10: School of Engineering and Applied Science

General Information | Degree Programs | Curricula | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Admission | Requirements | Academic Rules and Regulations | Degree Requirements | Course Enrollment
Accuracy of Students' Records | Residence Requirements | ROTC Programs | Minors

Academic Rules and Regulations

Each student is expected to complete the undergraduate program in eight semesters (plus summers, if necessary). Exceptions may be made in certain cases if permission is obtained from the Office of the Dean.

Normal progress toward graduation consists of taking a minimum of 15 credits each semester and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better. The minimum (15 credits) may not be satisfied with courses taken on a credit/no credit basis.

Academic Probation   First-year students who receive a semester grade point average below 1.8 are placed on academic probation. All other students who receive a semester grade point average below 2.0 are placed on academic probation.

Academic Suspension   Students who have previously been placed on academic probation, again receive a semester grade point average below 2.0 (1.8 for first-year students) and also have a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 are placed on academic suspension from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

A student on suspension may be re-admitted after being away from the University for at least one academic year. Application for readmission must be made by letter addressed to the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs. This letter should describe briefly both the activities of the applicant since his or her suspension and his or her future academic goals.

Expulsion   A student who returns from academic suspension, receives a semester grade point average below 2.0, and has a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 is expelled from the school. A student who fails a required course three times is expelled from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Appeal of Academic Regulations   In circumstances not covered by specific regulations, or in difficulties which cannot be resolved by the dean or the instructor concerned, a student has the right to petition the Committee on Rules and Courses for redress of his or her grievance. The action by the committee on the petition is final inasmuch as it acts for the full faculty in these matters.

The petition must be signed and dated by the student and submitted to the Office of the Dean. The petition must contain the following:

  1. The name of the student’s academic department for all but first-year students.
  2. A clear and concise statement of the variance requested.
  3. Adequate supporting evidence to enable the committee to render fair and proper judgment.
  4. A signed acknowledgement by the student’s academic advisor.
The petitioner will be notified by letter of the action taken by the Committee on Rules and Courses.

Course Load
Normal   The normal undergraduate course load is 15-18 credits, unless the student is on probation, in which case a course load of 12 to 15 credits is recommended. Any program of study requires the advisor’s approval.

Overload   An overload of 19 or 20 credits may be approved by a faculty advisor for the student who has demonstrated excellent grades, achieving a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

A proposed overload amounting to 21 or more credits must also be reviewed and approved by the Office of the Dean. Demonstrated superior academic performance and clear career planning will be the major criteria for approval, including a grade point average of 3.6 or higher.

Underload   A semester load of fewer than 15 credits (not counting CR/NC courses) must be approved by the advisor and the dean’s office.

Attendance   Regular attendance in classes is a vital part of the educational process. At the University of Virginia, each student is expected to accept the responsibility of attending all lectures, laboratories, quizzes and practical exercises, subject to absence penalties specified by the instructor.

The instructor may recommend to the dean the forced withdrawal from a course of students who are habitually absent or display negligence in their work. (See “Enforced Withdrawal” below.)

Absences traditionally excused are those that occur because of death in a student family, important religious holidays, or authorized University activities such as field trips or University sponsored events.

Students who anticipate absence for cause should obtain permission from the instructor in advance of the absence; unforeseen absences resulting from sickness or other circumstances considered to be emergencies may be excused by the instructor, and arrangements may be made with the instructor to complete the assignments missed.

Engineering and Applied Science students taking courses in the College or other schools of the University are governed by the attendance regulations of the instructor in that division; unexcused absences from such courses are subject to the penalties prescribed.

Credit/No Credit Grades   Students have the option of receiving the grades CR (credit) or NC (no credit) in place of the regular grades A through F. This option may be selected when students register for courses. Instructors have the right to refuse to permit students to take courses on a CR/NC basis. If this occurs, students may change back to the regular grading option or drop the courses entirely. Courses taken for CR/NC may not be used for any major or degree requirements. Only courses that are not part of the degree program may be taken CR/NC. The deadline for selecting the CR/NC option is the same as the drop deadline.

Dropping a Course   With the approval of the student’s advisor, a student may drop and void registration in a course any time up to the official drop date, unless such action will reduce the number of credits the student is registered for to fewer than 15. Normally, a student will not be permitted to take fewer than 15 credits a semester, not counting CR/NC courses. Permission to take fewer than 15 credits a semester must be obtained from the Office of the Dean.

Withdrawing from a Course   After the drop date a student must petition the Office of the Dean to withdraw from a course, and permission to do so is granted only when there are extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control, such as illness. A student who is permitted to withdraw from a particular course will receive a WP (withdraw passing) or WF (withdraw failing) for the course. Petitions must be signed by the course instructor and faculty advisor, and approved by the Office of the Dean.

Extension of a Course   After the withdrawal date (two weeks before the end of the semester), a student can no longer withdraw from a course. If there are extenuating circumstances, and if it is feasible, a student may petition for a course extension. If approved, all work must be completed by the end of the next academic term and preferably before the start of the next term. Feasibility is determined after a review of the outstanding work, the availability of the instructor, the accessibility of laboratory facilities, and other practical considerations.

Enforced Withdrawal From a Course   The faculty with the approval of the dean may impose enforced withdrawal with a grade of F as a penalty for habitual delinquency in class, habitual idleness, or any other fault which prevents the student from fulfilling the purposes implied by registration in the University.

Enforced withdrawal may also be imposed for failure to take the physical examination required of all entering students, or for failure to obtain medical leave or medical withdrawal from the Department of Student Health in the case of repeated or prolonged absence from class as a result of illness.

Laboratory Courses   To register for or to attend any laboratory course, a student must be registered for or have credit for the associated lecture course. If the associated courses are being taken concurrently and if the lecture course is dropped, the laboratory course may be continued for credit only with permission of the laboratory instructor or the dean.

Completion of Prerequisite Courses   The sequences of required courses leading to various engineering degrees are carefully arranged to insure that a student who enters any course may be expected to receive maximum benefit from the course. A student who failed a course may not normally enroll for any course which lists the failed course as a prerequisite before satisfactorily completing that course. Under unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made. Exceptions require written permission from the instructor of the failed course, all instructors of the subsequent course, and approval by the dean.

Repeating Courses   A student who has received D grades in fundamental courses may be required to repeat such courses as his or her academic advisor or departmental faculty may direct. A course in the School of Engineering and Applied Science passed with a grade of D may be repeated once. Courses passed with higher grades are not normally open to a student’s repeated registration. Both grades for a repeated course are used in the computation for the grade point average.

Graduate Courses   Undergraduates may be granted permission to take 600-level series courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Qualifications include fourth-year standing and a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2. 500-level courses are open to all fourth-year undergraduates.

Required Courses   Courses specified in the curriculum for each degree are considered to be required, and changes or substitution are not ordinarily permitted. Any student who drops or fails a required course must register anew for that specific course (or for its successor in case the original is no longer offered) and repeat the content in its entirety.

General Education Program   Each undergraduate student must complete a program of studies in the humanities or social sciences that reflects a rationale or fulfills an objective. This program, equivalent to at least one half year of study, is fulfilled in part by taking courses offered through the Division of Technology, Culture, and Communication and in part through general education electives selected from a list of approved humanities and social science courses. At least two of the elective courses must reflect a progression showing depth in a single subject area.

Elective Courses   The curricula include elective courses designed either as “general education elective,” “technical elective,” or “unrestricted elective.”

  1. General education electives are selected from an approved list (available in A122 Thornton Hall) of humanities and social science offerings of the College of Arts and Sciences or other schools of the University, or from elective offerings of the Division of Technology, Culture and Communication in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Courses on communication in the student’s native or first language, regardless of their level, may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
  2. Technical electives are chosen from engineering or applied science, science, or mathematics courses not normally required in the student’s curriculum.
  3. Unrestricted electives may be counted toward degree credit and may be chosen from any University curricula, including ROTC. As with any elective selection, however, approval of the advisor is required. Courses must be taken on a letter-graded basis.
Students are expected to consult with their advisor to arrive at an acceptable overall program of electives. All electives should be chosen to meet an objective rather than at random. This program, signed by the department head or advisor, must be filed in the dean’s office.

Examinations   Written examinations are held at the end of each semester on the course work of that semester. Re-examinations are permitted only as provided in the following paragraph, and failure in any course requires reregistration and attendance in classes to establish eligibility for the next regular examination.

Special Examinations   A candidate for a degree who is otherwise eligible but who has one failed course incurred during the semester prior to graduation, may request permission to take a special examination to qualify for a passing grade in the course. Such permission may be granted only under justifiable circumstances which include the inability of the student to repeat the course. Permission is not granted if the student has failed the course twice. Application for special examination is submitted to the dean’s office.

Absence From Examinations   Unexcused absence from an examination incurs an automatic failure in the course with a grade of F. Absence from a final examination for any course offered in the School of Engineering and Applied Science can be excused only by the dean, and then only when accompanied by evidence of arrangement with the instructor for a deferred examination, to be taken within ten days after the regular examination which was missed. An emergency which justifies extension of this period will be considered only when supported by satisfactory documentation submitted immediately after the period of emergency. After the ten day period, or its extension if granted by the dean, the temporary grade of IN (incomplete) will officially become a grade of F unless the deferred examination has been completed. Absences are excused only for sickness on the day of the examination or for other providential cause acceptable to the dean. An excused absence may be absolved by taking a special examination at a time mutually satisfactory to the instructor and the student concerned. Special examinations are not granted for other reasons than those stated above.


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