Sep 27, 2021  
2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog | Expires Aug. 2014 

Academic Policies and Regulations

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Each candidate for a bachelor’s degree must complete a major and a minor, two majors, or an approved interdisciplinary major. Check respective department listings for credits and course requirements for majors.

The University will grant a limited number of interdisciplinary degrees of an experimental nature. A student who wishes to pursue such a program may submit a proposal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will confer on the feasibility of the proposal with the Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee. Such proposals must be approved before the Senior year; approved copies must be deposited in the student’s folder.

Courses with “D” grades may not be used to meet requirements for majors or minors. Cognate courses with “D” grades may not be used to meet requirements for the majors.

The College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences offers undergraduate courses in the following disciplines: art, communication, criminal justice, English, foreign languages (French, German, Latin, Polish or Spanish), geography, history, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, theatre and youth services.

Majors may be completed in: art, communication*, criminal justice**, graphic design, English (literature, creative writing, professional and technical writing)*, French*, history*, international studies, music*, political science, political science-public administration, psychology, social work**, sociology, Spanish*, theatre*, and visual arts education*.

Minors may be completed in: art, asian studies, black studies, communication†, graphic design, English†, English-creative writing, English-professional and technical writing, French†, gender studies, German†, geography†, history†, music†, philosophy, political science†, Polish, psychology, public administration, religious studies, sociology, Spanish†, theatre† and youth services.

The College of Business and Management offers undergraduate courses in the following disciplines: accounting, economics, law, finance, management and marketing.

Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) candidates may complete majors in: accounting**, economics**, finance**, general business**, industrial management**, international business**, management**, and marketing**.

Bachelor of Professional Accountancy (B.P.A.) candidates may complete a major in accounting**.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) candidates may complete a major in economics.

Non-B.B.A. students may complete majors in economics, finance, industrial management, management or marketing as second majors (no minor is required with a double major).

B.B.A. candidates may complete minors in: accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, legal studies, management and marketing and disciplines from other colleges.

Non-B.B.A. candidates may complete minors in: accounting, economics†, entrepreneurship, finance, general business, legal studies, management and marketing.

The College of Education offers undergraduate courses in the disciplines of education and kinesiology. Candidates for a B.A. in elementary education must complete expanded General Education requirements instead of an academic major, and must complete special academic minor requirements specified in the College of Education section. Candidates for secondary teaching certification must choose a major in visual arts, biology, chemistry, communication and theatre, English, French, history, mathematics, music, physical education, physics, Spanish or special education; and must choose a minor in biology, communication and theatre, chemistry, economics, English, French, geography, German, history, mathematics, physical education, physics, or political science.

The Department of Kinesiology offers majors in physical education, exercise science, and athletic training; and minors in athletic coaching, physical education†, and adapted physical education.

The Crystal M. Lange College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers undergraduate courses in the disciplines of health science and nursing, and rehabilitation.

Majors may be completed in: medical technology**, nursing** and health science.

Minors may be completed in gerontology and health science.

The College of Science, Engineering and Technology offers undergraduate courses in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics and physics. Majors may be completed in: applied mathematics**, biochemistry**, biology*, business-chemistry**, chemical physics**, chemistry*, computer information systems, computer science, electrical engineering**, engineering technology management, mathematics*, mechanical engineering**, optical physics and physics*. Minors may be completed in: applied mathematics, biology†, chemistry†, computer information systems, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering and technology, mathematics†, mechanical engineering and physics†.

*Approved major for secondary teaching certification
†Approved minor for secondary teaching certification
**Interdisciplinary major; no minor required

Application for Degree


Each degree candidate must file a written application with the Registrar’s Office. Deadlines are posted on the Registrar’s Office site at A degree application fee is charged. All correspondence and official transcripts must be on file with the Registrar at the time the application is submitted. All “Incomplete” grades must be removed to qualify students to graduate. Attendance at commencement is requested of all candidates completing degree requirements.

Graduation with Distinction


To be eligible to graduate with distinction, an undergraduate degree recipient must complete 62 credits at SVSU and achieve a grade point average listed below. At least 45 of these SVSU credits must be in courses graded on an A-B-C-D-F scale.

Cum Laude
Magna Cum Laude
Summa Cum Laude
  3.40 - 3.59
3.60 - 3.79
3.80 - 4.00

Semester Honors


The Deans’ List is produced at the end of each fall and winter semester. It is composed of students in SVSU undergraduate degree programs who have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.40 in at least 12 credits of 100-level or above course work graded on an A-B-C-D-F scale. Inclusion on the President’s List requires a 4.00 grade point average in at least 12 credits of 100-level or above course work graded A-B-C-D-F.

Credit Hours and Attendance


Saginaw Valley State University offers courses on a semester basis. Each course carries a specific number of credits based on the number of instructor-student contact hours and study hours required each week per semester.

Saginaw Valley State University complies with the federal credit hour definition: “one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester” 34CFR 600.2 (22/2/2010).

For example, a three-credit lecture will meet three hours per week with the expectation that students will do a minimum of six hours of out-of-class work per week. The semester work load for a three-credit class will be 45 hours of classroom or direct instruction and 90 hours of out-of-class work. This credit hour policy applies to all courses regardless of the delivery format.

In laboratory courses, the course work is considered to be all in class; thus, laboratory courses that meet for three hours per week are valued at one credit hour.

Short courses are prorated so they complete the equivalent amount of work to semester length courses.

While SVSU does not have a university attendance policy, many faculty members do have attendance policies for their classes. The faculty and administration recognize that student success in university courses requires a commitment to attend and participate in course sessions and to engage the course materials outside of class. This means coming to class prepared, completing assignments, and reaching out to faculty members after class and during office hours for discussion and clarification.

Time Demands of College Courses


The faculty and administration of SVSU hope that each course taken by students is a worthwhile and productive experience. That outcome will require an investment of time. Many, if not most, SVSU students are employed, and cannot afford to stop employment while they go to school. Many also are parents, and/or face other demands on their time. When planning course load, the information below will help take into account the time required for course work.

The general guideline is that for every credit taken in class, students need to study approximately two additional hours every week. This amount of effort usually is needed to maintain and perform at reasonable standards. Overall, students should consider that a course load of 12 credits is equivalent to a full-time, 40-hour-per-week job. If, for example, a student is employed 30 hours per week and is taking 12 credits in school, that student will be working 70 hours total per week — with school and employment combined. At least that will be true if the student wants to do reasonably well in classes. This guideline is a low estimate; some students may need to spend more time, depending on the nature and difficulty of the particular course, knowledge of prerequisite material, studying efficiency, and other factors. This guideline is a common standard used at many universities nationwide. Students at Saginaw Valley State University can maximize the quality of their education by following this formula.

Grading Scale and Policies


Progress records are maintained by the institution and posted to the student’s online account at the end of each term. The grading system is:

A   (4 honor points) outstanding achievement
A-   (3.7 honor points) outstanding achievement
B+   (3.3 honor points) very good achievement
B   (3 honor points) very good achievement
B-   (2.7 honor points) above average achievement
C+   (2.3 honor points) average achievement
C   (2 honor points) average achievement
D   (1 honor point) poor achievement
(credit does not apply to basic skills, major/minor)
F   (0 honor points) failing
(credit is counted in the grade point average but not as credit earned)
P   successful completion at “C” or better level for course taken as Pass/Fail or Pass/No Credit
(credit is counted as credit earned but not in the grade point average)
AU   audited course for no credit
N   no credit earned for a course taken as Pass/No Credit
I   incomplete work still in progress
W   withdrawal after the end of the add/drop period through the ninth week of a semester
WP   Withdrawal passing in the 10th or 11th week of the semester
WF   (0 honors points) withdrawal failing in the 10th or 11th week of a semester
(credit is counted in the grade point average but not as credit earned)

No course may be dropped after the eleventh week of the semester except in cases of documented personal emergency. Proportional dates will be used for courses of shorter duration.

A grade of “D” is not a passing grade for any required course. Regarding prerequisites, students must obtain at least a “C” grade in all prerequisite courses before being permitted to enroll in subsequent courses.

Grade changes may be made only for a certified error on the part of University faculty or staff.

A course may be repeated at SVSU to raise a grade. All grades shall remain on the student’s academic record (transcript), but in computing the GPA, the better grade will be counted.

A course taken at SVSU may only be repeated at another institution if the course is an equivalent course at SVSU, the initial course grade at SVSU was a D, F or WF, and a grade of C or better is earned in the repeated course. There will be no transfer of the grade earned from the other institution and no recalculation of the SVSU GPA.

No course can be repeated at SVSU more than twice for a grade. Appeals for additional repeats may be made to the dean of the appropriate college.

In specified courses, students have the option of being graded on a pass/fail basis. This option requires permission of the instructor and must be recorded in the Registrar’s Office by the end of the second week of the semester or proportional times for shorter semesters.

Grades in transferred courses are not included in calculating the SVSU grade point average. Transfer credit will be removed if equivalent course work is taken through SVSU or any other transfer institution.



A student may request of his/her instructor, through the last day of the final examination period, that he or she be given an “I” (Incomplete) grade. The instructor is authorized to give an “I” if it is deemed that the failure to complete work on time occurred for reasons beyond the student’s control, or that the student is engaged in an individual research project that requires a second semester for completion.

Unless a course is designated directed study, reading or research, the deadline for completing work shall be the end of the fourth week of the next semester. If no other grade is submitted by the instructor at the end of the fourth week, the Registrar will record the default grade specified by the instructor at the time the “I” was given. When no default grade is specified by the instructor at the time the “I” is given, the final grade will become “F” unless the instructor records a different grade by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. On rare occasions, when a pro-longed illness or other clearly unavoidable circumstance prevents the student from completing his or her work, the Registrar is authorized to replace the “I” with a “W” indicating withdrawal. Students who have enrolled in directed study, reading or research courses may continue their projects to the end of the next semester with the instructor’s written approval.

Undergraduate Academic Probation and Dismissal


Students are expected to devote sufficient time and effort to their course work to maintain at least a 2.00 (“C”) average. However, a period of adjustment to the standards of the university classroom is afforded to Freshmen and first semester Sophomores. All students failing to maintain a “C” average (unless they have been admitted or readmitted on a probationary basis) will be given at least one semester’s warning (probation) before they are required to terminate enrollment.

A student will be placed on probation if he/she has either 12 GPA credits or 12 credits earned, but has failed to meet the following grade point average requirement:

12-24 credits
25-36 credits
37 or more credits
  1.70 GPA
1.90 GPA
2.00 GPA

The student is removed from probation when his/her cumulative grade point average rises above these levels. The student is continued on probation if the semester average is 2.00 or higher but the cumulative grade point average has not attained the minimum standards of the graduated scale above.

Students will be dismissed from the University if, while on academic probation, they fail to attain a 2.00 semester grade point average.

Students who have been academically dismissed from the University for the first time and who have a 1.80-1.99 cumulative grade point average may appeal to the Registrar for reinstatement. Reinstatement is not automatic, but each case is reviewed on an individual basis. This appeal must be in writing and the appeal interview must be heard by the last day of regular registration each semester. All other students who have been academically dismissed may appeal after a lapse of one semester and successful completion of college level work at another accredited institution.

Students who have been academically dismissed and have remained disenrolled for at least two semesters may request readmission from the Office of the Registrar. Readmission is discretionary with the Registrar and, if granted, will be on terms of academic probation. Degree requirements will be based on the catalog in use during the semester of readmission.

Students who have been academically dismissed more than once must remain disenrolled for at least two semesters (spring/summer sessions count as one semester) before being eligible to apply for readmission. Readmission is discretionary with the Registrar and, if granted, will be on terms of academic probation. Readmission may be contingent upon agreeing to terms of a behavioral contract.

Suspension and Dismissal for Other Than Academic Reasons


The University reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student at any time such action is deemed advisable. However, the University statement on due process protects students against arbitrary termination of enroll-ment. Saginaw Valley State University reserves the right to suspend or cancel classes or other University functions for any reason.

Course Numbering


Courses are numbered as follows:

Lower Division

000 level
100 level
200 level

Upper Division

300 level
400 level


500-600 level   Graduate

The number in parentheses that follows each course title indicates the number of credits that may be earned in the course. Class hours, if different from credits, are indicated at the end of the course description. Where there are two numbers, the first represents hours of lecture, the second, hours of laboratory.

*Credits earned in remedial courses (000 level) will not apply toward the credits required for graduation. However, they will count toward determining “full load” for students receiving financial aid.



Students who apply early have the convenience of selecting courses and registering during an advanced period with the assistance of an academic or faculty advisor. Detailed information about registration appears online at



Students who need to add or drop a course should consult the current online registration schedule for detailed instructions. Courses may not be dropped online after the add/drop period. Courses may be dropped through the 11th week of a 15-week semester (see Grading). Accelerated courses have deadlines that are proportional to the length of the course.

The date on which a course is dropped is used to determine both grades and refunds and is recorded in the Registrar’s Office. The recorded date is the one on which the drop form is returned during office hours with all required signatures (see Grading and Refunds). A student may register late during the add/drop period. A late fee is charged.


Class Standing



  30 credits and under
31-61 credits
62-92 credits
93 credits and over

Course Load


Undergraduate students carrying 12 or more credits per fall or winter semester and graduate students carrying nine or more credits are considered to be attending full time. Undergraduate students who desire to enroll in more than 18 credits per semester, or proportional credits for shorter sessions, must secure the permission of their academic dean.



Academic credit can be earned for certain courses taken on a tutorial basis. Eligible courses are those listed in the University catalog and are required for degree completion but will not be offered prior to the student’s expected graduation.

Under special circumstances tutorials also may be approved for course conflicts, for major and minor elective courses or for prerequisite courses. Ordinarily a tutorial may not be used to repeat a course. The student must be in good standing and obtain approval of the relevant faculty member, department chairperson and academic dean. Application forms are available from the Registrar’s Office.

Directed Research/Reading


Many departments offer the opportunity to earn academic credit for study or research on topics not covered by regular courses. The student works with a faculty member, who directs and monitors the learning process according to a plan of study submitted with the course application.

The student must be Junior standing or above, with at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average, and obtain approval of the faculty member and the relevant department chairperson and academic dean. Not more than two courses in a semester, and 16 credits total, of directed research/reading courses may be counted toward graduation requirements. Any directed research/reading course required for the student’s major or minor is not subject to the 3.00 cumulative grade point average limitation. Application forms are available from the Registrar’s Office.

Credit by Examination


Credit for certain courses listed in this catalog may be earned by passing a special proficiency examination and paying appropriate tuition and fees. Applications are available in the Registrar’s Office and must be approved by the department chairperson and academic dean. The examinations will be administered by members of the SVSU faculty.

Credit may be granted for College Level Examination Program (CLEP) General Examinations and Subject Examinations. Contact the Registrar’s Office for information about the available credit and minimum required scores.

Non-credit Courses


Non-credit courses are those that do not involve grades or University credit. They provide practical, hands-on experiences for skills in the working world or for leisure-time pursuits. These courses usually are offered as a result of suggestions from the community or by faculty who wish to offer some area of expertise to the community without the pressures of grades or tests. The instructors for non-credit courses include faculty of SVSU as well as individuals from the community who have knowledge and skills to share.

Continuing Education Units


SVSU participates with the National Registry to provide continuing education units for attendance at non-credit courses, conferences and seminars. Through this service, participants can obtain complete, comprehensive transcripts detailing their attendance at non-credit activities.