undergraduate record

Chapter 5: University Regulations

Students at the University of Virginia are subject to the University's academic, financial, and non-academic rules and regulations. In addition, students are subject to the academic policies of the school in which they are enrolled. The information contained herein and any other information conveyed to students is subject to change at any time by the authorities responsible for making these rules and regulations.

The University reserves the right to suspend, enforce the withdrawal of, or expel a student whose academic standing is, in its judgment, unsatisfactory or who violates the University's Standards of Conduct. In addition, the University will automatically enforce the dismissal of a student certified by the Honor Committee to be guilty of a breach of the honor system.

Academic Regulations

Academic Grievance Procedure

Students who have a grievance relating to a faculty member, department chair, or dean are invited to discuss their academic grievance in the following manner:

  1. Concerns related to a faculty member that cannot be resolved between the two parties should be discussed with the department chair on a person-to-person basis;

  2. Should the concern be related to the department chair (in schools with departments) the grievance would be filed with the dean of the school;

  3. Should the concern be related to the dean of the school, the grievance would be filed with the Vice President and Provost;

  4. Should the level of concern relate to the Vice President and Provost, appropriate documentation should be presented in writing to the President of the University.

Academic Probation, Warning, and Suspension

Probation   Students may be placed on academic probation, or in the College academic warning, for failure to make satisfactory progress toward a degree. Failure to make satisfactory progress can mean the failure to either meet a certain grade point average in a given semester or to maintain a cumulative grade point average at a specified level. Failure to make satisfactory progress may also mean failure to earn enough academic credits in a given semester or to earn a specified number of credits at the end of each academic year (e.g., by the end of the student's first year, second year, etc.). Probation is in the nature of a warning that if credit or grade point deficiencies are not rectified within a specified period of time, the student is subject to academic suspension from the University. Students placed on academic probation have the notation "Academic Probation" placed on their permanent academic records following the term in which the probation action occurred. In the College of Arts and Sciences, notations describing the students' academic shortcoming(s) are placed on their permanent academic records following the term in which they are placed on academic warning.

The six undergraduate schools of the University have different definitions of what constitutes satisfactory academic progress. Students are advised to consult their school's section of this catalog to determine the definition and possible sanctions appropriate to their school.

Suspension   Students who have been on probation or warning and who continue to make less than satisfactory progress toward their degrees will be suspended from the University. In most schools, a suspended student may apply for readmission to the University after one calendar year. Applications for readmission must be made in writing to the student's dean. Students who are readmitted after being suspended are considered to be on probation and must meet specified academic objectives. Failure to meet those objectives results in a second academic suspension. A second academic suspension is considered final.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

It is the responsibility of the individual to bring to the University's attention the need for academic accommodation due to a qualifying disability. Requests for reasonable variation in degree requirements to accommodate a student's disability should be submitted in writing at the earliest possible time to the student's dean, who reviews all requests for such variation. If the student's disability precludes attainment of licensure or certification in the desired degree program, that information will be so noted in replying to the request.

Requests should be supported by appropriate documentation of the relevant disability filed with the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center. Personnel at the Center are available to counsel students in preparing their requests for academic accommodations and to help them get other necessary support services. Deaf and hearing impaired students may dial (804) 243-5189 to receive telecommunications accessibility.

Students who have disabilities that may interfere with their performance in a course or require special and reasonable accommodation in the conduct of the course are encouraged to inform the instructor of that fact at the beginning of the course. Any questions concerning the propriety of particular accommodations should be referred to the student's dean's office and/or the Assistant Director of the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center, (804) 243-5180 or (804) 243-5189.

Attendance in Classes

Faculty members have the right to establish attendance and participation requirements in each of their courses. Course requirements such as examinations, oral presentations, laboratory experiments, participation in discussion, or the like are in no sense waived because of absence from class. Instructors may establish penalties when excessive absences would seriously hinder achievement in any course.

Auditing Courses

Students may audit courses with the permission of the instructor. Courses taken on an audit basis have the symbol AU (audit) recorded in the grade column of the academic record. As no credits or grade points are earned in audited courses, these courses are not applicable toward a degree. Instructors have the option of deciding whether students may or may not take their courses on an audit basis.

A grade of W is recorded for any student who discontinues the audit after the drop deadline or who fails to meet the instructor's standards.

Awards for Academic Excellence

Exceptional academic achievement is recognized by the University through various honors. The types of honors and their requirements are listed below. The rules and procedures for honors programs and distinguished majors programs in the College of Arts and Sciences are described in Chapter 6.

Dean's List  Full-time students become eligible for the dean's list of their school at the end of each semester by demonstrating superior academic achievement. Students must take a minimum of 12 credits (15 credits in Architecture, Commerce and Engineering) for graded credit, e.g., no courses taken on a credit/no-credit basis may be counted toward the minimum of 12 credits necessary to be on the dean's list. Any student receiving an F, NC or NG during a semester is ineligible to be on the dean's list. Minimum grade point average requirements for the dean's list may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Intermediate Honors   Students who enter the University directly from high school or preparatory school and who, after four regular semesters meet the requirements stipulated by their school, are awarded a Certificate of Intermediate Honors and have the notation "Intermediate Honors" placed on their official academic record. Specific credit and grade point average requirements for intermediate honors may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Theses and Commencement Honors  Students who demonstrate high academic achievement in pursuit of their bachelor's degree are eligible to have their achievement recognized with certain inscriptions recorded on their official academic record and their diplomas. The honors designations and requirements for each school are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Phi Beta Kappa   To be eligible for election to Phi Beta Kappa, students must have done distinguished work in advanced courses in several Arts and Sciences departments. While no set grade point average is established for election, successful nominees have usually earned at least a 3.7, taken upper-level work in several departments in the College, and carried more than the minimum permitted 12-credit course load.

Changes in Class Schedules (Add/Drop/Withdrawal)

Changes in students' class schedules are made via the ISIS telephone system. In the event admission to a course requires the permission of the instructor, a form signed by the instructor is submitted to the dean's office of the school in which the student is enrolled; or to the department offering the course, if the student is enrolled in the College. Students may add and drop courses through the deadlines set by their school as published in the Course Offering Directory.

After the drop deadline has passed, a grade is assigned by the instructor depending on the policies of the school in which the student is enrolled. An appropriate withdrawal grade appears on the official academic record.

No refunds are given for classes dropped after the mid-point of the semester.

Specific add, drop, and withdrawal policies and dates may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Class Standing

Students are categorized by class according to the number of credits earned. Credits not completed or completed unsuccessfully do not count toward the number of credits required for class standing. The number of credits necessary for each of the classes is: 1st year: 0-29 credits earned; 2nd year: 30-59 credits earned; 3rd year: 60-89 credits earned; 4th year: 90 or more credits earned. AP credits and transfer credits are included in the computation of class standing. Within the School of Architecture, students in the design concentration are classified according to their studio level.

Course Load

Each school has established a minimum and maximum number of credits for which students are normally expected to register. Registration for fewer credits than the minimum or more credits than the maximum requires special permission from the dean's office. Students who register for fewer than 12 credits have a notation placed on their academic record indicating that they were enrolled for a reduced course load during that semester. Course load requirements and permission procedures may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Cross-listed Courses

With appropriate approval, a course may be cross-listed under more than one mnemonic or level, but only one section may be taken for degree credit. If one of the cross-listed sections is level 500 or higher, that section is normally reserved for graduate students.


Students who have completed all degree requirements in their major and in their school are granted a degree by the University of Virginia. The list of degrees conferred by the University and the minimum number of credits is included in Part II. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 in courses required for graduation is necessary to receive a diploma from the University. Students who graduate in May can receive their diplomas at the commencement exercises held on the Lawn or they may pay a fee to have the diploma mailed to them. Students who graduate in August or December may either pick up their diploma in the registrar's office or pay a fee to have the diploma mailed to them.

Persons receiving diplomas must be registered at the University during the semester in which they receive the degree. Those not carrying any courses must register as non-residents and pay the non-resident fee in order to graduate from the University.

Students may earn a degree from only one undergraduate school in a semester. Those who complete the requirements for more than one undergraduate degree program will be awarded a double major. This notation is placed on the transcript, but not on the diploma.

Lost or damaged diplomas may be replaced upon written request and payment of a $25 replacement fee plus a mailing fee. Return of the damaged diploma is required. If the original diploma is lost, a notarized statement verifying the loss is required. If the original diploma is not returned, the new diploma will have the word "replacement" inscibed at the bottom of the document.

When the original diploma is not lost or damaged, additional copies are available upon request and payment of a $50 duplicate fee plus a mailing fee. Duplicate diplomas have the word "copy" inscribed at the bottom of the document.

Both replacement and duplicate diplomas will be printed in the format currently in use. When available, the degree title and the signatures of the president, dean, and registrar in use at the time the original diploma was awarded will appear on the replacement or duplicate, but the title and/or signatures currently in use will be substituted if necessary. If a replacement diploma is ordered for which the original signatures or degree title are not available, the word "replacement" will be inscribed at the bottom of the document, regardless of whether or not the original is returned. All diplomas will be printed with the original graduation date.

Additional information about replacement and duplicate diplomas can be obtained by contacting the Diploma Coordinator at the Office of the University Registrar.

The University reserves the right to withhold the diplomas of financially delinquent students.

Division of Continuing Education Courses

With the approval of a student's school of enrollment, a course taken through the Division of Continuing Education can be counted toward degree requirements and (for undergraduates) included in the computation of a grade point average. Approval is required in advance; otherwise, Continuing Education courses do not apply toward a degree.

Enhanced Opportunities for Early Graduation

For many years the University has provided opportunities for students to obtain a degree in fewer than four years in the various Arts and Sciences disciplines by combining credits earned through the Advanced Placement program of the College Entrance Examination Board, credits earned by overload (more than 15 credits per semester) and attendance in at least one summer session, either here or elsewhere. In recent years, as many as 47 students in a graduating class have earned their degrees in three years.

In a typical entering class at the University, 25-33 percent of all students have earned 12 to 15 credits of Advanced Placement and are thus eligible to shorten their time to degree if they wish. Most students now either reduce their course loads or graduate with extra credits. No regulation prohibits students from graduating early, but early graduation from the five undergraduate schools other than the College is rare because the sequencing of courses required for professional degrees commonly requires four full years.

Final Examinations

Final examinations are given in courses during a designated period of time at the end of each semester. Final examinations in courses may be given only at the time listed in the Course Offering Directory, issued each semester by the Office of the University Registrar. Faculty members are not authorized to change the announced times of their examinations. Such changes may be authorized only by the faculty member's dean's office, and then only for compelling reasons. All students must have the opportunity to take the examination at the time announced in the Course Offering Directory.

Students are not permitted to take a final examination before the regularly scheduled examination. When genuinely serious conditions exist, students, with the consent of the course instructor, may be allowed to postpone a final examination until after the regular examination period. When the instructor concurs, a student must submit a request on a form provided in the dean's office of the school in which the student is registered. Students will then take the examination at the instructor's convenience, usually within four weeks of the last day of the examination period.

Unexcused absence from a final examination results in an automatic grade of F in the course.

Grading System

Records of academic achievement are maintained by the University in terms of credits, grades, and grade points. Comprehensive information on the University's grading system is attached here.


The University conducts a graduation ceremony each May to recognize and honor those students who have completed all degree requirements during the previous academic year. Students who graduate at the end of a summer or fall semester are invited to attend the ceremony following their graduation. Summer and fall graduates are not permitted to participate in a ceremony conducted prior to the actual awarding of the degree.

Honorary Degrees

The University of Virginia does not award honorary degrees. In conjunction with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, the University presents the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture and the Thomas Jefferson Award in Law each spring. The awards, recognizing excellence in two fields of interest to Jefferson, constitute the University's highest recognition of scholars outside the University.

Leaves of Absence and Withdrawals

Voluntary Leaves of Absence   Students who wish to take a voluntary leave of absence for a semester or year must apply for such leave at their dean's office. Students on leave must apply for readmission to their school at least 60 days prior to the final registration dates for the semester for which they intend to enroll. Students on an approved leave of absence have the notation "On Academic Leave"  entered on their permanent academic record following the semester during which they last registered at the University. Policies governing leaves and readmission may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Educational Leaves of Absence   Students who wish to take a leave of absence to pursue educational interests at another educational institution in the United States must apply for a leave of absence at their dean's office. Students who wish to study abroad on an accredited program or at an accredited foreign university must apply for a leave of absence at the International Studies Office. While on such an approved leave, a student must register at the University of Virginia as a non-resident and pay a non-resident fee which indicates that he or she is on an approved leave of absence pursuing educational interests elsewhere. Students registered for an approved leave may preregister for courses and do not have to apply for readmission to the University, although they must notify their dean's office or the International Studies Office of when they intend to return.

Exclusion From Courses  A student who is making no real progress in a course or whose behavior is detracting from the course may be excluded from the course by the dean with a grade of WF or F. Students have five calendar days following written notification of this exclusion in which to appeal. Until the final disposition of the appeal, the student is considered to be enrolled in the course.

Enforced Withdrawal   Students may be forced to withdraw from the University for habitual delinquency in class, habitual idleness, or any other fault which prevents the student from fulfilling the purpose implied by registration at the University. Students who are forced to withdraw during a given term will have the notation "Enforced Withdrawal (date)"  entered on their permanent academic record following the semester in which the action occurred. A grade of W (withdrawal) will be entered for each of the courses in which the students were registered. Students who have been forced to withdraw must apply for readmission to their dean's office in the same manner as suspended students.

Medical Withdrawal   Students who withdraw for reasons of health must obtain permission from the Department of Student Health. Grades of W (withdrawal) will be entered for each course in which the students were registered. Subsequent medical clearance from the Department of Student Health is required for readmission.

Voluntary Withdrawal   Students may withdraw from the University before the conclusion of a semester under the following conditions:

  1. Students under the age of 18 must give notice to their parents or legal guardians of their intention to withdraw. Evidence of such notice must be provided at the time of the withdrawal.
  2. Applications for withdrawal must be made in writing to the student's academic dean's office and must be approved by the dean.
  3. Failure to comply with the above regulations will subject a student to suspension from the University by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Any student who withdraws without having obtained permission is recorded as having been suspended with grade of F recorded for each course.
  4. Students who withdraw from the University voluntarily will have the notation "Withdrew (date)"  recorded on their permanent academic record.

Specific voluntary withdrawal and readmission policies may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Appeals   Students have the right to appeal imposition of sanctions. During the pendency of his or her appeal, a student's standing remains status quo.

Non-Resident Status

The non-resident status is reserved for students who are not taking any courses or research but who need to be enrolled at the University for certain administrative reasons, including finishing incompletes, awaiting graduation, or while simultaneously enrolled through the Division of Continuing Education. This status is for students who are not in residence in one of the degree-granting schools of the University, and bears no relation to the student's in- or out-of-state tuition status. Non-resident students are considered to be enrolled less than half-time, and receive no student I.D. card privileges.


Exceptions to academic regulations may be requested by petitioning the appropriate faculty committee or dean's office in the student's school of enrollment. Petition forms and information concerning the proper procedures for requesting exceptions to academic regulations may be requested in deans' offices.

Posthumous Degrees

Upon the recommendation of the faculty of the appropriate school, the general faculty of the University may make a posthumous award of the degree or degrees the student was pursuing if all requirements were likely to have been completed during the final year for which the student was registered had it not been for the intervention of death or debilitating illness.

It shall be the responsibility of the Vice President for Student Affairs to assure that appropriate procedures to implement this policy are established in the various schools of the University. The policy shall be retroactive.


Students who do not enroll at the University for a semester or more and who are not on an educational leave of absence, must be formally readmitted, regardless of whether or not they were on an approved leave of absence. In order to accomplish this readmission, they must be cleared by their academic dean, the Department of Student Health, and the Office of the Dean of Students. Application for readmission must be made to the academic dean's office of the student's school at least 60 days in advance of the next University registration period. The School of Commerce and the College of Arts and Sciences have slightly different policies regarding readmission procedures and deadlines. Specific information about their policies can be found in their respective chapters.


Students must complete final registration via the ISIS Telephone System in order to be considered duly enrolled students. Specific instructions are available each semester in the Course Offering Directory and on-line at http://www.virginia.edu/~regist. The late registration period begins the day after the end of regular registration. Students who pre-enroll in courses but who do not complete the registration process lose their places in these courses on the Friday immediately following final registration. The final deadline for registration is seven weeks after the first day of classes. Students who have not completed registration by this date are not allowed to register for the semester, receive credit for the semester, or receive a degree during the semester. No student is permitted to register after this time except in cases where the delay in registration was a result of University actions. Inability to pay tuition and fees by the deadlines imposed by the university bursar does not constitute an acceptable reason for registering late.

A late registration fee of $25 is charged to students who register after regular registration through the end of the tenth class meeting day of the semester. After the tenth class meeting day, a $50 late registration fee is charged.

Payment of tuition and fees is considered to be part of the registration process. Failure to pay tuition and fees by the dates established by the university bursar will result in suspension from the University. See Chapter 4. Any student who registers assumes thereby an obligation to pay for that semester's tuition and fees.

All suspensions -- financial, disciplinary, or academic -- must be cleared before a student is permitted to register at the University. Students who are terminated for non-academic reasons during the semester and who seek reinstatement in the same semester are readmitted and reregistered by the university registrar in coordination with the student's dean's office. The student is required to present the termination clearance form approved by the termination authority to the registrar prior to the tenth class day before the last day of scheduled classes. Students are not allowed to be readmitted or reregistered after this deadline, and are not allowed to receive credit for that semester or to receive a degree in that semester.

Students who fail to register are not considered to be students at the University, and are not certified as being enrolled at the University for any purpose. Students who register must enroll in at least the minimum of credits required by the pertinent school or have the registration cancelled.

Repeated Courses

Courses may be repeated for credit only with the permission of students' deans' offices. The original course continues to appear on the official academic record and counts in the calculation of the grade point average. Specific school regulations concerning repeated courses may be found in subsequent chapters.

Student Status

Students must have completed the registration process at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and be current in all financial obligations to the University in order to be considered enrolled at the University. Satisfaction of one of the following criteria confers full-time or part-time status on an undergraduate student during a given semester for the purpose of enrollment certification and deferments of student loans. Separate criteria may apply for tuition, fees, and financial aid.

Full-Time Students   Registration for twelve or more credits in a semester constitutes full-time status for the purpose of loan deferments and enrollment certification.

Part-Time Students   Any student carrying fewer than twelve credits (or fewer than nine credits in the College of Arts and Sciences) is considered to be enrolled part-time. Registration for fewer than twelve credits is permitted only under extraordinary circumstances and only with the permission of the dean's office (See the section entitled "Course Load"). Students wishing to carry fewer than twelve credits may transfer to the Division of Continuing Education with the permission of their dean. Undergraduate students who have obtained permission to register through Continuing Education are restricted to taking a maximum of two courses each semester. Each may have a corequisite lab or a credit-bearing discussion section. College students are limited to a maximum of 16 credits taken in the School of Continuing Education.

Thesis Opportunities

The opportunity to write a thesis for credit is available to participants in distinguished majors programs and to majors in some departments or schools. See subsequent school chapters for details.


Transcripts of courses taken, grades given, and degrees received at the University of Virginia are maintained in the Office of the University Registrar in accordance with the policies of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Current students may view their records in their dean's office or in the registrar's office upon proof of identification. Copies of transcripts may be obtained by the student from the registrar's office by making a written request authorizing the release of the transcript. A $3 fee is charged for copies of transcripts. The University of Virginia reserves the right to withhold copies of transcripts of students who have unfulfilled financial obligations with the University.

Access to student records is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Any student attempting to gain access to or gain possession of another student's record will be subject to disciplinary proceedings and suspension from the University.

Transfer Credit

General Policies   The University of Virginia grants transfer credit based on the content of the courses taken, the applicability of the courses to the students' intended majors and degree programs, and the quality of performance in the courses. Only credit satisfactorily completed at a degree-granting institution of higher education which has been fully accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies (e.g., the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) or at an institution which is a "Recognized Candidate for Accreditation" will be considered for transfer credit.

Credit is allowed only for those courses in which a grade of C or better has been earned. Some programs may require a grade of B or better. Only credits are accepted in transfer. Grades do not transfer and do not affect the student's cumulative grade point average at the University of Virginia. Credit from institutions on a system other than the semester hour system will be converted to semester hours. Students will receive no more, and may receive fewer, than the number of credits earned at the host institution.

Undergraduate students must take at least fifty-four credits of course work in residence at the University of Virginia to be granted their degrees. In some cases, the student will have to earn more than sixty credits to satisfy degree requirements. Each academic unit determines this requirement.

A maximum of sixty-six credits may be transferred to the University from a combination of testing programs and academic institutions.

Policies governing transfer credit may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Credit From Foreign Institutions   The University of Virginia grants credit for courses taken at recognized foreign tertiary level institutions. Foreign institutions that are chartered and authorized by their respective national governments (generally through the Ministries of Education) are considered "recognized." Credit is awarded for courses judged to have been completed at a C level or above. The amount of credit granted will not exceed that given for the comparable University of Virginia course. The University of Virginia recognizes the general guidelines for awarding credit given by the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Student Credentials and the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs.

Credit By Examination   The University of Virginia participates in the Advanced Placement Examinations program of the Educational Testing Service, and the International Baccalaureate Examination Program. Students who receive grades deemed satisfactory by the academic unit to which they seek admission may receive academic credit. The University does not participate in the College Level Examination Program, the College Proficiency Exam, or the USAFI and DANTES programs of the United States Military Forces.

Admission From Another Undergraduate Institution   Transfer credits taken before matriculation may be used to fulfill area requirements, but they may not be used to fulfill major requirements.

Additional Information for Newly Admitted Transfer Students   Official transcripts submitted with each application are referred by the Office of Admission to the academic units to which each student seek admission. Each academic unit evaluates the transcripts and notifies students which credits have been accepted for transfer.

Students seeking admission are responsible for sending the admission office, at the earliest possible date, official transcripts from each institution attended and grades for each advanced placement examination taken which were not submitted at the time of application. Credit can be granted only on the basis of official transcripts sent directly from the educational institutions to the admission office, or on the basis of test scores sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to the admission office. Students completing courses at foreign institutions must submit course descriptions and/or syllabi to determine comparability to University of Virginia courses. Students will be notified if further information is required.

Transfer credit is evaluated only for the degree program to which students are admitted, and is subject to change if students change degree programs. The amount of credit awarded determines class standing. Thus, if credit is not granted for all previous work, the class standing of students at the University of Virginia may differ from what it had been at previous institutions. Policies on transfer credit and class standing may vary by school, and are detailed in subsequent chapters.

Enrolled Students Taking Course Work at Other Institutions   Students who are already enrolled at the University of Virginia must secure the prior permission of their dean's office to enroll in course work at another institution and have academic credit transferred back to the University of Virginia to apply toward their degree program. After completing course work, students must have official transcripts sent from the institutions in which the courses were taken to the appropriate dean's office. Approval to take courses on a pass/fail basis must also be obtained prior to taking the courses. Courses in which "pass" or "credit" grades are received must be certified as equivalent to a grade of C or higher to be accepted. Transfer courses will only be used as elective credit; they may not be used to fulfill area or major requirements.