Academic Policies and Terms

Learn about the different policies and terms that will be helpful to you during your studies at UNLV.

Policies and Terms

ACADEMIC ADVISOR

Staff member who meets with students to assist them with educational planning, academic and career goals, and monitors degree progress.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR

An official list of dates found on the Office of the Registrar’s website. The Academic Calendar specifies the dates for the semester and terms, examination periods, holidays, periods classes are not in session, and commencement.

ACADEMIC GOOD STANDING

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

ACADEMIC RENEWAL

The Academic Renewal Form is for students who have been away from UNLV for three or more years and wish to have a semester's grades dropped. For more information, contact the Registrar's Office. Those who get this approved will not be eligible for academic distinction.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS REPORT

The Academic Requirements Report in MyUNLV is an automated system that compares a student’s completed coursework with the requirements for their degree.

ACADEMIC SUCCESS CENTER

The Academic Success Center (ASC) offers free tutoring for a variety of UNLV courses throughout the school year. The mission of the tutoring program is to supplement in-class instruction and enhance your overall academic experience by providing a respectful, safe educational environment for learning.

ACADEMIC YEAR

The part of the year that includes fall and spring semester.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) CREDIT

First-year students admitted to UNLV may receive AP credit on the basis of performance on one or more of the Advanced Placement Examinations offered by the College Entrance Examination Board. Each participating department decides on the acceptable score for credit.

ALEKS

An online artificially intelligent adaptive math tutoring program in use by The Math Learning Center to assess math ability and placement into the appropriate math course.

AUDIT

Auditing allows the student to continue attendance, but no grade or credit is awarded. Audited courses cannot be changed back to credit.

BACCALAUREATE OR BACHELOR’S DEGREE

Awarded for completion of an undergraduate curriculum. A bachelor’s degree is comprised of general education courses, a major, elective courses, and, in some cases, a minor. BA is the Bachelor of Arts degree and BS is the Bachelor of Science degree.

CAMPUS CONNECT

A student success platform that includes a wide range of functionality targeted at providing academic advisors, faculty, college leadership, and other campus partners with the ability to effectively communicate, monitor, and interact with students in order to promote their retention, progression, and completion.

CAPSTONE

A culminating academic and intellectual experience of an educational program, typically during a student's senior year.

CATALOG

A resource of all academic policies and procedures, college and degree requirements, faculty, and course descriptions.

CATALOG YEAR

The year during which the regulations of a specific edition of the Undergraduate Catalog apply.

CLASS STANDING

Determined on the basis of credits earned: Freshman 0 – 29 credits / Sophomore 30 - 59 / Junior 60 – 89 credits / Senior 90+ credits

CLEP - COLLEGE LEVEL EXAMINATION PROGRAM

College Level Examination Program - CLEP is a national testing program that awards college credit for some introductory college-level courses. The CLEP form can be found on the forms page. https://www.unlv.edu/advising/forms

CLOSED COURSE

A course that is filled to capacity and has no available spaces. Special permission from the instructor and department is needed to add a closed course. A wait list option is available for some courses.

COLLEGE PROBATION

Each college has a minimum GPA that it considers good academic standing (i.e., the College of Education GPA is a 2.75). If a student falls below the minimum GPA required by the college, then he or she will be placed on college probation. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA for consecutive semesters may be placed on college suspension.

COLLEGE SUSPENSION

Each college has its own probation/suspension policy for students who do not meet the minimum requirements for good academic standing. Contact your college's advising center for more information.

COMMENCEMENT (ALSO KNOWN AS GRADUATION)

A formal ceremony in which college degrees are awarded to graduating students. https://www.unlv.edu/commencement

CONCENTRATION

A specific focus within a major, for example, English majors may choose to concentrate in Creative Writing or Professional Writing.

CO-REQUISITE

Specific conditions, requirements or courses that must be completed at the same time as another course.

COURSE

A specific subject studied within a limited period of time. Courses may utilize lecture, discussion, laboratory, seminar, workshop, studio, independent study, internship, online, or other similar teaching formats to facilitate learning.

COURSE LOAD

The total number of credit hours taken in a semester. For example, the average course load for any semester is 15 credit hours. Students registered for at least 12 hours are considered full-time.

COURSE NUMBER

The three-digit number that identifies a specific course, such as 101 in English 101.

COURSE TITLE

The name of a specific course that indicates subject and content. English Composition I is the course title of English 101.

CREDIT

The number of credits assigned to a course is generally based upon the amount of time the class meets each week. For example, a three-credit lecture class meets for approximately three hours per week.

CREDIT OVERLOAD

Freshmen are limited to 17 credits per semester. Sophomore, Junior and Senior students are limited to 18 credits each semester. All students have the following credit limits for the summer semester: Summer Session I, 4 credits, Summer Session II, 7 credits, Summer Session III, 7 credits. An approved petition for credit overload is needed for a student to take more than the credit limits. The credit overload form can be found on the forms page. https://www.unlv.edu/advising/forms

CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

Credit received when a student takes an oral or written examination administered in accordance with each Department’s established guidelines. The university policy is to allow each individual department to determine which of its courses, if any, can be passed by credit by examination. The credit by examination form.

CREDIT HOURS

The unit of credit is the semester credit hour. One semester credit hour represents an amount of instruction that reasonably approximates both 50 minutes per week of classroom-based direct instruction and a minimum of two hours per week of student work outside the classroom over a fall or spring semester.

CURRICULUM

A program of courses that meets the requirements for a degree in a particular field of study.

DEFERMENT

Students who are admitted to UNLV but wish to attend during a future term may be eligible to defer their admission. Deferment must be declared prior to the end of the add/drop period of the semester in which one is initially admitted.

DEGREE

Official recognition for completion of a curriculum. An undergraduate degree is called a bachelor’s or baccalaureate.

DEPARTMENT

A unit within a college representing a discipline. For example, the Department of English is in the College of Liberal Arts.

DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER (DRC)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas is committed to providing equal access to its programs and services for students who experience disabilities. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) was established to support these goals and to provide assistance with college learning through provision of recommended academic adjustments, auxiliary services, and advocacy.

DROP/ADD

The process of adjusting a student’s schedule by dropping and/or adding courses after that session’s first day of class. Note: the drop/add period for full semester courses is during the first week of classes.

ELECTIVES

Courses selected at a student’s discretion. Electives may be partially restricted (selected from a specified group of courses identified to fulfill a particular requirement) or they may be open electives (selected from any courses for which the student has proper prerequisites).

ENROLLMENT APPOINTMENT

The specific date and time that a student can register for classes for the upcoming semester. This information can be found in MyUNLV.

FACULTY SENATE

The UNLV Faculty Senate is authorized by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and the UNLV Bylaws to provide a representation of the faculty on “matters of faculty welfare, faculty rights and faculty involvement in the primary mission of the University.” Both UNLV’s administration and the NSHE Board of Regents welcome recommendations from faculty conveyed through the Faculty Senate. The senate is the heart of shared governance at UNLV.

FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.

FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also referred to as the Buckley Amendment) and is a federal law designed to: Protect the privacy of student education records. Establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records.

FINAL EXAMS

Tests or exercises given at the end of a term. A schedule for Final Exams can be found here: https://www.unlv.edu/registrar/calendars

FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS OFFICE

The Financial Aid & Scholarship Office partners with student organizations, high schools, and other external constituents to provide financial aid learning opportunities. The staff is committed to providing accurate, courteous, and timely service to parents and students. The office disbursed approximately $240 million in financial aid to students during the last school year.

FIRST YEAR SEMINAR

A course designed to help Freshman transition from high school to college. In addition to teaching skills such as goal setting, time management, and introducing students to campus resources, FYS courses often promote participation in co-curricular events, such as common reads, concerts, guest lecturers and other community events.

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT

One of the requirements for a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree. It is a pattern of courses which students complete, regardless of their major, to ensure that they have a broad educational experience. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Catalog: https://catalog.unlv.edu/

GENERAL PETITION FORM

Students may submit a general petition form for many different reasons (i.e., to have a course removed from their transcript, to remove a semester due to unforeseen circumstances, to file a grade grievance). The student's academic advisor, department chair, and dean must sign it. Students should be as thorough as possible in their petitions and submit any documents to support their case (i.e., medical documents).

GRADE APPEAL

After final grades have been filed with the registrar, a grade in an undergraduate course may be changed only by the course instructor or by action of the Faculty Senate Academic Standards Committee. Grade appeals 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 which can be found on the forms page. https://www.unlv.edu/advising/forms

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)

A measure of scholastic performance. Grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of points earned by the total number of semester credit hours attempted, excluding non-credit courses and courses in which the marks of S, I, X, WD/WH/W, or AD are recorded.

GRADE POINT BALANCE (GPB)

Grade point balance (GPB) indicates how far above or below a student is from a 2.00 GPA. 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.

INCOMPLETE

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.

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Academic work completed in consultation with a faculty member outside of the regular course offerings.

LAB

In labs, students apply lecture material in small-group situations that include experiments, assignments, and projects.

LECTURE

Teaching method in which the professor presents information to the students who take notes, ask questions, and have dialogue with the professor.

LOWER DIVISION (LD)

A general term describing the first two years of college (a lower-division student) or courses taken in the first two years of college (lower-division courses). For example, LD courses are on the 100- or 200-level and cover introductory content.

MAJOR

Concentrated study in a subject area of special interest. A full list of majors and programs of study can be found here: https://www.unlv.edu/academics/degrees

MATRICULATION

The first enrollment following admission as a student.

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 2017-18 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, except in cases where transfer agreements for specific degrees have been made between institutions.

MINOR

A secondary field of study requiring fewer credits than the major.

MILITARY & VETERANS SERVICES CENTER

The Military & Veterans Services Center provide responsive academic, social, and administrative support to student veterans, as well as active duty military members.

MyUNLV

Online portal for official info like course history, official grades, registration, financial aid, account balance and semester course schedule at: https://my.unlv.nevada.edu/

NON-DEGREE SEEKING STUDENT

Students can apply for non-degree seeking status and be enrolled in undergraduate courses (maximum of 8 credits), without being officially accepted into a degree program. No more than 24 credits earned as non-degree status can be applied to a degree program.

OFFICE OF STUDENT CONDUCT

The Office of Student Conduct assists students, faculty and staff with the conduct code and policy enforcement, serves as a resource to the campus community surrounding student conflict resolution, and also provides an extensive outreach program that includes presentations such as academic integrity and preventing academic misconduct, conflict resolution and managing disruptive behavior.

OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR

The Office of the Registrar is the administrative office that supports the campus community through a wide range of functions, including as official stewards of student academic records, registration support, academic scheduling, and curriculum management. The mission of the Office of the Registrar is the "Clear the pathways to student success."

PREREQUISITE

One or more courses that must be completed or other knowledge, skills, or standards that must be demonstrated before a student is permitted to take certain courses. Prerequisites (if any) for a course are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog. For example, English 101 is a prerequisite for English 102.

PLACEMENT TEST

Placement is required for enrollment into your first English, math, foreign language, and chemistry courses.

PRE-MAJOR

Specific courses, prerequisites and/or department conditions that need to be satisfied before being admitted to the full major.

REGISTRATION

The act of signing up for classes on the Web through MyUNLV.

REINSTATEMENT FROM SUSPENSION

Students who are requesting to be reinstated to UNLV after university suspension before the one year time requirement has been met. If the one year time requirement has been met, students do not need to petition for reinstatement. For more information, please review the University Readmission after Suspension policy available in the catalog.

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. 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. For courses repeated prior to 1971, both the original grade and the repeat grade are included in the grade point average.

RESIDENCY/NON-RESIDENT

Students are classified as resident or nonresident for tuition charges. Student may apply for residency by submitting a residency application to Office of Admissions.

RESIDENT CREDIT

Resident credit means any course that is satisfactorily completed at UNLV, except credit earned by special examination or correspondence courses. Correspondence study, 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 bachelor's 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 the last 30 UNLV resident credits. (Special examination, physical education activity courses, or correspondence credits are exempted.)

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.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

Financial aid recipients are expected to make reasonable academic progress to obtain a degree or certificate as a condition to receive federal, select state or UNLV financial aid programs. The SAP form can be found on the forms page. https://www.unlv.edu/advising/forms

SECOND YEAR SEMINAR

The Second-Year Seminar (SYS) is a 3-credit course that explores issues relevant to contemporary global society through the reading of original literature from antiquity to the present day. Students study these issues within their larger contexts, which include aspects of literature, history, politics, economics, philosophy, and scientific discovery. The SYS reinforces the University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (UULOs) introduced in the First-Year Seminar (FYS).

SEMESTER OR TERM

Semester and term are used to identify the formally designated period during which classes are scheduled. Fall semester begins in August and spring semester begins in January. Summer has three terms.

SESSION

An abbreviated period within the full academic term during which classes are offered. For example, some summer courses are offered during the first session of summer term (in May), and others are offered during the second session (in June).

STUDENT COUNSELING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES (CAPS)

Student Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can help student manage their feelings so that they can make the most out of their college experience. Clinicians are trained to help students work through problems commonly experienced by college students of all ages and backgrounds.

STUDENT ID NUMBER (NSHE ID)

Unique ten-digit number generated for students upon admission to the University.

STUDENT OF CONCERN REPORT

The Student of Concern Report is a part of a comprehensive reporting system that is an important element in fostering a safe and supportive campus community. It allows faculty and staff at UNLV to share appropriate information about students for which you are concerned. The Student of Concern Report and related information can be found online.

SWAP

Swapping means that you will simultaneously Drop one class and Add another. By doing this transaction as a Swap, the system will not Drop you from the selected class, unless the Add will also be successful. If the system finds that you cannot successfully Drop the selected class and Add the selected class, then neither part of the transaction will be performed.

SYLLABUS

A course outline provided by the instructor that delineates course requirements, grading criteria, course content, faculty expectations, deadlines, examination dates, grading policies, class attendance requirements, and other relevant course information.

TRANSFER COURSE EVALUATION (TCE)

Paper TCE form is used when TES processing is unavailable (ex: International catalog not in TES system). The TCE form can be found on the forms page. https://www.unlv.edu/advising/forms

TRANSFER EVALUATION SYSTEM (TES)

TES® the Transfer Evaluation System from CollegeSource is the premier interactive resource for course data from institutions of higher education. TES® empowers users to quickly locate course descriptions; route and track the evaluation process; store, manage, group, and publicize the resulting equivalencies; and employ powerful algorithms to generate lists of equivalencies between institutions.

TRANSCRIPT

The official record of a student’s coursework maintained by the Office of the Registrar.

TUTORING

The Academic Success Center (ASC) offers free tutoring for a variety of UNLV courses throughout the school year. The mission of the tutoring program is to supplement in-class instruction and enhance your overall academic experience by providing a respectful, safe educational environment for learning.

UNIVERSITY PROBATION

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

UNIVERSITY SUSPENSION

If the UNLV GPB (Grade Point Balance) of a student already warned by college probation falls to a -15 or below, the university will suspend the student for a minimum of one calendar year. A suspended student will not be able to take any UNLV courses. Students wishing to return to UNLV after their one-year suspension period has been met, must schedule an appointment with the advising center for their declared major. Please visit the Advising Centers page for contact information.

UPPER DIVISION (UD)

A general term describing the third and fourth years of college (an upper-division student) or courses taken in the last two years of college (upper-division courses). For example, UD courses are numbered in the 300- and 400-level which cover more in-depth content.

VOLUNTARY HEALTH WITHDRAWAL

UNLV students may apply for a Voluntary Health Withdrawal (VHW), a separation of the student from the university, if they experience medical or psychological conditions that significantly impair their ability to function successfully and safely in their role as a student. The VHW form can be found on the forms page. https://www.unlv.edu/advising/forms

WAITLISTED COURSE

Courses have a cap with how many students are allowed to enroll. Students can enroll on the waitlist of the course if a course is full through MyUNLV. Students on the waitlist will have first priority in the open seats. Student must wait for a student to drop from the course before they are added to the course. Waitlist jobs run every 4PM everyday in MyUNLV.

WESTERN UNDERGRADUATE EXCHANGE (WUE)

Students who are residents of one of the 15 WICHE states are eligible to request a reduced WUE tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition outside of their home state.  At the UA, Mining Engineering and all UA South programs are eligible for the WUE rate.  The WUE reduced tuition rate is not automatically awarded to all eligible candidates; students must submit a WUE application to UA South or the Residency Classification Office.  Residents of Alaska, Arizona., California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to apply for the WUE rate.

WHAT-IF-REPORTS

What-If reports allows students and advisors to see how a student’s coursework would apply if the student was in a different plan or sub-plan. Students may generate these in Student Center Self Service. Advisors may generate a What-If report by changing the report type to WHIF on the Request Advisement Report page and setting up the relevant program, plan, and term information using Career Simulation.

WITHDRAWAL

Withdrawal means that you are dropping all your courses of enrollment for the current term.