Grades submitted to the Registrar’s Office by faculty members are final and may not be changed except in the case of clerical error, upon successful appeal, or if they were fraudulently obtained. Students who believe an error in grading has occurred should first consult with the instructor. Final grade changes may not be used to extend the time for completion of a course, to allow a student to submit late work, or to retake examinations after the term is completed. A grade change is not meant to substitute for an “Incomplete” when an Incomplete cannot be justified. Grade changes made under this policy must be submitted to the Registrar by faculty by means of forms and procedures available in the Registrar’s Office. The College Dean must approve these forms.
Montana State University-Northern students may eliminate part of their previous coursework at the institution under this “fresh start” option. The policy is subject to several restrictions, and may not be available to all students. Under the policy, students may erase a maximum of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters of previous Montana State University-Northern coursework. The coursework will remain on the student’s academic record, but the credits and the grades will not be carried forward into the student’s cumulative GPA. Once a student has elected to exercise the Fresh Start policy, the effects of the policy may not be rescinded.
Students must meet the following conditions to apply for the fresh start option:
they must be undergraduates; they may only exercise the fresh start option once at Montana State University-Northern;
they must not have been enrolled at Montana State University-Northern for at least one calendar year;
they must apply for the fresh start option during the first year of their return to Montana State University-Northern.
The quality of a student’s work in each course is represented by a letter grade. In computing scholastic averages, each letter grade is assigned a specific number of grade points for each credit.
Evaluation of Coursework
Faculty at Montana State University-Northern may use the following scale when assigning final grades to students in courses. Criteria for assigning these grades are left to the discretion of course faculty, and shall be clearly communicated to the students in the course using the course Syllabus or any other means of official course communications. These criteria should be provided to the students during the first week of class during each semester. Use of plus and minus grading is left to the discretion of course faculty.
Pass Indicates that the student registered for the course on a “Pass-Fail” basis and passed the course. The pass grade is not computed in the grade point average; however, failures are computed in the grade point average like any other F.
Incomplete Indicates that the work of the course is more than three-fourths complete, not finished, but may be completed. An incomplete is given only to a student who has a proper excuse for not having completed all the requirements of a course. The faculty member and student must arrange to complete the work prior to the ending of the following term. Arrangements must be completed in the next resident semester, or the “I” is changed to an “F.” If the student is not in residence, two semesters are given to complete the work, or the incomplete becomes an “F.” The final grade for the course will replace the notation of “I” in the semester in which the course was originally registered, and the credit for the course will be counted in that semester. The final grade will affect the grade point average of that semester, just as if the work had originally been completed in that semester.
Incomplete, subsequently finished grade The * represents the final grade. Points are those appropriate to the final grade.
I/* = I/A, I/A-, I/B+, I/B, I/B-, I/C+, I/C, I/C-, I/D+, I/D, I/D-, I/F
Audit Indicates that the student registered as an auditor for the course. No credit is given.
Withdrawal Indicates that the student withdrew from the course or University after 20% of the course had been completed but before 60% of the class time was completed.
Continuation Indicates that the final grade for the course will be assigned when the sequence is completed and may extend beyond one semester. Only graduate students receive this notation.
Not Reported by Instructor Indicates that the instructor did not report the grade. This is a temporary notation and a grade report will be issued as soon as possible.
Failure Due to Academic Dishonesty
In Progress Indicates that the student’s work is still in progress.
Not Passing Indicates that the student was not passing M 095 at the time the grades were turned in.
Following each semester students and their advisors may see a report of the students’ grades by logging onto Northern’s WEB site and getting into Banner. Students performing unsatisfactory work during the semester may also be notified. Grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the cumulative number of grade points by the total number of credits attempted.
Graduation academic Latin honors levels are based on all higher education work completed at the time the program was printed. This does not include work completed at the end of the Spring Semester of commencement. If work completed after the commencement program was printed changed any honors levels, every effort will be made to provide the proper cords, and the new honors levels will be read as the graduates during commencement are introduced.
Magna Cum Laude
Summa Cum Laude
Honor Cords: Montana State University-Northern recognizes associate and baccalaureate students with excellent grades by awarding traditional Latin academic honors at graduation. Honored graduates wear honors cords and their names are noted in the commencement program. Cord colors are as follows:
An incomplete grade must be completed in the next resident semester, or the “I” is changed to an “I/F”. If the student is not in residence, two semesters are given to complete the work, or the incomplete becomes an “I/F”.
Students may take classes on a pass-fail basis. When considering that option, students should keep the following limitations in mind, however:
Courses that satisfy the requirements of a major, a minor, an area of concentration, or the professional education core cannot be taken on a pass-fail basis. Graduate courses cannot be taken on a pass-fail basis.
Students can only use eighteen (18) semester credits of pass-fail work in a Bachelor’s degree program; they can only use nine (9) semester credits of pass-fail work in an associate or associate of applied science degree program.
The two previous restrictions do not apply to specific coursework that is only offered on a pass-fail basis. That coursework would include cooperative education classes, student teaching, Advanced Placement, CLEP and challenge exams and trade competency tests.
Some academic Colleges have their own rules governing the use of passfail credits, and students should consult their faculty advisors for those limitations.
Students may change from a grade to pass or pass to a grade prior to the close of the “add” period for the class by means of forms and procedures available from the Registrar’s Office. Once pass-fail has been elected, the election cannot be reversed.
Faculty members are not notified when courses are taken on a pass-fail basis. Letter grades turned in by the instructor are converted to Pass or Fail when the grades are recorded on the student’s permanent record. A passing grade is defined as a “C-” or better. A failing grade is an “F.”
Pass grades are not counted in the grade point average but the credit may meet graduation requirements subject to the limitations set out above. Grades of “F” are counted in the grade point average.
The University cautions students that some graduate and professional schools and some employers do not recognize non-traditional grades (i.e., those other than A, B, C, D, F) and students who use the pass/fail option may be at a disadvantage in such situations.
In recognition of scholastic achievement, the University publishes at the conclusion of each semester an honor roll of undergraduate students who have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in twelve or more credits of work graded on the regular grade scale. Students with a grade of Pass, Incomplete or “F” are not included on the honor roll listing.
Students whose semester and/or cumulative grade point average falls below 2.00 will be placed on academic suspension or probation according to the following guidelines. Suspended students may appeal for readmission prior to their elapsed suspension period by means of forms and procedures available from the Registrar’s Office.
Scholastic Warning: Applies only to first-time freshmen or new students who have earned less than twelve credits from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution. Such students are placed on scholastic warning at the end of their first semester of enrollment if they earn less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. A student may be on academic warning a maximum of one semester. Probation or suspension status applies to all subsequent enrollments in which the cumulative grade-point average remains below a 2.00.
Scholastic Probation: Students (other than those described in situation 1 above) are placed on probation at the end of a semester of enrollment when their cumulative grade point average falls below a 2.00. Transfer students (admitted under special conditions) who have earned 12 or more semester credits and whose transcript(s) indicates less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average are admitted on scholastic probation. 3
Continued Scholastic Probation: Students may continue to enroll while on probation provided they earn at least a 2.00 semester grade point average, even though their cumulative grade point average remains below a 2.00.
Restrictions in enrollment while on Scholastic Warning or Scholastic Probation status: No student on scholastic warning or probation may enroll for more than 12 credits during the semester without approval of the Admissions and Standards Committee.
Removal of Scholastic Probation: Such academic standing is removed when the cumulative grade point average is raised to a 2.00 or higher.
Scholastic Suspension: Students currently enrolled on scholastic probation or continued on scholastic probation are suspended when both the semester and cumulative grade point average are below 2.00. The first suspension from Montana State University-Northern will be for one semester. The second suspension will be for one calendar year. Students suspended for a third time, or those seeking early re-admission from a first or second suspension, must appeal by petition to the Admissions and Standards Committee. A student re-admitted after a period of suspension will be placed on scholastic probation.
Suspended students may attend classes until their appeal is decided.
A transcript is the complete academic record of a student’s work and status. The official transcript bears the signature of the Registrar and the seal of Montana State University-Northern. Other copies are unofficial. The University retains a permanent transcript. Official transcripts are issued only upon the written request of the student. Transcripts will not be released until all University admissions or financial obligations have been met.
The education records, as defined by federal right-to-privacy laws, of deceased persons in the custody of Montana State University-Northern will be released only to individuals who document themselves as personal representatives of the deceased’s estate or remaining next-of-kin. The death of the alumnus must also be documented.