Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current] 
2023-2024 General Catalog [Current]

Grades and Credits Policies

For the most up-to-date information on earning credits for prior learning, visit www.suu.edu/credits.

Academic Credit

A credit hour of work is the equivalent of approximately 60 minutes of class time or independent study work. A minimum of 45 hours of work by each student is required for each unit of credit. Credit is earned only when course requirements are met. One (1) credit hour is equivalent to 15 contact hours of lecture, discussion, testing, evaluation, or seminar, as well as 30 hours of student homework.* An equivalent amount of work is expected for laboratory work, internships, practica, studio, and other academic work leading to the awarding of credit hours. Credit granted for individual courses, labs, or studio classes range from 0.5 to 15 credit hours per semester.

* SUU’s academic calendar is formulated using a class-meeting schedule of 15 contact hours per semester for a one-credit course. Classes that operate on a compressed schedule are expected to be within the same 15 contact hour range for a one-credit course.

Academic Renewal

Undergraduate students currently enrolled at SUU may petition that their academic record be reviewed for the purpose of discounting, for cumulative GPA computation, a course with a “D+” (1.3) or lower grade. These classes must have been entered on the student’s academic record five (5) or more calendar years prior to the time of the request for review. The following conditions and procedures apply:

  • The renewal option may be used only once during a student’s undergraduate career.
  • Students pursuing a second baccalaureate degree or a graduate degree are ineligible.
  • Courses taken to meet a first undergraduate degree are ineligible for renewal once the degree has been posted.
  • “Renewed” courses do not count toward the total hours required for graduation.
  • Petition is made to the dean and advisor of the student’s major college or school.
  • Please be advised that performing an Academic Renewal may have an adverse effect on future financial aid. Please consult your academic and financial aid counselors before making this decision.
  • The student must be currently enrolled in courses during the term they submit the request for renewal.

Academic Standards

In order to remain in good academic standing, a student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or “C” on all coursework. Students who are suspended from school for academic reasons in accordance with this policy may apply for readmission, after two (2) semesters, by writing a letter of application for readmission to the Chair of the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee. Information is available online at www.suu.edu/admissions/admission-review.html.

Appeals for returning students must be received no later than one week prior to the first day of classes for a given term.

Academic Standing

Academic Standing is based on a student’s semester and cumulative GPA as follows:

General Student Summary

Academic Standing (Probation) Status
Good Standing (00) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
< 2.0 > 2.0 Warning Level 1 (WA)
< 2.0 < 2.0 Probation Level 1 (P1)
Warning Level 1 (WA) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
< 2.0 > 2.0 Warning Level 2 (W2)
< 2.0 < 2.0 Probation Level 1 (P1)
Warning Level 2 (W2) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
< 2.0 > 2.0 Warning Level 2 (W2)
< 2.0 < 2.0 Probation Level 1 (P1)
Probation Level 1 (P1) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
> 2.0 < 2.0 Probation Level 2 (P2)
< 2.0 < 2.0 Probation Level 2 (P2)
Probation Level 2 (P2) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
> 2.0 < 2.0 Progressing Probation (P3)
< 2.0 < 2.0 Required to Withdraw (RW)
Progressing Probation (P3) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
> 2.0 < 2.0 Progressing Probation (P3)
< 2.0 < 2.0 Required to Withdraw (RW)

COMPASS Program Summary

Academic Standing (Probation) Status
COMPASS Probation Level 1 (C1) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
< 2.0 > 2.0 COMPASS Probation Level 2 (C2)
< 2.0 < 2.0 COMPASS Probation Level 2 (C2)
COMPASS Probation Level 2 (C2) > 2.0 > 2.0 Good Standing (00)
> 2.0 < 2.0 COMPASS Probation Level 2 (C2)
< 2.0 < 2.0 Required to Withdraw (RW)

For more information on transferring credits and admission status, see Admissions .

If a student leaves the University while on probation, they will remain on probation when they return–even if in the meantime they have attended another institution. While on probation, students may be ineligible to receive financial aid and may be ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities sponsored by the University. For more information on these restrictions, see Tuition & Financial Aid  and the Southern Utah University Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy .

Attendance Policy

A student is responsible for attending the courses for which they are enrolled, and may only attend courses in which they are enrolled. Further, according to standards set by Department of Education, the University is required to identify a starting date for each student for each of these courses. Students are also responsible for making up any work missed by failing to attend class, even if the absence was approved by the University (see SUU Policy 6.30 Excused Absence), necessitated by illness, or personal emergency. In this sense, then, there are no “excused” absences.


Auditing students have the right of full participation in class. Students must register to audit any class during the normal registration period. Such audit hours will be part of their total load, and they shall pay tuition and fees at the same rate as students taking the course for credit. No credit toward graduation is awarded for audited courses.

Catalogs & Graduation Requirements

Entering students, including first-time and transfer students, will be required to complete the graduation, university, general education and program requirements listed in the catalog in effect when they first enroll, or in any subsequent catalog during their period of enrollment, which includes the catalog in effect when a student files for graduation. The following rules apply:

  • All graduation requirements must be met from a single catalog, with the following exception: Students seeking education licensure and/or endorsement will meet current state requirements.
  • If students choose a subsequent catalog different from the one they enrolled under, they may not return to their original catalog or any version of catalog that pre-dates the subsequent catalog they have chosen without permission of their academic dean and the Registrar’s Office.
  • Students cannot graduate under a catalog older than six (6) years for a bachelor’s degree (major or minor), three (3) years for an associate’s degree, two (2) years for a certificate, or six (6) years for a master’s degree.
  • Students who seek and are approved for an enrollment deferral or interruption of their studies, through the Admissions Office, may take a leave of absence of up to five semesters, not including summers. Upon returning to SUU, students will have the option to select the original catalog at initial enrollment or the current catalog. The time a student is away, however, still counts toward the six-year life of their chosen catalog. A returning student that did not receive an approved leave of absence will be placed onto the current catalog upon reentry.

Change of Grades

Grades may be changed only for legitimate reasons by the instructor who submitted the original grade. The time limit on changing grades is two (2) years after the posting of the incorrect grade.

The Registrar’s Office will process a change of grade upon receipt of a Change of Grade Form submitted electronically by the instructor. A grade appeal process is also available through SUU Policy 6.19 Grade Appeal.

Continuing Education

Students enrolled in continuing education classes are not automatically admitted to an undergraduate or graduate program. They may be admitted to the University upon meeting the admissions requirements published in this catalog. Successful completion of continuing education courses (minimum GPA of 2.0) may be taken into consideration in making the admissions decision, but do not guarantee admission or readmission into the University. Continuing education coursework may not be applied to a student’s undergraduate program. Graduate credit may be awarded with approval by the student’s academic dean. Continuing education coursework may include 5000-level courses.

Cooperative Education

The cooperative education program is to provide students an opportunity to participate in a directed work experience for academic credit. Prior approval must be obtained to participate. The employer and a departmental faculty member will evaluate the proposed work experience and determine the credit to be awarded. Up to 12 credits may be applied toward a student’s major and up to six (6) may be applied to a minor program of study.

Work experience will not be offered until at least 27 credit hours have been earned in an associate degree program or until 80 credit hours have been earned in a baccalaureate program.

Additional information may be obtained through the appropriate academic dean’s office. Although the institution does not guarantee placement of every student who desires to participate, effort will be made to find a suitable work experience. Students participating in this program will register for credit and pay regular tuition and fees.

Credit Hour Load

A full-time undergraduate student carries at least 12 credit hours each semester. (See Full-Time Status below.) Students may enroll in up to 18 credit hours. Students with an SUU grade point average of (3.5) or higher may enroll for additional credits, but additional tuition and fees may be incurred. To register for up to 21 credit hours a student must submit a Credit Overload Request form. To register for more than 21 credit hours, written approval of the academic dean and Student Success Advisor must be obtained. Approval must be obtained before registering.

A graduate student may enroll in 15 semester hours. Beyond this maximum credit hour load, the program director and dean’s approval is needed. Approval must be obtained before registering.

Extended Day, Outreach, & Electronic Delivery Credit

Extended day, outreach, or classes delivered through electronic media and taught by regular faculty at SUU shall count as resident credit. It is expected that some courses, particularly in major and minor fields, will have to be taught on campus due to facilities required.

Final Examinations

Each semester, a schedule for final examinations is published on the web. This schedule defines the dates and times during which all final examinations must be scheduled. All in-class final examinations must be given during the officially scheduled final examination period. An exception to the schedule is allowed only on an individual basis with the exception to be arranged between the instructor and the student.

Full-Time Status

To be considered full-time an undergraduate student should register for 12 or more credits per semester. Undergraduate students receiving federal financial aid and/or scholarship assistance must carry 12 credit hours per semester to be full-time students. Undergraduate students receiving veterans’ assistance must carry at least 12 credit hours per semester to be full-time students. To receive Stafford or PLUS loans, students must be enrolled at least half-time (undergraduate - 6 credits, graduate - 3 credits).

Grade Appeal

A student may request a change of grade for any of three reasons: (1) a clerical or computational error was made by the instructor in assigning the grade, (2) the instructor lost or damaged student work that had been completed and submitted as assigned, or (3) the instructor evaluated the student’s work on the basis of different factors than were used to evaluate the work of the other students in the course.

The student will first discuss the request for change of grade with the instructor. If the matter cannot be resolved, the student may appeal to the department head. If a resolution is still not reached, the student may appeal to the academic dean. Appeals to the dean must be initiated within six months of the end of the course. If discussion with the dean does not resolve the matter, the dean will refer the appeal to the College Grade Committee. The College Grade Committee will rule on the matter within two months of the date of the appeal to the dean. (Refer to the SUU Policy 6.19 Grade Appeal for additional information.)

Grade Reports

Grades are available via the mySUU student portal. If a student finds omissions or errors in a grade report, the student must make an application to the Registrar’s Office for a review of the record not later than the last day of the next semester in residence. All errors or omissions in student records will be researched and an attempt made to correct them.

Grading System

Southern Utah University uses a 4.0 grading scale. The table below lists the letter grades that instructors use to document their evaluation of your work and to document your academic status in the class. In addition, it defines the meaning of each letter grade and specifies the number of quality points that correspond to each grade. Quality points are used to determine your grade-point average (GPA). The procedure for calculating your GPA is described below, in How to Calculate Your Grade-Point Average (GPA).

Letter Grades
Letter Grade Meaning Quality Points per Credit Hour Used in GPA?
A Excellent 4.0 Yes
A- Excellent 3.7 Yes
B+ Above average 3.3 Yes
B Above average 3.0 Yes
B- Above average 2.7 Yes
C+ Average 2.3 Yes
C Average 2.0 Yes
C- Average 1.7 Yes
D+ Below average 1.3 Yes
D Below average 1.0 Yes
D- Below average 0.7 Yes
F Failure 0.0 Yes
UW Unofficial withdrawal 0.0 Yes
AU Audit 0.0 No
I Incomplete 0.0 (until changed to a letter grade) No
T Temporary 0.0 (until course is completed) No
P Passed 0.0 No
W Withdrawal 0.0 No
Z Grade not submitted 0.0 No
NR Incomplete thesis, graduate project, or other comparable task 0.0 No

Graduate Courses for Undergraduates

An undergraduate student with senior standing and a GPA of at least 3.0 may enroll in 6000-level graduate courses provided that such enrollment does not cause the student’s total credit hour load to exceed 18 credits for the term. At the time of authorized enrollment, the student must choose whether the graduate credits will be applied toward electives within the baccalaureate program or reserved as graduate credit to be applied toward a graduate program at a future date. Graduate credits for a specific course earned under this provision cannot be applied simultaneously to both an undergraduate and graduate degree and program. Before registering for courses, the student must have the approval of the course instructor and the department chair where the credit will be applied. The credit may be used for graduate credit at SUU only after the student is admitted to a graduate program of the University. The maximum amount of such credit that will be accepted at SUU is 12 hours.

Graduation with Latin Honors

Graduation Latin honors are awarded to students receiving their first baccalaureate degree, according to the table below. Honors are awarded on the basis of all semesters completed, and the student’s final transcript remains the official record of any honors granted. At the time of graduation, a grade point average of at least 3.8 is required for the award of Summa Cum Laude, and an average of at least 3.6 is required for the award of Magna Cum Laude. (These are based on cumulative GPA including transfer credits). No honors are awarded for second baccalaureate or graduate degrees.

Graduation Honors
Cumulative Grade Point Average Honor
3.6 - 3.799 Magna Cum Laude
3.8 - 4.0 Summa Cum Laude

How to Calculate GPA

For each student, Southern Utah University calculates the grade point average (GPA) by dividing the total number of credits accumulated into the sum of all grade points earned. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation but some departments maintain a higher GPA requirement. Grades of “P” or “F” may be given in certain courses where attendance or class activity is one of the major factors in determining performance.

Formula for Calculating Grade Point Average  

Total Quality Points Earned
______________________      =    GPA

GPA Hours


In calculating cumulative GPA, Southern Utah University uses courses taken at the university in a student’s current “career” and all courses that student has transferred from other post-secondary institutions–but only if the student received a final letter grade in those transferred courses. During any semester a student can be enrolled in one of three possible careers–undergraduate, graduate, or continuing studies. If a student repeated a nonrepeatable course, only the highest grade is used in calculating the overall cumulative GPA. (See repeated courses section.)

In calculating semester GPA, the formula uses only the quality points earned and quality hours taken that semester.

All GPA calculations exclude credits for:

  • pass/fail courses in which you received a final grade of P
  • courses that students registered for but later dropped from their schedule, even though the course may appear on the transcript with a final grade of W
  • courses in which students have received the grade of “I” for incomplete, “T” for temporary, or “NR”
  • courses taken under audit status (“AU”)
  • remedial courses (courses numbered below 1000)

Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade is placed on a student’s record by the instructor when for some unforeseen reason the student is unable to complete the assigned coursework by the end of the semester/term and, through contract with the instructor, with copies of the contract filed in the instructor’s department and submitted to the Registrar’s Office at the time that grades are due, the student agrees to complete the work within the contract time (not to exceed 12 calendar months beyond the end of that term). An incomplete grade should be granted only if the student has completed the majority of the course (75% of the course) and is passing the class at the time. If the contract is not satisfied by the student, then the incomplete shall be changed by the instructor (or, if the instructor is not available, by the department chair) to the grade of “F” or the grade agreed upon by virtue of the contract. If no report is received by the Registrar’s Office, the grade will be changed automatically to an “F.” The student should not register again to complete the work of an incomplete. Students shall not be allowed to submit assignments or other work for grade changes outside of the term in which they are taking a class, unless an incomplete contract has been submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The only exception to this policy is for clerical error. (See grade appeal). The instructor is responsible for submission of a completed grade when the student has completed the required work.

Last Week of Classes

No final examination is to be due or administered prior to or during the designated study day (see final examination schedule) with the following exceptions:

  • In-lab or performance classes where it is necessary
  • A take-home final examination may be distributed during this time period
  • Homework, papers, problem sets, and projects may be due during this time frame

Old Credit

Students returning to college after a number of years should note that no credit earned more than 20 years old will be counted toward the credit requirement of the major or minor. This does not apply to General Education credit. Certain departments may have stricter requirements.

Preparatory Courses

Courses numbered below 1000 (0001-0999) are considered precollege or preparatory courses. Some departments may also refer to them as remedial or developmental courses. These courses carry no credit applicable to a postsecondary certificate or degree, but they may apply toward a student’s course load. (For example, a student could register for 12 credits in a semester: 9 credits at the 1000-level and 3 credits at the 0900-level. They would be considered to have 12 credits total for that semester’s course load, but they would only earn up to 9 credits from that semester.) These courses are designed to develop basic precollege concepts and principles related to an area of study and to lead to mastery of precollege learning outcomes.

Prior Learning Assessment

Southern Utah University is proud to support students in earning academic credit through a multitude of options, including work they have completed before they arrived at SUU. Please visit www.suu.edu/credits to find information for all of the methods through which they can earn degree-applicable credits and accelerate their time to graduation.

Advanced Placement (AP)

A student may earn credit for Advanced Placement exams passed with a score of 3, 4, or 5. SUU does not limit the number of credits that may be acquired through Advanced Placement testing. Information regarding AP exam equivalencies can be found at www.suu.edu/credits/apcredit.html.

Credit for Military Service

  • Service members may be granted credits for military experience and courses, if specific requirements are met.
  • Students who have active military service may be granted PE 1098 - Wellness Dynamics  to fulfill the Social and Behavioral Sciences Knowledge Area requirement, plus another seven (7) elective credit hours. Service members with active military service must have completed Boot Camp with a minimum of 24 months of active service and received an honorable discharge or be on current orders. National Guard or a Reservist must have completed Boot Camp with a minimum of 48 months of service and received an honorable discharge or be on current orders.
  • Service members from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard have the option to submit an official copy of their Joint Services Transcript (JST) to SUU for additional credit evaluation.
  • Service members with a Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) / Air University transcript will be reviewed as a regionally-accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Military credit will be applied only if it can be applied to a legitimate undergraduate degree program and reduces the overall requirements of the student’s current degree.
  • Military credit is added to a student’s total credit hours completed and may reduce a student’s eligibility for financial aid.
  • More information can be found at www.suu.edu/veteransaffairs.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

High school students may receive credit for IB exams passed with a score of 5, 6, or 7. Visit www.suu.edu/credits/ibcredit.html for specific credit granted, as credit is not awarded for some IB exams. Please also note that students cannot receive the same credit through Advanced Placement in the same subjects as IB.

SUU Credit by Exam, CLEP, and Credit by Portfolio

A total of 30 semester hours of credit may be achieved by a combination of SUU Credit by Exam, Credit by Portfolio, and CLEP examinations. Permission to test out of an SUU course must be obtained from the faculty member. Such permission will not be granted for the purpose of a change of grade if the student has already taken the course.

Request forms for SUU Credit by Exam may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

The following are general guidelines in awarding credit by these methods:

  1. Credit by Examination, Credit by Portfolio, and CLEP are only available as options to students currently enrolled at SUU.
  2. Coursework taken prior to the exam or portfolio will be considered and may reduce the hours of credit awarded.
  3. A maximum of 16 credit hours may be acquired in any one academic discipline. Such credit will be given only with the consent of the faculty member or department chair.
  4. SUU Credit by Exam for languages will receive only a pass/fail grade. Students may receive a maximum of 16 credit hours per language by examination.
  5. With the exception of language credit, SUU Credit by Exam may be granted as a standard letter grade or a pass/fail as agreed upon by the instructor and student.
  6. Credit by Portfolio will be awarded with a pass/fail grade.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Information regarding CLEP examinations and the credits a student may earn is available at www.suu.edu/credits/clep.html.

Credit by Portfolio

Credit by Portfolio is designed specifically for people who have experience manifested by a portfolio and documented as their personal work by records or letters from those aware of the activity. The portfolio should already exist as a result of previous work and should not be something created for the purpose of gaining credit. The academic department granting credit may administer credit by portfolio on a course-by-course basis.

Repeated Classes

  1. A student may repeat a course for grade change or improvement. The highest grade received will be used in computing the grade point average at graduation with “E” (Exclude) added to all other attempts of that course (see exception in 2). Courses taken at other colleges and repeated at SUU will not qualify for change of grade unless the student can provide the Registrar’s Office written proof from the appropriate SUU department that the courses involved were of similar content.
  2. A student may repeat a course more than once for credit which can apply toward graduation. However, a statement indicating the course can be repeated for credit must appear in the SUU Catalog course description. Unless such a statement is included in a course description, the repeated class shall not apply to the 120 credit hours required to graduate.
  3. The University reserves the right to deny access to courses for students wishing to enroll following a third attempt. The University will grant additional attempts based on the student’s ability to benefit as determined by the appropriate department or discipline. This is a general University policy; additional enrollment may be more restrictive in selective programs and courses (e.g., student teaching).
  4. Courses which may be repeated for credit do not fall under (1) above when retaken for improvement of the grade. When requesting a GPA recalculation on these types of courses, the most recent grade must be used. Once a student has completed a course they may not receive credit for that course through credit by examination or replace a poor previous grade through credit by examination.
  5. Once a student has been awarded a baccalaureate degree, no factors related to that degree can be changed. Courses cannot be repeated to improve the GPA. 

Questions about Grades

For questions about grades and the above policies, contact the Registrar’s Office.