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Academic Information - Grades
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.
Students maintaining a 3.50 GPA and selected by the appropriate faculty may be eligible to graduate with departmental distinction. This distinction will be noted on the commencement program.
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 Once a student has elected to exercise the Fresh Start policy, the effects of the policy may not be rescinded.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:
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.
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.
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:
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 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.