Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 

Academic Policies


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It is solely the student’s responsibility to know and follow all university policies and procedures.  Academic requirements must be met before a degree is granted. These are described in the various sections of this catalog and concern such things as curricula, majors, and minors. Advisors, and academic administrators are available to help the student understand and arrange to meet these requirements; the student is responsible for knowing what requirements must be met and for completing them. At the end of any course of study, if requirements for graduation have not been satisfied, the degree will be withheld. Institutional catalogs do not constitute contractual agreement or commitments. For this reason, it is important for each student to be acquainted with all regulations, to remain currently informed throughout the college career, and to be responsible for completing all requirements.

Registration Policies

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All registration activity is conducted through online registration, which is accessible through the university’s website (www.unlv.edu). Registration instructions and the class schedule can be accessed through this website also.

Each student is personally responsible for completing registration during the prescribed registration period.  Registration is not considered complete until all fees have been paid.

Credit Load: The University considers 12-semester credits as the minimum full-time undergraduate credit load. The maximum credits allowed during a regular semester are 17 for freshmen level, and 18 for sophomore, junior, and senior levels.

Credit Load for Non-degree Seeking Students: Undergraduate non-degree seeking students are limited to a maximum of eight credits per semester with the exception of those students enrolled in UNLV-affiliated study abroad programs, in which case the maximum is 18 credits per semester. Individual exceptions to this policy may be made on a case-by-case basis by petition to the dean of the Academic Success Center. Appeal of negative decisions may be taken to the UNLV Academic Standards Committee. A total of no more than 24 credits earned while a non-degree seeking student may be applied to an undergraduate degree. The dean of a college or the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee may reduce a student’s registration to less than the normal academic load if the student failed to earn credit in any course the previous semester. Late registrants may also be subject to credit limitations.

Credit Load for International Students: International students are required to register for and complete a full credit load (12 credits for undergraduates, nine credits for graduate students, and six for graduate assistants) each fall and spring semester to maintain their legal status as F-1 visa students with the Department of Homeland Security. International students may use only three credits of on-line course work towards the full credit load minimum. Federal regulations governing the full course load requirement also apply to the summer semester if it is the student’s first semester at UNLV.

Summer Credit Load: Six credits in a five-week session is considered a full load.  Loads above this cap will require an overload petition.

Credit Overload: Freshmen registering for more than 17-semester credits must have the approval of their advisor and dean. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors registering for more than 18-semester credits must have the approval of the advisor and dean. Petition forms for credit overloads may be obtained from the department offices and should be filed with the Office of the Registrar prior to registration. An overload petition must be approved and be on file with the Office Of the Registrar in order to exceed the number of credits allowed for a given semester or session.

Excess Credits: For implications for coursework taken beyond the minimum credit requirements for a degree, without earning a degree, please see Excess Credit Fee under the Fees section of this catalog.

Late Registration: Students who fail to complete their registration before the semester begins may register during the period of late registration. Any change in registration must be completed and paid for before the close of late registration. Students may freely add and drop classes, or switch sections, under late registration on the first day of classes and ends at the end of the fifth day of classes.  Students may add or swap classes with time-period permission through the second week of the semester. The student will accrue late fees if:

  1. A student waits until the late registration period to pay all their tuition and/or fees,
  2. The total number of credits accumulated by the end of this period exceeds the number of credits accumulated (and paid for) by the end of the Friday before the start of classes.

Prerequisites: Course prerequisites are conditions that must be met before registering in a particular course. A prerequisite might be another course, a test score, a particular standing (junior, senior, etc.), and/or having declared a particular major.

Corequisites: Course corequisites are conditions that need to be met during the same semester that a course is being taken. In most cases, the corequisite is a lab or a discussion section. Students should enroll in the corequisite, if one exists, before attempting to enroll in the course itself.

Auditing Classes: Students who choose not to earn any credit or grade for a particular class can audit the class
Changing Credit to Audit: Students may change from credit to audit until the end of the drop period for a class.
Changing Audit to Credit: Students may change from audit to credit until the end of the late-registration.
In order to audit a class or make any credit to audit or audit to credit changes, students need to contact the Office of the Registrar.

Dropping Classes: A student has the opportunity to drop a course up to the drop date identified in the academic calendar (which is 60% into the course).  No drops will be allowed after the last day to drop or (withdraw). Those students who drop after the end of late registration will be assigned a withdraw grade, W, which will appear on the transcript but will not be calculated in the GPA. A grade of F will be recorded for a student who stops attending class and fails to officially drop or (withdraw). A student who has officially dropped a class and who is no longer registered for credit or for audit is ineligible for further attendance in that class. If a student fails to properly drop or withdraw from classes, he or she will be subject to failing grades.

Withdrawal From University: Students who wish to withdraw from all classes must visit or contact the Office of the Registrar prior to the last day to drop or withdraw for any given semester. If a student fails to properly drop or withdraw from classes, the student will be subject to failing grades.

Cancellation of Withdrawal: A student may petition to cancel a withdrawal from the university prior to the last day to drop or withdraw for that particular semester. A petition form for this purpose may be obtained from the Faculty Senate Website.  A student who wants to re-enter the university during a subsequent semester must go through the admissions process.

Undergraduates Taking Graduate-Level Courses: Undergraduates who wish to enroll in graduate courses must have accumulated a minimum of 90 semester hours (see unit of credit below) of credit, with a grade point average of at least 3.00. Undergraduate students admitted to the Honors College must have accumulated a minimum of 45 semester hours of credit with a grade point average of at least 3.00. All undergraduate students wishing to take a graduate-level course must complete an “Approval for an Undergraduate to Enroll in a Graduate (600-700) Level Course” form, obtain the necessary signatures, and have it approved by the Graduate College prior to registration. No more than six hours of graduate-level courses will be allowed during one semester.

Classroom Conduct: Students have a responsibility to conduct themselves in class and in the libraries in ways that do not interfere with the rights of other students to learn or of instructors to teach. Use of electronic devices such as pagers, cellular phones, or recording devices, or potentially disruptive devices or activities, are permitted only with the prior explicit consent of the instructor. The instructor may rescind permission at any time during the class.

If a student does not comply with established requirements or obstructs the functioning of the class, the instructor may initiate an administrative drop.

Administrative Drop: An administrative drop may be initiated at the discretion of the instructor, who will record circumstances. The approval of the dean of the college offering the course is required. Prior to a decision, the dean will consult with the student and other parties as appropriate.  A request for an administrative drop must be reviewed and processed by the Office of the Registrar.  It is the instructor or department’s responsibility to notify the student.  If the request for an administrative drop is not received by the drop date, the student will be subject to a grade for the course. Deadlines and grades are the same as for a drop initiated by the student and are based on the date received at the Office of the Registrar.

Students may appeal the administrative drop to the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee and the Executive Vice President and Provost. Serious cases of misconduct, as defined by the Rules and Disciplinary Procedures for Members of the University Community, will be referred to the administrative officer of the rules for appropriate action.

Enrollment After Late-Registration Period: Adding or switching classes after the late-registration period is allowed primarily to adjust for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.

After the late registration period is over, changes may be made only when the university deems the circumstances sufficiently extraordinary to warrant an exception.

Cancellation of Registration: The registration of a student who is ineligible to attend the university is subject to immediate cancellation.

The university also reserves the right to cancel the registration of a student whose attendance at the university, at the review of the appropriate administrative officials, would not be mutually beneficial to that person and to the university.

Cancellation of Classes: The university reserves the right to cancel any class in which the enrollment is insufficient to warrant the offering of the course or for reasons beyond the university’s control. The academic department offering the class will notify those registered of the cancellation.

Class Attendance Policy: Registration in a class obligates the student to be regular and punctual in class attendance. Students who without previous arrangement with the instructor or department fail to attend the first two class meetings of a course that meets multiple times per week or the first meeting of a class that meets one time per week may be dropped from the course. Nonattendance for a web-based course shall be defined as failure to log onto WebCampus or other instructor-designed websites within one week of the course start date without previous arrangements with the instructor or department. Nonattendance does not release the student from the responsibility to officially drop any course for which they have enrolled and choose not to complete, nor from financial obligation to pay for the course.

Class Absences: There are no official absences from any university class. It is the student’s responsibility to consult with the course instructor regarding absences from their class. Students may be dropped from classes for nonattendance during the first week of instruction.

It is the policy of the Nevada System of Higher Education to be sensitive to the religious obligations of its students. Any student missing class quizzes, examinations, or any other class or lab work because of observance of religious holidays shall be given an opportunity during that semester to make up missed work. The makeup will apply to the religious holiday absence only. It shall be the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor within the first 14 calendar days of the semester of his or her intention to participate in religious holidays that do not fall on state holidays or periods of class recess. This policy shall not apply in the event that administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship on the instructor or the university that could not reasonably have been avoided.

Any student who is denied a make-up option after appropriately notifying the instructor shall have the right to appeal that decision through the normal appeal mechanism in place.

Policy for Missed Work: Students who represent the University of Nevada, Las Vegas at any official extracurricular activity shall have the opportunity to make up any assignments or examinations missed as a result of this event. It is the responsibility of the student to provide official written notification to the instructor of the course(s) at the earliest time possible of his or her intention to participate in a university-sponsored event but no less than one week prior to the date of the missed class(es). This policy shall not apply in the event that completing the assignment or administering the examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship on the instructor or the university that could reasonably have been avoided. There should be  good-faith effort by both instructor and student to come to a reasonable resolution. When disagreements regarding this policy arise, they can be appealed to the department chair, dean of the college, and the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee. For purposes of definition, extracurricular activities may include but are not limited to, intercollegiate athletics, band, drama, forensics, recruitment, or any other activity sanctioned by the dean and/or the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Records Changes


Change of Address: Any change of address should be reported immediately through the online registration system. Any university correspondence mailed to the last address provided by the student will discharge the university from all responsibility for notification.

Change of Name or Gender: Students may change their university records by completing the NSHE Request to Change Personal Identification Data form and submitting copies of the appropriate supporting documentation.

Student Classifications  


Non-Degree Seeking Student: A non-degree seeking student is limited to a maximum of eight credits or the equivalent per semester, with the exception of those students enrolled in UNLV-affiliated Study Abroad programs in which case the maximum is 18 credits per semester. Individual exceptions to this policy may be made on a case-by-case basis by petition to the Dean of the Academic Success Center. Appeal of negative decisions may be taken to the UNLV Academic Standards Committee. A maximum of 24 credits earned while a non-degree seeking student may be applied toward a baccalaureate degree. An international student may not receive an I-20 form to maintain F-1 visa status by enrolling as a non-degree student.

Student Standing: Student standing is determined by the number of semester hours a student has completed. The hours required for each classification are indicated below.

Freshman 29 or fewer credits
Sophomore 30-59
Junior 60-89
Senior 90 or more credits



Grades: The following grade symbols are used in reporting and recording a student’s proficiency in university courses:

A – Superior
B – Above average
C – Average
D – Below average
F – Failing. Failed courses count as credits attempted.
S – Satisfactory
U – Unsatisfactory
X – Hold grade
AD – Audit
I – Incomplete (see below)
W – Withdrawn (issued for a drop after the end of late registration)

Unit of Credit: The unit of credit, one semester hour, is generally defined as one 50-minute lecture per credit per week for a 15-week semester, corresponding to 12.5 hours per credit of lecture. Two or three laboratory hours per week, depending on the amount of outside preparation required, usually carries the same credit as one lecture semester hour. Please note that graduate courses that are cross-listed with undergraduate courses will require a graduate student to complete additional work to fulfill graduate-level course requirements as indicated on the course syllabus. This measure is established by 34 CFR §600.2, and specifically defined in 34 CFR §668.8 (l) (i) for semester hour institutions. The UNLV Registrar’s office, as a participant in the University’s curriculum process, ensures that all courses offered meet this requirement as established in 34 CFR §600.24.

Incomplete Grade: The grade of I — incomplete — can be granted when a student has satisfactorily completed at least three-fourths of the semester but for reason(s) beyond the student’s control, and acceptable to the instructor, cannot complete the last part of the course, and the instructor believes that the student can finish the course without repeating it. A student who receives an I is responsible for making up whatever work was lacking at the end of the semester. The incomplete work must be made up before the end of the following regular semester. If course requirements are not completed within the time indicated, a grade of F will be recorded and the GPA will be adjusted accordingly. Students who are fulfilling an incomplete do not register for the course but make individual arrangements with the instructor who assigned the I grade.

To report the course grade, the instructor submits a grade change.  Note: Grade changes will not be accepted if delivered by the student.

Satisfactory/Fail Grading: Certain courses are offered only on a satisfactory/fail basis, whereby the student will receive a grade of S or F rather than be graded on the ABCDF scale. A limited number of courses are offered on this S/F basis.  The grade of S is not used in computing the grade point average; F grades are included in averages.

Grade Points and Grade Point Average (GPA): To facilitate the averaging of grades, the following values are assigned for one semester credit hour of each grade:

Point Value Grade

per Credit

























S, I, X, W or AD are not computed.  

Grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of points earned by the total number of semester credit hours attempted, excluding noncredit courses and courses in which the marks of S, I, U, X, W, or AD are recorded.

Grade Point Balance: Grade point balance (GPB) indicates how far above or below a student is from a 2.00 GPA. To compute the GPB, points are assigned as follows:

One Credit of: Points of:
A +2.0
A- +1.7
B+ +1.3
B +1.0
B- +0.7
C+ +0.3
C 0.0
C- -0.3
D+ -0.7
D -1.0
D- -1.3
F -2.0

The grade point balance is an aid in helping students with grade deficiencies to determine what is needed to bring their GPA up to a 2.00 which is the minimum needed for graduation. As an example, a record with a GPB of ‑8 would require a minimum of eight hours of B (8 times +1.0) or four hours of A (4-times +2.0) to bring the GPA up to a 2.00.

Academic Standing


Academic Good Standing: Students enrolled at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who maintain a UNLV cumulative grade point average of a 2.00 (GPB - 0 and higher) will be considered in good standing.

University Probation:  The university will place a student on probation if the UNLV GPA falls below a 2.00 (GPB - 0 or lower). 

Continued Probation: Probation will be lifted as soon as the grade point balance rises to zero or above. Continued poor academic performance that leads to a grade point balance of -15 or below will result in university suspension. It is the responsibility of students on probation to seek advice from an academic advisor.

University Suspension: If the grade point balance of a student already warned by probation falls to -15 or below, the university will suspend the student for a minimum of one calendar year. A suspended student will not be allowed to take any UNLV credit courses. The university will suspend only at the end of a regular fall or spring semester in which the student has been on probation. University suspension automatically suspends the student from the program and college in which he or she is enrolled. An email sent to the student’s official UNLV (Rebel) email address will discharge all university responsibility for notification.

If the student has already begun courses in summer session I at the time that a suspension is processed the courses in summer session I may be completed for credit. Students will be dropped from summer session II and III courses. Credits earned in Summer Session I will not take a student off university suspension even if the grade point balance reaches above -15.

University Readmission after Suspension:  

 Students returning to UNLV after University Suspension fall under three scenarios. 

1)  Return Early – Students who wish to return early from suspension must do so through the Early Reinstatement process.  Students are required to meet with an advisor, obtain necessary signatures, and appeal the suspension through the Faculty Senate Academic Standard Committee.  Upon receipt from Faculty Senate, the Office of the Registrar will remove the suspension holds for approved appeals.  Students return exactly as they were in the system at the time of suspension.  No changes are made to students’ majors.  Students who to decide to change their majors are required to go through the standard change of major steps with their desired major’s advising center. 

2) Return in First Eligible Term after One Year – Students are eligible to return from suspension in the semester immediately following their required one-year absence (no application for readmission is required).  For example, a student suspended at the conclusion of Fall 2016 would be eligible to return Spring 2018.  Students are required to submit transcripts of courses taken elsewhere while on suspension.   Students are required to meet with an academic advisor (the advising center will remove suspension holds upon meeting with students and creating a plan for a successful return).  Students return exactly as they were in the system at time of suspension.  No changes are made to student’s major.  Students who desire to change their major are required to go through the standard change of major steps with their desired major’s advising center.

3) Return After First Eligible Term - Students who return from suspension at any point past the semester immediately following their one-year absence are discontinued for nonenrollment and must reapply to UNLV.  For example, a student suspended in Fall 2016 who chose not to return in Spring 2018 would need to reapply for any term after Spring 2018.  Students are required to reapply for admission as a Returning Student following the instructions available from the Office of Admissions.  Students reapplying after University suspension are guaranteed readmission. 

If a student feels that extraordinary circumstances apply, the student may petition for relief.  The petition must include approval of the advisor, department chair, dean, and the academic standards committee.

Occasionally, students under suspension will attend another institution with the intent of taking courses to show they can do satisfactory college level work.  This is normally good, but students should be reminded that a UNLV course repeated at another institution will not serve to remove the original grade from the UNLV grade point average.  Only courses taken at UNLV affect the UNLV grade point average.


Student Records Policies


College Probation, Suspension, and Readmission: If acceptable progress is not made in the program in which a student is enrolled, the student may be placed on probation or suspension at the College-level.  College and department rules govern these matters, and the student is responsible for knowing the rules.

College suspension does not suspend a student from the university; however, a suspended student will not be permitted to take any UNLV credit course until the student has secured readmittance or acceptance by another college.

The college may readmit a student suspended by the college, upon application to the dean, in accordance with college and department rules.

Petitions for relief from college and department rules may be further appealed to the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee.

Grade Grievance: After final grades have been filed a grade in an undergraduate course may be changed only by the course instructor or by the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee. A grade grievance must be directed first to the instructor. If the student is not satisfied with the instructor’s decision, the student may notify the Faculty Senate Office of the desire to file a grade grievance petition. Notice of such filing must be received by the Faculty Senate Office by the end of the second week of instruction of the semester (fall or spring) following the semester in which the grade was given. After compiling the appropriate documentation, the student files the petition and supporting documentation with the Faculty Senate office. Documentation is then sent to the chair of the department for input by the instructor, department chair, and college dean. Upon response from the college, all materials are forwarded to the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee will be communicated to all parties involved.

Correcting a Grade: An instructor may correct a clerical error on his or her grade roster by submitting a Change of Grade. The change must first be approved by the department chair and by the dean of the college. The grade change must be received within six months from the last day of the term/semester in which the original grade was given. After six months has elapsed, a petition to correct a grade must be submitted to the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee.

Repeating a Course: Any course may be repeated regardless of the grade received. Credit will be allowed only once for successful completion of the course; except for the courses designated in the catalog as allowable repeats. A student may repeat any UNLV course once at UNLV and not have the original grade included in the computation of the grade point average. When a course is repeated more than once, only the original grade is omitted in computing the grade point average. The repeat grade must be on the same grading option as the original grade. All grades will remain on the student’s transcript with suitable notation to ensure an accurate academic record.

Grade reports may not initially reflect the repeated courses. Grade point averages, credits attempted, and credits earned will be manually adjusted.

The fact that UNLV has granted a degree to a student shall not preclude the student’s right to repeat a course for the purpose of improving a grade. However, the repeat grade will not alter the student’s permanent academic record (as it stands at the time of degree conferral).

A failed course does not have to be repeated unless the course is a university general education core requirement or a specific college or department requirement.

Credit by Examination: UNLV allows credit by examination for courses listed in the Undergraduate Catalog with the exception of projects, thesis, research, internship, practicum, and other courses at the discretion of the University.  Credit by Examination is subject to the following regulations:

  1. The student must provide evidence that they have covered the subject matter of the course as a result of having taken a comparable course in a non-accredited educational institution or by systematic, independent study or directly pertinent occupational experience.
  2. All active undergraduate students, not on probation, are eligible for credit by examination. Graduate and non-degree seeking students may not apply.
  3. A maximum of 30 semester units may be obtained by departmental examination.
  4. Credit earned by examination does not apply toward satisfying the minimum on-campus resident credit requirement of the institution from which graduation is sought and does not constitute an interruption of the resident credit requirement.
  5. Credit by examination cannot be obtained in a course that covers at an elementary level the subject matter of a more advanced course for which the student has already received credit.
  6. Credit by examination may not be obtained for a course previously completed at an accredited institution including courses previously taken at UNLV, regardless of grade. 
  7. Native speakers of languages other than English may not receive lower-division foreign language credit for courses in their native tongue.
  8. The posting of satisfactory completed credit by examinations to the student’s permanent academic record shall clearly identify that the credit was earned by examination along a grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).
  9. Credit by examination for variable unit courses shall not exceed 5 credits (with the exception of  EDWF 477  which may be taken for up to 15 credits - additional fees apply).
  10. Students are not permitted to repeat the same credit by examination.  A failed course cannot be challenged by examination.

Students must request an application before taking the examination, and obtain written approval from the student’s own major advisor and dean, the instructor of the course, and the department chair and dean of the college offering the course. The fee per course must be paid in advance.

Regardless of whether or not the student wants the grade recorded, the instructor will enter a grade of S/U on the Credit by Examination form and submit the form. The instructor will file the completed examination according to the instructions of the dean or department chair; these examinations may be inspected by any faculty member.

Dual Major: Undergraduate students may add a second major, and graduate with a dual major, provided the degree type is the same for both majors. Curriculum requirements for both majors must be satisfied. If the majors are in different colleges, the resident credit requirement must be satisfied in both colleges. The addition of a second major should be completed prior to undertaking the last 30 semester credits of work required for the degree sought. At graduation, both majors are entered on the permanent record and appear on transcripts and the diploma.

Please note: Students that wish to earn two separate degrees simultaneously fall under the dual baccalaureates policy and will need to complete all requirements from both areas of study, including an additional 30 credits of coursework, for a minimum total of 150 credits. The student must request a dual baccalaureate with the Office of the Registrar.

Dual Baccalaureate: Students may earn two baccalaureates, either successively or simultaneously, provided that all programmatic/curriculum requirements for both degrees are fulfilled. Additionally, courses taken for a second baccalaureate degree must include a minimum of 30 credits earned in residence beyond the minimum requirements for the first baccalaureate degree. In the case where the student will graduate with both baccalaureate degrees in the same semester, a student must apply separately for graduation for each degree, and separate payment of a graduation fee for each degree is required.  In the case where a student, who was previously declared as a dual baccalaureate, has graduated with one baccalaureate degree and is returning later to earn the second baccalaureate degree at UNLV, the student must file an application for admission back into the second degree program.

The student has the option: 1) to graduate with the second baccalaureate degree according to the programmatic/curriculum requirements in the catalog of the year of the student’s original enrollment for the first degree, provided that the student will graduate with a second degree not more than 10 years after the publication of the catalog used for the first degree; or 2) to graduate according to the programmatic/curriculum requirements of the most recent catalog that is active during the semester of completion of the second baccalaureate degree.  Upon completion, both degrees are entered on the permanent record and appear on transcripts. Two separate diplomas are issued.

Note:  In the event that programmatic/curriculum changes for the second baccalaureate degree are implemented after the student has graduated with their first baccalaureate degree and while the student is earning credits for the second baccalaureate degree, the student may choose to graduate with the new programmatic/curriculum requirements or use an earlier catalog as previously described.

Minor: Minor is defined by a department within the following minimums:

  1. Eighteen credit hours in subject areas (24 recommended).
  2. Twelve credit hours must be at the 300- or 400-level.
  3. 9 credit hours must be completed at UNLV.

Approval of the department and dean offering the minor is required. Work must be completed by the date of graduation.

Changing College, Major; Adding a Second Major; Adding a Minor: Undergraduate students desiring to change their major or minor should visit the appropriate advising centers.

Each student must satisfy the course requirements of the college and major to which transfer is made, including any admission deficiencies.

A student may be accepted simultaneously in two colleges while pursuing dual undergraduate majors or dual undergraduate degrees. (See Dual Major and Dual Baccalaureate.)
Students who wish to declare a minor, arrange this at the appropriate department office or advising center.

Study Week: The UNLV Faculty Senate approved the following policy for Study Week:

To ensure that students have the proper time to prepare for final examinations, the week before final exams shall be designated as a study week, in which classes will meet as scheduled but during which instructors are encouraged to refrain from giving major tests (i.e. hour-long, sit-down, written exams). The policy shall not affect such assignments as laboratory finals, performance exams (as in juries, theater, music, dance, etc.), short quizzes, term papers, final reports, and similar activities.

Examinations: Instructors are responsible for the proper evaluation of enrolled students throughout the instructional period.

Final Grades: Each instructor is responsible for determining final grades and for submitting them by the appropriate deadlines. These grades shall become a part of the official records of the university. Grades that appear on the student’s record at the end of the semester are considered final unless the student or instructor identifies an error.

Academic Renewal Policy: Academic renewal is defined as one semester of UNLV course work disregarded in all calculations regarding academic standing, grade point average, and eligibility for graduation at UNLV. If summer courses are to be included in the work to be disregarded, then course work from all summer terms of the same calendar year shall count as one semester. Students granted academic renewal may not graduate with academic distinctions. Disregarded grades may be calculated in scholarship awards or financial aid considerations.

A minimum of three consecutive years must have elapsed since the last semester of attendance at UNLV. Only semesters prior to the absence are eligible for academic renewal. Academic renewal will be granted only once during a returning student’s UNLV academic career and shall be applied only to the first undergraduate degree at UNLV. Students must apply for academic renewal before they have completed 24 credits since returning to UNLV. There will be no reimbursement of fees for the disregarded semester of academic renewal. Approval of an academic renewal request does not constitute acceptance into a UNLV college or school. If conditions outlined in the Academic Renewal Policy are met, the student’s permanent record shall be suitably annotated to indicate that work taken during the disregarded semester, even if satisfactory, will not apply toward graduation requirements. All course work will remain on the transcript, ensuring a true and accurate academic history.

A completed Academic Renewal Policy Request Form must be filed by the student. This form must be completed and signed by the student and returned to the Office of the Registrar. The request must be submitted prior to the completion of 24 credits after returning to UNLV.

UNLV does not honor academic renewal policies from other institutions.

Transcripts: Current students may access their unofficial transcript in their MyUNLV Student Center. Official transcripts are copies of student academic records of all work attempted at UNLV and bear the seal of the university and a signature. Official transcripts may be requested via the online system. Transcripts of work from other institutions will not be issued.

Student Record Retention (Please see Registrar’s Office for complete list):

  1. Grade Changes are retained indefinitely.
  2. Applications for admission are retained for one year after first enrollment.
  3. Transcripts from other institutions and military service records, for matriculated students, are retained three years after graduation.
  4. Change of name forms are retained indefinitely.
  5. Admission materials for nonmatriculated students and/or students denied admission are retained for two years.

Retention of Records by Faculty: All instructors are encouraged to retain records of completed course work and grades for a period of five calendar years from the date of course completion. Part-time, relocating, and retiring instructors should provide these materials to their respective departments.

Summer Term: Summer courses have the same academic content as the fall or spring courses with the same titles, but the summer courses move at a much faster pace.

While the courses are the same, the summer term policies are not always the same as those in fall or spring. There is a limit on the number of credits that can be taken during summer.  Six credits in a five-week session is considered a full load. One credit in one week or three credits in three weeks is also considered a full load.    

Summer term fees must be paid the business day before the course a student is registered for begins in order to avoid late fees. To receive a 100 percent refund a student must drop a course the business day before the course begins. If a student registers for a course and does not pay the fees due by the end of the late-payment period for the session in which the course falls, the student will be administratively dropped still owing 50 percent of the fees for the course. The fiscal drop date for a summer term course is the date on which 20 percent of the course has passed. The academic drop for a summer term course is the date on which 60 percent of the course has passed. Summer term information can be found at summerterm.unlv.edu.

Graduation Policies


Choice of Catalog to Satisfy Graduation Requirements: A student enrolled at a Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institution may elect to graduate under the catalog of the year of enrollment in a baccalaureate-level program. A student may also elect to graduate under the catalog year that was active when a student entered the university or the catalog year that is active when a student applies to graduate.

Whichever catalog is used, it cannot be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.

The university does not guarantee the awarding of a degree based on the unchanged requirements of a particular catalog. Periodic revisions of degree requirements are made because of advances in knowledge, changes in occupational qualifications, or the expectations of accrediting authorities. If such revisions have occurred, the college dean may require a reasonable adherence to the college and department requirements of a recent or current catalog. Institutional catalogs do not constitute contractual agreement or commitments. It is the responsibility of students to keep in touch with the major department in order to learn of such requirements and to plan ahead for their completion

Resident Credit: Resident credit means any course that is satisfactorily completed at UNLV, except credit earned by special examination or online courses. However, online courses, credit by special examination, or enrollment in another institution within the Nevada System of Higher Education does not constitute an interruption of resident credit.

A candidate for the baccalaureate degree must complete the last 30 UNLV semester credits in uninterrupted resident credit as a declared major in the degree-granting college. A student must declare a major prior to enrolling in their last 30 UNLV resident credits. (Special examination, physical education activity courses, or online credits are exempted.)

Authorized exceptions to this regulation for the baccalaureate degree are:

  1. A pre-medical, pre-law, or medical technology student who has completed three years of approved resident credit may complete the last 30 credits by satisfactory work in a professional school or university-approved hospital. Students who elect this option should confer with their UNLV dean and with their Advising Office well in advance of the expected transfer date and obtain prior written permission.
  2. A student who has earned a minimum of three-fourths of the total degree credits in resident instruction may earn a maximum of eight acceptable transfer credits during their senior year to apply toward the degree.
  3. Students in the Study Abroad Program sponsored by the UNLV Office of International Programs who have earned three-fourths of the credits at UNLV may earn a maximum of 15 acceptable transfer credits.

A waiver of the university resident credit requirement is rarely granted, unless there are extenuating circumstances involving UNLV responsibility (e.g., requiring completion of a specific course in a student’s major field and that course is not available at the UNLV campus). A petition for an exception should be submitted two semesters in advance of the expected date of graduation. No waiver will be granted unless the petition is approved by the advisor, department chair, dean, and the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee.

Minimum Credits for Graduation: The minimum number of semester credits required for a bachelor’s degree for a student graduating under the regulations of the 2015 - 2016 Undergraduate Catalog is 120. At least half of the credits required for a baccalaureate degree at the institution must be earned at a four-year institution.

Minimum Grade Point Average for Graduation: In order to graduate, an undergraduate student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for the total of all college-level credit attempted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV GPA). College and department GPA requirements must also be met.

Academic Distinction: Undergraduate students are eligible for the dean’s honors list if: (1) at least 12 credits have been completed during the semester with grades on the ABCDF scale, and (2) the semester grade point average is 3.50 or higher.

Graduation degree designations for students not participating in University or Research/Creative Honors programs are summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude. To
be eligible to receive one of these designations, students must complete a minimum of 60 credits at UNLV toward a baccalaureate degree and attain the calculated GPA level for their individual college (see below). In no case will a person be eligible for summa cum laude with a GPA of less than 3.70.  Students who have a combination of earned and in progress credits equaling 60, along with the appropriate GPA at the time that the commencement program goes to print, will be eligible to have their name listed with honors in the program, and their name read with honors at the commencement ceremony.

Criteria for Academic Distinction: The GPA ranges for graduation degree designations for each college will be established for the next academic year from the reports from the previous two years. Thus, at the end of each academic year (defined as summer, fall, and spring terms), the Office of the Registrar will prepare a rank-order list of the top 10 percent (1 percent = summa, 4 percent = magna, and 5 percent = cum) of the students graduating from each college (excluding the Graduate College). Student’s whose GPAs fall on or above the set ranking will be awarded the higher designation. These ranges will be applied to August, December, and May graduations.

In the event that no student attains the GPA level required for the summa cum laude designation in a college, the student with the highest GPA in the college at the end of the year will be awarded the designation, provided that his or her GPA is 3.70 or higher.

Academic Distinction in the Honors College: Students earning a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Honors courses, earning an overall UNLV GPA of 3.30, and completing all departmental/major requirements, with a minimum of 60 credits earned at UNLV toward a baccalaureate degree, will receive the distinction of University and/or Research/Creative Honors.

The student graduating with the highest four-year UNLV grade point average is awarded the Nevada Centennial Medallion.

Application for Graduation: Each undergraduate student should apply for graduation in MyUNLV beginning the semester of graduation. Students must have expected senior standing (earned credits plus credits currently enrolled in, equal to 90 or more) at the time of application. Students can refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website for additional graduation and commencement information.

Degree Completion: All course requirements must be completed by the last day of final examinations of the student’s final semester. All grades, including incompletes, and all transcripts of work attempted at other institutions, must be on file in the Office of the Registrar by the date that final semester grades are due. No degree, diploma, or certificate may be granted to a student unless all system, general core, college, and department requirements have been fulfilled. If awarded in error or upon fraudulent claims that are discovered later, the degree, diploma, or certificate will be revoked.

Commencement Ceremony: The university has two commencements each year, one in May and one in December. Spring graduates are recognized in the May commencement. Summer and Fall graduates are recognized in the December commencement. Note that participation in a commencement ceremony does not guarantee degree conferral. Degrees are conferred only when all requirements have been met and the final grades for the student’s final semester have been computed.  Degrees are conferred and diplomas mailed, during a 10 week period following the end of each semester.

Undergraduate students who are not scheduled to finish their degree programs until the summer following May commencement may be allowed, under certain circumstances, to participate in the May graduation ceremony. Students should see the Office of the Registrar for information.

Exceptions to Academic Policies: If extraordinary circumstances warrant waiver of an academic policy, a student may petition for relief. A decision will be made by the UNLV Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee. The petition must first be routed to the student’s advisor (who should assist in preparation), department chair, and dean.


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