) Plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the intellectual property or product of someone else without giving proper credit. The undocumented use of someone else’s words or ideas in any medium of communication (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge) is a serious offense, subject to disciplinary action that may include failure in a course and/or dismissal from the University. Specific examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to: (a) using without proper documentation (quotation marks and citation) written or spoken words, phrases, or sentences from any source; (b) summarizing without proper documentation (usually a citation) ideas from another source (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge); (c) borrowing facts, statistics, graphs, pictorial representations, or phrases without acknowledging the source (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge); (d) collaborating on a graded assignment without the instructor’s approval; and submitting work, either in whole or in part created by a professional service or used without attribution (e.g., paper, speech, bibliography, or photograph).

(4) Examples of Other Types of Academic Dishonesty. Specific examples of other types of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to: (a) providing or receiving unauthorized information during an examination or academic assignment, or the possession and/or use of unauthorized materials during an examination or academic assignment; (b) providing or receiving unauthorized assistance in connection with laboratory work, field work, scholarship, or another academic assignment; (c) falsifying, fabricating, or misrepresenting data, laboratory results, research results, citations, or other information in connection with an academic assignment; (d) serving as, or enlisting the assistance of, a substitute for a student in the taking of an examination or the performance of an academic assignment; (e) altering grades, answers, or marks in an effort to change the earned grade or credit; (f) submitting without authorization the same assignment for credit in more than one (1) course; (g) forging the signature of another or allowing forgery by another on any class or University-related document such as a class roll or drop/add sheet; (h) gaining an objectively unfair academic advantage by failing to observe the expressed procedures or instructions relating to an exam or academic assignment; and 9. engaging in an activity that unfairly places another student at a disadvantage, such as taking, hiding, or altering resource material, or manipulating a grading system.

(5) Academic Dishonesty.

(a) Notice of Academic Dishonesty and Informal Opportunity to Respond. When an act of alleged academic dishonesty, in violation of Section .04(1) is discovered by, or brought to the attention of, an instructor, the instructor shall notify the student about the alleged academic dishonesty, describe the information supporting the allegation, and give the student an informal opportunity to respond to the allegation(s) and information.

(b) Referral By Academic Department to Office of Student Conduct (OSC). After the instructor provides the student with an informal opportunity to respond, and if the instructor still believes that an act of academic dishonesty has occurred, the instructor shall refer the incident to OSC. In referring the incident to OSC, the instructor shall include the academic penalty that the instructor plans to impose, if any. The referring instructor will not assign an academic penalty or a final grade for the course pending resolution of the allegation by OSC. If a grade must be submitted at the end of the grading period, the student will receive a temporary grade of “Not Reported” (NR) until the case is resolved. The instructor does not have the authority under the Code to impose a sanction identified in Section .11.

(c) Academic Penalties and Appeals of Academic Penalties. If, at the conclusion of the student conduct process, OSC determines that a student is not responsible for violating Section .04(1), the instructor shall not impose any academic penalty. If OSC determines that a student is responsible for violating Section .04(1), the instructor may impose an academic penalty, in addition to any sanctions imposed by OSC under Section .11(2). Academic penalties may include, without limitation, dismissal from a program of study; a failing or reduced grade in the academic exercise, assignment, examination, and/or course; loss of credit for the work involved; an assignment to repeat the work, to be graded on its merits; and/or a warning. An instructor may impose more than one (1) academic penalty. A student may appeal an academic penalty, as distinct from a student disciplinary sanction, through the appropriate institutional academic misconduct or grade appeal procedures.

(6) Academic Dishonesty – Resolution through the Student Conduct Process. After receiving any conduct referral for academic dishonesty, OSC will proceed with the student conduct process. OSC may issue a Notice of Allegations for violating Section .04(1) regardless of the response of the instructor to the alleged academic dishonesty. If OSC issues a finding of responsibility and Notice of Sanctions for a violation of Section .04(1), then the allegations shall be resolved through one of the hearing processes pursuant to Section .07(7) of the Code.

Class Attendance Regulations

The faculty and administration expect students to attend class regularly and to develop effective study habits. University policy dictates that students must attend a minimum of 80% of class meetings for each class in which they are enrolled. Successful students may not accrue absences in excess of three times the number of class meetings per week in the regular day semester, or a total of three absences in six- or eight-week terms. Each individual faculty member will establish reasonable consequences for absences and publish these in the course syllabus. When a student misses more than the allowed absences for any class the professor is empowered to assign a grade of “F.” No student may be penalized for work missed due to required attendance at a school sanctioned function. However, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor, generally in advance of attendance at such an event, and to arrange to complete any makeup work in a timely manner. It is the individual professor’s right to set terms and deadlines for makeup work.

Due to the specialized nature of some program requirements (e.g., laboratories, practica, internships, clinicals), programs may of necessity deviate from this policy by establishing more stringent guidelines.

Class Attendance Regulations for Online Courses

Some classes at UTS may be taught online or on Teams in addition to face-to-face. Classes taught via Teams may be taught at the assigned day and time or in some cases recorded and listened to at the student’s convenience. Students must check schedules. The schedule indicates whether the class is synchronous or not. If synchronous, students must log on to Teams at the appropriate class times. Students must follow the course syllabi in all cases and contact course instructors or the Director of Distance Learning if they have questions. It is the policy of the University that students will demonstrate attendance in an online course by completing their work in a timely manner and participating in a substantive way in course content. To this end, students will be required to:

  • Complete the brief, online orientation before beginning with class;
  • Check the course site at least once a week;
  • Communicate with classmates and the instructor periodically; and 
  • Complete work periodically.

As with any course, a student cannot miss several weeks of online classes and expect to be successful in the course. There may be deadlines for assignments, and there may be requirements for students to log-in at particular times to participate in group discussions or other activities. Students should consult each course syllabus for specific requirements.

Students who fail to log into their online course within the first seven calendar days from the start of the sixteen-week session/term or the first day of an eight- or six-week session/term will automatically be withdrawn from the class. Logging into an online class without active participation, such as (but not limited to) completing an assignment, does not constitute attendance in the course and is considered as a student never attending class and will be treated as such. Students should notify their professors and Director of Distance Learning immediately if they have trouble logging on to their online classes. If a student chooses to withdraw from an online class, they may contact the Director of Academic Advising or the Registrar’s Office. The withdrawal will be effective from the date of the email notification. A Drop/Add Form will be emailed to the student who should complete the form and return it by mail, fax, or scanned and emailed. Failure to withdraw will result in a grade of “F” in a course.

Class Attendance During Inclement Weather

It is University policy for the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Life, and Chancellor to determine if classes will be canceled due to existing or predicted weather conditions. Students will receive a text message and an email alerting them of the cancellation of classes. The cancellation will be posted on the University's website as soon as this decision is made. Local radio stations, 3PTV, and Nashville and Huntsville television stations will be notified of the cancellation. Because weather conditions sometimes vary widely within the surrounding area, students are advised to use their own discretion in attempting to attend classes during inclement weather. Students are advised to contact their instructors about such absences, but normally will not be penalized if they are unable to get to campus during adverse weather conditions.

Since online courses generally are not affected by inclement weather, assignment due dates and times will remain fixed throughout the semester and will not be rescheduled due to weather. Students should contact the instructor by phone, on Teams, or email if weather becomes a concern.

Administrative Withdrawal Because of Non-Attendance

Students who stop attending classes, or who miss most of their classes excessively, may be subject to being dismissed from school and will receive a grade of “W” or “WF” depending upon the date at which the withdrawal becomes final. In addition, there may be financial ramifications. Students who are administratively withdrawn will not be allowed to continue living in residence halls, nor will they be allowed to continue representing the University in any public manner, such as participating in music ensembles or drama productions or on athletic teams, etc.

Tests and Examinations

Students should NOT miss announced tests except in rare circumstances. A student who is absent from an announced test because of unavoidable circumstances should notify faculty immediately, before the absence, if possible, and may make up the test by presenting to the instructor written certification to that effect from the Provost. Students who miss a test or examination and are not permitted to schedule a makeup will receive a grade of “F” on that exam.

Final examinations are given in each academic subject at the end of the semester. Permission to be absent from a final examination must be obtained from the instructor and the Provost. Approved absences from a final examination will entail a grade of “I”, and the Incomplete Policy will apply. Failure to receive prior permission to miss a final examination may result in a grade of “F” in the course. Final exam schedules are posted each year. Please ensure that any flights or other plans are scheduled to ensure that you do not miss a scheduled final examination. Note: Students taking exams online may need Respondus.

Withdrawal from a Course

Students may withdraw from courses with the grade of “W” during the first four weeks of day classes or first two weeks of evening and summer sessions by completing a Drop/Add Request form with appropriate signatures. After that time, a Drop/Add Request with appropriate signatures must be completed, and instructors assign a grade of “WP” or “WF,” as appropriate. Course withdrawal is not permitted during the last two weeks of the semester prior to the first day of final examinations or during the last week of a session in evening or summer sessions. Remember, dropping below 12 hours may carry financial aid implications, so students should check with the Financial Aid Office and the Business Office before dropping or withdrawing from a course. A student who stops attending a class without officially withdrawing will receive a grade of “F” in the course.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who find it necessary to leave school during the course of a semester, must officially withdraw from the University in order to remain in good standing. A student who leaves the University without completing an official withdrawal form in the Registrar’s Office will receive a grade of “F” in each course scheduled.

However, if students complete the official withdrawal form and if there are satisfactory reasons for their leaving the school, the official record sheet will show a grade of “WP” in subjects which they were passing at the time of withdrawal and a grade of “WF” in those which they were failing. Sometimes, occasions arise that merit a grade of “W” for all classes. To withdraw from the University, a student should observe the following withdrawal procedures:

  • Secure clearance from all offices specified on the Withdrawal Form, and
  • Return the completed form to the Registrar’s Office.

In cases of emergency, a student may need to withdraw, but there may not be sufficient time or ability to complete paperwork. These situations will be examined on a case-by-case basis, will require documentation, and must be approved by the Provost.

This policy also applies to online students; they should email their instructors and the Registrar’s Office to initiate the process. Bottom line: Failure to withdraw will result in a grade of “F” in all courses. All withdrawals may have financial ramifications.

Grade Reports

Reports of each student’s scholastic achievement are available to the student through the University's administrative software system. Grades are posted at mid-semester and at the end of each semester. The student who receives a deficiency on a mid-semester report is invited and expected to consult with the instructor and faculty advisor who will take action appropriate to the individual case.

Academic Honors

At the end of each semester, the University recognizes those students who have distinguished themselves academically. These students’ names are published as follows:

Chancellor's List – full-time students (12 hours or more) who achieve a semester GPA of 3.9 to 4.0.

Provost's List – full-time students who achieve a semester GPA of 3.5 to 3.9, with no grade of “F” or “I.”

The Grading System

Students at UT Southern are graded in their academic achievements according to a system of letter grades. To facilitate computation of averages of students’ grades, the University assigns numerical values called quality points to all letter grades of passing quality. Below are various letters used in grading, their meaning, and quality point value:

A+ — counts four (4.0) quality points per semester hour.

A — counts four (4.0) quality points per semester hour. 

A- — counts 3.7 quality points per semester hour.

B+ — counts 3.3 quality points per semester hour.

B— counts three (3.0) quality points per semester hour.

B- — counts 2.7 quality points per semester hour.

C+ — counts 2.3 quality points per semester hour.

C— counts two (2.0) quality points per semester hour.

C- — counts 1.7 quality points per semester hour.

D+ — counts 1.3 quality points per semester hour.

D— counts one (1.0) quality points per semester hour.

F— failure, zero (0.0) quality points for this grade.

P— pass. Hours count towards graduation requirements, but no quality points are awarded. This designation is used only in special circumstances such as labs, credits earned through by-pass tests, and some practica.

I — incomplete. This temporary grade must be replaced by a permanent one within the first four weeks of the following semester of enrollment. Failure to complete the course work within this period of time will mean that the “incomplete” becomes a permanent grade of “F.” Most (about 75%) of the work in a class should be finished before a grade of I will be given. Must be approved by the Provost.

W — the student withdrew from the course within the first four weeks of a semester or within the first two weeks of an evening or summer session. For purposes of computing grade point averages, the “W” is treated as though the student had never enrolled in the course; however, the course still counts toward attempted hours.

WP — the student withdrew from the course after the deadline for awarding the “W” and that course work was of passing quality at the time of withdrawal. For purposes of computing grade point averages, the “WP” is treated as though the student had never enrolled in the course; however, the course counts toward attempted hours.

WF — the student withdrew from the course after the deadline for awarding the “W” and that course work was not of passing quality at the time of withdrawal. For purposes of computing grade point averages, the “WF” is treated as though the student had never enrolled in the course; however, the course counts toward attempted hours

In all instances except administrative failures (i.e., a failure assigned by the Provost for excessive absences or for violations of the Honor Code), all grades are assigned by the course instructors.

Repeated Courses

Students may repeat courses unless that privilege is denied by the Provost. The grade received in the repeated course supersedes all previous grades and is credited only in the semester in which the course is repeated. All hours attempted count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). In addition, some majors require grades of B or C in certain courses in order to progress in the major. These requirements may have financial aid implications. Students should carefully check the requirements for their specific major and also check with the Financial Aid Office to learn about all financial implications when a class is repeated.

Academic Standards

A student at UT Southern, whether full-time or part-time, is expected to maintain a satisfactory level of achievement to remain in good standing. The required levels are:

Hours attempted G.P.A. Required
1 - 29 1.50
30 - 59 1.75
60 – or more 2.00

In addition, to continue financial aid, a student must have successfully completed the following number of hours in the following time frame:

Time Hours
Two semesters 18 semester hours
Four semesters 44 semester hours
Six semesters 78 semester hours

An eligible Tennessee state resident may receive a Tennessee Student Assistance Award for a maximum of eight semesters.

Academic Probation, Suspension, and Readmission

The student who, at the end of any semester of attendance, fails to meet the necessary cumulative grade point average (GPA) as indicated above will be placed on academic probation for the following semester and will be required to take a reduced course load. At the end of the probationary semester, the student who has achieved the required cumulative GPA will be returned to good standing. The student who has not achieved the required cumulative GPA but who has earned a minimum 2.00 GPA for the semester on a minimum of twelve hours attempted will be continued on academic probation for the next semester.

The probationary student who has not achieved the required cumulative GPA and has not earned a 2.00 average for the semester on a minimum of twelve hours attempted will be suspended from the University.

Following suspension, a student who wishes to be readmitted to the University must file, with the Office of Admissions, an application for readmission, and must submit a letter of appeal to the Provost, who will present it to the Admissions and Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The letter appealing suspension should explain why the student should be readmitted. The submission of a letter of appeal does not guarantee the student the right to return. If the application is approved, the student will be allowed to return to classes, but will have certain stipulations placed upon them by the committee and will be on academic probation for the next semester. The readmitted student will be required to meet with an academic coach regularly.

Students readmitted after their first academic suspension must achieve the required cumulative GPA or maintain a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher. Those who fail to live up to this minimal standard will be suspended a second time. Readmission to the University is possible, but requires the approval of the Admissions and Financial Aid Appeals Committee. If the student is readmitted, they will be required once again to achieve the required cumulative GPA or maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher in the first semester of work after his/her return to school. Failure to maintain this minimal standard may result in permanent suspension.

A student who is suspended may enroll in a community college. The University of Tennessee Southern encourages these students to take college transfer courses, with grades of A, B, or C, with no D’s or F’s, and then to reapply after a successful semester. Students are encouraged to complete a Transfer Credit Request form with the Registrar’s Office to ensure that these courses will transfer back to UTS and count toward the student’s degree if readmitted. Note: Students wishing to retake courses to raise their grade point averages at UTS must retake those courses at UTS. A course taken at another institution does NOT affect the grade of the course taken at UTS.

Students who register but withdraw from classes repeatedly are also considered to have failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress and will be reviewed routinely by the Financial Aid Office. While these individuals may not be suspended, there are certain financial aid restrictions for any individual who exhibits a pattern of frequent withdrawals from classes.

The University of Tennessee Southern notifies all students who have been suspended for academic reasons in multiple ways: by placing a notice on the student’s transcript, by email, and by a letter that is mailed to the student’s permanent address (as indicated in official University records). The letter provides an explanation of the reason(s) for the suspension and informs the student of the date on which the student may appeal for readmission at the University of Tennessee Southern.

It is the responsibility of the student to supply UT Southern with an accurate permanent mailing address and telephone number. The University cannot be held responsible for failure to notify a student regarding suspension if the student has not supplied the University with an accurate and complete mailing address and telephone number.

The Director of Academic Advising and Student Success Coordinator also monitor freshman and sophomore students whose GPA falls below a 2.0 but are not considered on probation.

Classification of Students

Freshman: 0-29 semester hours. All full-time students must have completed or be currently enrolled in English Composition.

Sophomore: 30-59 semester hours

Junior: 60-89 semester hours

Senior: 90 or more semester hours

Student Records and FERPA

Student records are maintained under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. Transcripts and information from the student’s permanent records, other than directory information, are released only upon the written request of the student. Students who wish to inspect their academic record may do so online via the University's administrative software system. Students who wish to inspect other records may do so by making a formal request to the appropriate office. Students have the lawful right to challenge the content of their educational record if the record contains any material which the student deems inaccurate or misleading. Concerns should be discussed with the appropriate University officer. If matters cannot be resolved in this manner, the student may request a formal hearing. The University protects the privacy of all students, including those enrolled in distance education courses in alignment with the FERPA 1974. Directory information is considered public information unless the student requests in writing to the Registrar that all or part of such information not be published. Directory information includes: name, dates of attendance, major field of study, degrees and awards, participation in recognized activities, organizations or sports (including weight and height). UTS email addresses are available to all of the UTS community. Students should provide a password to the Registrar’s Office for themselves and anyone they grant access to so that we may verify their identify over the phone.


Current or former students may receive copies of their academic records (transcript) or have them sent to other institutions, agencies, or firms by requesting these from the Registrar. Requests may be made through the University website and the National Student Clearinghouse. Fax, email, or phone requests will not be accepted. Fees apply to official transcripts; however, current students and alumni may obtain unofficial copies through the University's administrative software system free of charge. Transcript requests will not be honored for any student whose financial account with the University has not been cleared.

Program Assessment

Students may be required to complete one or more questionnaires or surveys and to take one or more standardized tests to determine general educational achievement or overall knowledge of the major field. Though participating may be required to graduate, such testing will be used to assess overall program effectiveness and to enhance program quality in the future. Unless required in a particular program, no minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation, though participating in such testing, usually the ETS Major Field Test, may be a graduation requirement.