Academic Programs Catalog

General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations

General Procedures and Regulations


Institutional Evaluation and Assessment

As members of a learning community, students may be asked to participate in periodic and ongoing institutional self-studies designed to promote program improvement.  Michigan State University continually assesses itself in order to evaluate the effectiveness of its programs.  Students are expected to participate in these assessment efforts should they be selected to do so.

 


Michigan State University Faculty

A full-time faculty member of Michigan State University may not carry course work in residence, or in absentia, amounting to more than an average of four course credits a semester with a maximum of eight credits during fall and spring. There is no maximum number of master's thesis or doctoral dissertation research credits that may be carried each semester. See Admission of Faculty Members of Michigan State University to Graduate Study in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.

 


Student Name

LEGAL NAME. Students are required to provide their legal name at the time of application and to process official name changes while enrolled, as appropriate. Name change requests must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar with appropriate documentation. Documentation consists of a current driver’s license, official state ID card, Social Security card, court order of legal name change, current passport, or official proof of identity certified by U.S. embassy abroad or by the appropriate foreign embassy in the United States.

DIPLOMA NAME. Students indicate their diploma name on the Michigan State University Application for Graduation. The student name listed on a diploma or certificate must match the legal name as it is recorded on the student’s official university record, with the following exceptions: option of first name or initial; option of middle name or initial; inclusion of former or maiden name(s); and inclusion of proper capitalization and accentuation of name.

PREFERRED NAME. The university recognizes that many of its students use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Students may indicate their preferred first name on the Michigan State University Application for Admission or by accessing STUinfo (http://stuinfo.msu.edu).

Once established, preferred name will be used across university systems, where possible. The university reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used inappropriately, including but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation. The legal name will continue to be used for certain university records, documents, and business processes such as reporting, financial aid, official transcripts, and other records where use of legal name is required by law or university policy.

Students may update or remove their preferred name via STUInfo or in person at the Office of the Registrar, Hannah Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 150, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824-2603.


Attendance

No person is allowed to attend a class unless officially enrolled on a credit or non-credit basis with the appropriate fees paid. Students who attend, participate and strive to complete course requirements without formal enrollment will not receive credit for their work.

There is no university-wide regulation requiring class attendance. However, attendance is an essential and intrinsic element of the educational process. In any course in which attendance is necessary to the achievement of a clearly defined set of course objectives, it may be a valid consideration in determining the student's grade. It is the responsibility of the instructor to define the policy for attendance at the beginning of the course.

REPORTING NON-ATTENDANCE. In compliance with federal regulations governing financial aid and veterans education benefits, instructors are required to report students who stop attending or who have never attended class. After the first week of classes, through the middle of the term of instruction, instructors who identify a non-attending student should notify their departmental office. Upon receiving a report of non-attendance, departmental representatives are encouraged to initiate an administrative drop.

Attendance is defined as physical attendance or participation in an academically-related activity, including but not limited to the submission of an assignment, an examination, participation in a study group or an online discussion. Instructors who do not take attendance may utilize key assessment points (e.g. projects, papers, mid-term exams, and discussions) as benchmarks for participation.

DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE. Students may be dropped from a course for non-attendance by a departmental administrative drop after the fourth class period, or the fifth class day of the term of instruction, whichever occurs first.

CLASS NOTES AND UNIVERSITY SUPPLIED MATERIALS. As a condition of continued course enrollment and allowed class attendance, a student will refrain from commercializing notes of class lectures and university-supplied materials, by direct sale or by contract with a third party or otherwise, without the express written permission of the instructor. Students may be removed from a class only after a hearing in the department or school, as described in the Student Rights and Responsibilities at Michigan State University, Article 2.4.

FIELD TRIPS. Field trips involving absence from classes must be authorized in advance by the dean of the college in which the course is given. The cost of field trips which are part of organized courses of instruction must be borne by the participating students and are additional to the usual course fees.

 


Change of Section within a Course

Students who must change from one section to another in the same course may do so using the enrollment system through the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters).  After the period ends, changes of section must be made in the department responsible for teaching the course.

 

 


Change of Enrollment

Students are expected to complete the courses in which they register. If a change is necessary, it may be made only with the appropriate approvals as explained below.
ADD AND DROP PERIOD. Students may add courses using the enrollment system through the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters). Students may drop courses using the enrollment system through the middle of the term of instruction.
CHANGE OF OPTION FOR CR-NC (CREDIT-NO CREDIT) GRADING. Choice of the CR-NC grading system must be communicated by the student to the Office of the Registrar within the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters) and may not be changed after that date.
CHANGE OF OPTION FOR VISITOR. Choice of enrollment in a credit course as a visitor on a non-credit basis must be made no later than the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters) in the Office of the Registrar.
TO ADD A COURSE AFTER THE ADD AND DROP PERIOD. Normally, no course may be added after the designated period for adding courses. Any add after this period must be processed beginning with the department offering the course. Final approval rests with the associate dean of the student’s college  or if not yet admitted to a college, the associate dean of the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative.
TO DROP A COURSE OR WITHDRAW FROM THE UNIVERSITY AFTER THE MIDDLE OF THE TERM OF INSTRUCTION. A student may drop a course or withdraw after the middle of the term of instruction only to correct errors in the enrollment or because of events of catastrophic impact, such as serious personal illness. If the student is passing the course, or there is no basis for assignment of a grade at the time of the drop, a W grade will be assigned. If failing, a 0.0 (or N in a P-N graded course) will be assigned. The course will remain on the student’s academic record.

Undergraduate Students: To initiate a late drop or withdrawal, the student must obtain approval from the office of the associate dean of his or her college or if not yet admitted to college, the associate dean of the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative. Exceptions are James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, the Residential College in Arts and Humanities.

Graduate Students: To initiate a late drop or withdrawal, students must obtain approval from their advisor or major professor and their graduate program director. 

DROPPING ALL COURSES. See the statement on Withdrawal from the University.


Cancellation of Enrollment

Cancellation of enrollment includes the administrative cancellation of a student's registration due to nonpayment of fees, or because of academic recess or dismissal. Courses in which the student is enrolled will be deleted from the official record. The cancellation of a student's registration may be processed by the Office of the Controller or the Office of the Registrar.

 

 


Withdrawal from the University

WITHDRAWAL PRIOR TO THE MIDDLE OF THE TERM OF INSTRUCTION. A withdrawal from the university occurs when students drop all of their courses within a semester. Students may drop all of their courses through the middle of the term of instruction using the online enrollment system or in person at the Office of the Registrar, 150 Administration Building. For withdrawals that occur before the middle of the term of instruction, courses in which the student is enrolled will be deleted from the official record.

Undergraduate students are strongly advised to seek guidance regarding the impact of withdrawal from the university by contacting either the associate dean of their major college or academic advisor. For most students who have fewer than 56 credit hours, the Associate Dean’s function is served by the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative (NSSC). Exceptions are James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, the Residential College in Arts and Humanities. Graduate students should consult with their advisor, major professor, or graduate program director; this is especially important if appointed as a graduate assistant.

Graduate students should consult with their advisor, major professor, or graduate program director; this is especially important if appointed as a graduate assistant.

Additionally:

  • Fees are subject to refund according to the refund policy.
  • A student living in a residence hall should consult the manager regarding the policy on the refund of room and board fees.
  • A student living in an off-campus organized living unit should consult the individual unit for policies regarding room and board refunds.
  • A graduate student appointed as graduate assistant forfeits his/her assistantship upon withdrawal from the university.
  • Any student whose enrollment at this university is interrupted for any reason so that he or she has not been enrolled for three consecutive semesters, including the summer sessions should submit a readmission to the Office of the Registrar at www.reg.msu.edu.

WITHDRAWAL AFTER THE MIDDLE OF THE TERM OF INSTRUCTION. A student may drop a course or withdraw after the middle of the term of instruction only to correct errors in the enrollment or because of events of catastrophic impact, such as serious personal illness. If the student is passing the course, or there is no basis for assignment of a grade at the time of the drop, a W grade will be assigned. If failing, a 0.0 (or N in a P-N graded course) will be assigned. The course will remain on the student’s academic record.

Undergraduate Students: To initiate a late withdrawal, the student must obtain approval from the office of the associate dean of his or her college or the Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative. Exceptions are James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, the Residential College in Arts and Humanities.

Graduate students should consult with their advisor, major professor, or graduate program director; this is especially important if appointed as a graduate assistant.

There is no formal procedure for withdrawal at the end of a semester; however, a student living in university housing should notify the manager of the appropriate unit.

UNAUTHORIZED. Students who leave the university during a semester or summer session without officially dropping their courses will be reported as having failed those courses and will forfeit any fees or deposits paid to the university. The withdrawal procedure will not take place automatically for the student who leaves campus because of illness, of either one's self or family member, or for interim or final suspension for disciplinary reasons, but must be initiated by the student. Fees are subject to refund according to the refund policy.

INVOLUNTARY. Students who are called into the armed forces during the semester should submit a copy of their orders to the Office of the Registrar for appropriate action.

ACADEMIC RECESS OR DISMISSAL. If a student is academically recessed or dismissed, courses in subsequent semesters are dropped without grades and fees are subject to refund according to the refund policy.


Examinations

In keeping with university practice, entry into, and participation in, course examinations is controlled through electronic and visual means and by proctored examination site procedures.

In certain courses, such as those offered online, an individual student may be required to arrange to take examinations in a proctored environment on-campus or off-campus. Any costs associated with taking such proctored examinations are the responsibility of the student. The Michigan State University Testing Office is a proctored-testing site for distance learning, www.testingoffice.msu.edu/. It is a member of the Consortium of College Testing Centers which is a free referral service provided by the National College Testing Association to facilitate distance learning, www.ncta-testing.org.

 



Final Examination Policy

During the final week of each fall and spring semester all courses shall meet for one 2-hour period. The  Final Examination Policy is available at https://reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/Calendar/FinalExam.aspx. During summer sessions, final examinations are scheduled in the last class sessions.  This period should be used for examination, discussion, summarizing the course, obtaining student evaluation of the course instruction, or any other appropriate activity designed to advance the student's education. If an instructor requires a written report or take-home examination in place of a final examination, it shall not be due before the final examination period scheduled for that course. Exceptions to this paragraph may be approved by the department or school chairperson, or in a college without departments, by the dean.

In the event that a final examination is deemed appropriate by the instructor, it may not be scheduled at any time other than the date and hour listed in Schedule of Courses. Any deviations from the final examination schedule must be approved by the Office of the Registrar based on the recommendation of the assistant/associate dean of the college responsible for the course offering.

No student should be required to take more than two examinations during any one day of the final examination period. Students who have more than two examinations scheduled during one calendar day during the final examination period may contact the Academic Student Affairs Office in their colleges for assistance in arranging for an alternate time for one of the three examinations.

The final examination schedule shall be systematically rotated in an effort to distribute the 2-hour final examination periods from semester to semester equally. This will also apply to common final examinations.

Faculty members shall schedule office hours during the final examination period (or in some other way attempt to make themselves accessible to their students) as they do in the other weeks of the semester.

Common final examinations are scheduled in certain courses with several class sections. In case of a conflict in time between such an examination and a regularly scheduled course examination, the latter has priority. The department or school giving the common  examination must arrange for a make-up examination.

A student absent from a final examination without a satisfactory explanation will receive a grade of 0.0 on the numerical system, NC on the CR-NC system, or N in the case of a course authorized for grading on the P-N system. Students unable to take a final examination because of illness or other reason over which they have no control should notify the associate deans of their colleges immediately.

For information on other examinations, see the Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education sections of this catalog.


Courses

All currently approved courses can be found in online Course Descriptions at: https://reg.msu.edu/Courses/Search.aspx.

For current scheduling information for all courses, visit the Schedule of Courses at www.schedule.msu.edu.


Course Numbers

001-099 Non-Credit Courses

Courses with these numbers are offered by the university to permit students to make up deficiencies in previous training or to improve their facility in certain basic skills without earning credit.

For information about remedial-developmental-preparatory courses, consult the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog.

100-299 Undergraduate Courses

Courses with these numbers are for undergraduate students. They carry no graduate credit, although graduate students may be admitted to such courses in order to make up prerequisites or to gain a foundation for advanced courses.

For information about remedial-developmental-preparatory courses, consult the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog.

300-499 Advanced Undergraduate Courses

Courses with these numbers are for advanced undergraduate students. They constitute the advanced portion of an undergraduate program leading to the bachelor's degree. A graduate student may carry 400-level courses for credit upon approval of the student's major department or school. In exceptional cases, a graduate student may petition the dean of his or her college, in writing, for approval of a 300-level course for graduate credit.

500-699 Graduate-Professional Courses

Courses with these numbers are courses in the graduate-professional programs. A graduate student may carry these courses for credit with approval of the major department or school.

800-899 Graduate Courses

Courses with these numbers are for graduate students. Advanced undergraduates with Honors College status or a grade-point average in their total programs equal to or greater than the minimum requirement for graduation with honors may be admitted to 800-899 courses. The student must obtain approval of the relevant department. More than half of the credits of the total required for a master's degree shall be taken at the 800-and 900-level except as specifically exempted by the dean of the college.

900-999 Advanced Graduate Courses

Courses with these numbers are exclusively for graduate students and primarily for advanced graduate students. A master's degree student may take these courses with the approval of the major department or school, with the exception of courses numbered 999 (doctoral dissertation research). Admission to a doctoral degree program is a prerequisite of all courses numbered 999.

 


Credits

Courses at Michigan State University are given on a  "semester" basis, and credits earned are semester credits. To convert semester credits to the “term” or “quarter” basis employed in certain other institutions, multiply by 3/2. To convert term credits to semester credits, multiply by 2/3.

Each course usually carries a specific number of credits based upon the number of instructional contact hours and study hours required each week per semester. The earning of a credit requires, as a minimum, one instructor-student contact hour per week per semester plus two hours of study per contact hour; OR two hours of laboratory contact hours per week per semester, plus one additional hour spent in report writing and study; OR other combinations of contact and study hours which constitute an equivalent of these experiences. In all courses taught in the time frame of the regular semester, regardless of format, provision will be made for contact hours and/or study hours which reflect optimal use of the class and study time provided for in the official university calendar. In courses in other time frames provision will be made for contact hours and study time in a combination, which is equivalent to the semester experience.

The number of credits normally carried in a semester is defined in the Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education sections of this catalog.

Persons who are assessed fees for 7 or more credits (6 or more credits for doctoral students) in a semester:

  1. Are subject to the housing regulations as stated in University Housing Policy.
  2. May utilize the facilities of the Olin Health Center. Information on services available and the charges made may be obtained at the Olin Health Center.
  3. May purchase football, basketball, and/or hockey season tickets for themselves and their spouses at 50 percent of the public rate.
  4. Are eligible for free admission to other regularly scheduled athletic events.
  5. Are eligible for student discounts on series tickets to professional performing arts events at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
  6. Are eligible to purchase one guest ticket to professional performing arts events at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts and Institute for Arts and Culture. One validated student ID card must be presented with every two student-rate tickets when attending a performance.



Variable Credit Courses

For each variable credit course, the range of credits for which a student may enroll in a given semester and the maximum number of credits that a student may earn in a course with a reenrollment provision shall be specified.

 


Transfer Courses and Credits

Acceptance of courses and credits deemed suitable for transfer to Michigan State University is determined by faculty in the department, school, or college responsible for instruction in the subject area. Among factors influencing the determination of acceptability are accreditation status, comparable academic quality, and the relationship of the course to other course offerings in the primary administrative unit and other academic units at Michigan State University, and the basis for student performance evaluation in the course. For current course equivalencies, visit www.transfer.msu.edu.
Students requesting transfer credit of course work from a higher-learning institution in China must have a China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) verification report of  the university transcript mailed directly to the MSU Office of Admissions. CDGDC verification does not guarantee the transfer of credit to MSU.

Credit for summer and other non-degree programs offered on campuses of officially recognized international institutions may be subject to an additional review. A transcript demonstrating a completed course of study may be required to determine the transferability of credit.


For information on transfer credit beyond sophomore standing, visit www.reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Text.aspx?Section=110#s228.

Course Formats and Credits

The formats described in this document apply to courses in which credits are earned. (For the definition of a credit, refer to Credits.)

In all courses for credit, regardless of format, there will be instructor evaluation of individual learning. In this document, instructor is defined as a person authorized to teach the course by the administrator of the academic unit that administers the course.

The formats acceptable for courses offered for credit are those listed below. Two or more of the formats listed may be combined; for example, lecture and laboratory, discussion and online and/or lecture and hybrid.

Lecture
Definition:  A regularly scheduled class in which the instructor takes the dominant role and the primary emphasis is on transmitting a body of knowledge or information and explaining ideas or principles. Student comments or questions will be accommodated as circumstances permit. In some courses, students may be expected to participate in classroom activities by means appropriate to the subject matter, such as discussion, performance, etc. Information regarding required text and reading list is provided.

Recitation
Definition: A regularly scheduled interactive class in which the instructor supplements lectures by clarifying concepts and responding to student questions. Students may be expected to participate in classroom activities by means appropriate to the subject matter through discussion, solving problems, or group learning. Papers, projects, etc., may be assigned.

Discussion
Definition:  A regularly scheduled class in which a group of students, under the direction of the instructor, considers predetermined topics, issues, or problems and exchanges evidence, analyses, reactions, and conclusions about them with one another. Papers, projects, etc., may be assigned.  A list of topics for discussion; basic texts, reading list, or other materials are specified. Enrollment normally limited.

Seminar
Definition:  A regularly scheduled class in which a small group of students is engaged, under the leadership of the instructor, in research or advanced study. Topics may be interdisciplinary or highly specialized. Maximal opportunity for peer exchange is provided. Instructor provides broad outline of possible topics and procedures. Enrollment normally limited to 15 students.

Laboratory
Definition:  A regularly scheduled class with primary emphasis on learning by doing or observing, with the burden of course activity placed on the student, under the direction and supervision of the instructor, for the purpose of giving first-hand experience, developing and practicing skills, translating theory into practice, and developing, testing, and applying principles.  Manuals, needed materials, instruments, equipment, and/or tools are provided, or recommendations are made for their acquisition.

Studio
Definition:  A regularly scheduled class with primary emphasis on student activity leading to skill development and the enhancement and encouragement of the student's artistic growth. Needed materials, instruments, equipment, and/or tools are provided, or recommendations are made for their acquisition. Evaluation of individual learning may include public display of proficiency and/or evaluation by faculty other than the student's instructor. Each student receives from the instructor an end-of-semester assessment of accomplishment.

Online
Definition:  A class in which all instruction is delivered in an online environment. Texts, reading lists, in-person orientations, proctored examinations and/or other non-instructional experiences may be required as stipulated. Online courses are classified as on-campus courses.

Hybrid (Blended)
Definition:  A class that blends online instruction with required or scheduled in-person contact, including examinations, laboratories, etc. At least 50% of the class is delivered through online instruction. Proctored examinations, texts, reading lists, and/or other materials are stipulated. Hybrid courses with on-campus meetings are classified as on-campus courses.

In the following course formats (except master's thesis research and doctoral dissertation research), a minimum combined total of 30 instructor-student contact hours and student class/study/work hours per credit per semester is expected. The division among these hours will be determined by the instructor, in consultation, as needed, with other qualified supervisors.

Workshop
Definition:  An organized learning experience with the same purposes and methods as the laboratory or studio, usually offered in a concentrated period shorter than a semester. Broad outline of possible activities and procedures is provided.

Institute
Definition:  An organized learning experience which brings together specialists in a given area for instruction for a concentrated period shorter than a semester. Broad outline of possible topics and procedures is provided.

Field Study
Definition:  A learning experience arranged by an instructor for a student or group of students to carry out a project outside the classroom by observation, participation in a work experience, or field research.  Advance planning, involving instructor and students, for activity are required.

Professional Practicum
Definition:  Professional practice under supervision of an instructor, assisted, where necessary, by additional experienced professionals. Broad outline of possible topics and procedures is provided.

Clinical Clerkship
Definition:  An organized learning experience which employs professional practice as a means to acquire clinical skills and apply knowledge. Broadens knowledge acquired in prior course work by providing additional instruction and experiences. Activities include supervised clinical practice, small-group instruction, lecture, independent study, etc. Instruction is delivered by multiple faculty and/or other qualified professionals in a campus or community-based clinical facility (hospital, ambulatory care center, health professional's office, practice environment, etc.) Objectives, instructional materials, and evaluation procedures are determined by faculty assigned to the clerkship.

Internship
Definition: Professional activity, under general supervision of an experienced professional, in a job situation which places a high degree of responsibility on the student. Specific job description must be approved by instructor or instructional unit. Evaluation by instructor with assistance of supervisor.

Teaching Internship
Definition: Sustained observation and practice in a classroom under supervision of an experienced teacher and a university field supervisor.  Careful advance planning involving a university field supervisor, the school system and supervising teacher, as well as procedures for evaluation by the field supervisor, with the assistance of the supervising teacher are required.

Independent Study
Definition: Planned study, highly individualized, which is not addressable through any other format. Advance planning between instructor and student, with goals, scope of the project, and evaluation method are specified in writing. At least two contact hours are required for the first credit of Independent Study. Contact hours thereafter are to be determined by agreement between instructor and student.

Competency-Based Instruction (CBI)
Definition: Objectives, materials, procedures, and methods of evaluation are specified at the beginning of the course. The requirements are satisfied at the student's own pace, subject to arrangements with the course supervisor and to the university's time-period requirements. This format, as distinguished from Independent Study, will ordinarily be used in established courses. Courses by correspondence and some online courses are generally included in this format. Instructional materials and procedures developed by instructor. Frequency and nature of student-faculty contact determined at the beginning of the course.

Master's Thesis Research
Definition: Highly individualized, investigative study, usually continuing over more than one semester. Subject of research agreed to by student and research supervisor (instructor), in consultation, when required, with guidance committee. Grade deferred until completion of master's program. Exclusively 899 course number. Advance planning occurs between research supervisor (instructor) and student, with goals and scope of project prearranged; minimum contact hours per semester determined by agreement between supervisor and student.

Doctoral Dissertation Research
Definition: Highly individualized, investigative study, usually continuing over several semesters. Subject of research agreed to by student and research supervisor (instructor), in consultation with student's guidance committee. Grade deferred until completion of doctoral program. Exclusively 999 course number. Advance planning occurs between research supervisor (instructor) and student, in consultation with guidance committee.

 


Online Learning

The university offers selected degree programs, certificate programs, minors, and individual courses online. All university regulations, policies, and procedures described in this catalog that apply to on-campus programs also apply to online programs, unless specified otherwise. For more information about online learning, visit https://reg.msu.edu/ucc/onlineprograms.aspx.

Michigan State University courses offered online are considered on-campus courses. Applicability of specific online Michigan State University courses is determined by the requirements of specific programs. For more information about course formats and credits, visit https://www.reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Text.aspx?Section=112#S506.


Distance Education - Face-to-Face, Online and Hybrid Programs

Distance education includes face-to-face, online, and hybrid instructional delivery.

For a face-to-face program, participants meet for instruction at an off-campus site.

For an online program, instruction is offered totally online. Texts, reading lists, proctored examinations and/or other non-instructional experiences may be required as stipulated.

For a hybrid program, online instruction is blended with required or scheduled in-person contact, including examinations, laboratories, etc. At least 50% or more of the courses required for the degree or certificate are delivered through online instruction. Texts, reading lists, in-person orientations, proctored examinations and/or other non-instructional experiences may be required as stipulated.

Online and hybrid programs are classified as on-campus programs.



State Authorization

The U.S. Department of Education requires an institution offering distance education programs to acquire authorization from the states in which it operates. In Fall 2015, Michigan State University began participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which is an agreement among states that establishes national standards for the interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. Through SARA, Michigan State University may provide distance education to residents of any other SARA member state without seeking authorization from each SARA member state individually. For a comprehensive list of SARA states and institutions, see http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions.

For program exceptions and a state-by-state summary showing the most recent state authorization information, please visit:  https://esp.msu.edu/StateSummary.pdf

For additional information, please visit www.reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Print.aspx?Section=11192 and www.esp.msu.edu/stateauth.asp.

Academic Program Terminology

The terminology below is used to describe majors, specializations, teaching minors, and sub-categories within them as noted.

For detailed information on academic program terminology, visit www.reg.msu.edu/Read/UCC/terminology.pdf

Area of Emphasis

A set of disciplinary or interdisciplinary courses exclusively for teacher certification programs. Final approval is integral to the degree certification process.

Cognate

A set of related disciplinary or interdisciplinary courses. Final approval is integral to the degree certification process.

Concentration

A set of disciplinary or interdisciplinary courses within a major. Final approval is integral to the degree certification process.

Graduate Certificate

Constructed in selected fields as complements to degree programs or as distinct offerings. Issuance of a graduate certificate signifies completion of course work, specified professional training, skills, or competency levels.
Type 1 - Directly related to a degree program as part of the degree program's requirements. Final approval is integral to the degree certification process.
Type 2 - Distinct entity not related to a degree program. Final approval may be separate from or concurrent with the degree certification process.
Type 3 - Distinct entity not related to a degree program. Final approval is granted by the academic unit.
Type 4 - Distinct entity at the University level not related to a degree program. Final approval is recommended by the administering unit and The Graduate School and is separate from the degree certification process.

Major

A primary field of study named as a specific degree program. Final approval is integral to the degree certification process.

Minor

A secondary field of study at the undergraduate level. Final approval is concurrent with the degree certification process.

Graduate Specialization

An interdisciplinary program of thematically related courses. Final approval is concurrent with the degree certification process.

Teaching Minor

A group of single subject or group subject courses required by the State of Michigan exclusively for teacher certification programs.  Final approval is separate from the degree certification process.

 


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Certification

Michigan State University provides information about students receiving educational assistance benefits to the Department of Veterans Affairs, in accordance with federal regulations and university policy. Only credits in courses that are in accordance with Department of Veterans Affairs regulations will be certified. Students receiving Department of Veterans Affairs educational assistance benefits are held to the same standards of academic progress and social conduct as all other students.  

Veterans’ education benefits are based upon the actual start and end date for each course and may vary throughout the semester. In order to receive benefits as a full-time student under programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, students must carry the following minimum credits in full semester or summer session courses: undergraduate and graduate-professional students, 12 credits; master’s level students, 9 credits; and doctoral level students, 6 credits.



Class Visitor

A person may be permitted to enroll in credit courses as a visitor on a non-credit basis with appropriate approval. Credit may not be earned in courses taken as a visitor except by re-enrollment for credit in the course, and completion of the course with a satisfactory grade. See the Grading Systems section for additional information.

Students enrolled as visitors are expected to attend classes regularly. Those so enrolled who do not attend regularly may be dropped from the class at the request of the instructor.

To be enrolled as a visitor, a student must enroll in the same manner as for credit courses at the university. Students enroll for the course through the enrollment system and then contact the Office of the Registrar to have the visitor code added to the record. Enrollment in a course may not be changed to or from a visitor basis except during the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters). Such credits as the course normally carries are included as part of the total credit load for which fees are assessed.

 


Continuing Education Unit

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) was created by a national task force. CEUs are granted by a large number of colleges and universities. The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) provides compliance guidelines and certification of CEU programs. Michigan State University follows the CEU guidelines developed by IACET in awarding CEUs.

Definition:  One CEU equals 10 contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. CEUs and academic credits are separate and distinct measures of participation in instructional experiences.

The CEU exists to: 1) establish permanent records for noncredit education experiences, 2) provide a basis for uniform data for institutional program planning, and 3)  provide data for  national analysis and policy development related to continuing professional development.

For information about the criteria for both Michigan State University and Michigan State Board of Education CEUs and administrative procedures related to CEUs, visit the Office of the Registrar at www.reg.msu.edu. You may also contact the Coordinator of Continuing Education Units at 1-517-432-3987, or in 150 Administration Building.



Guest Status at Michigan State University

For information regarding guest status at Michigan State University, see the Lifelong Education Status section in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section.

 


Lifelong Education Enrollment Status

Lifelong Education enrollment status is designed to provide all non-Michigan State University degree students, with the exception of High Achieving High School Students (see the Opportunities for High Achieving High School Students section of this catalog), access to Michigan State University courses. It is important to note that Lifelong Education is not a college, a major, or an office on campus. It is an enrollment status and the term Lifelong Education is applied to students who are not pursuing a university degree or an Agricultural or Veterinary Technology certificate.

Students enrolling under the Lifelong Education enrollment status should complete the application available on the web at www.reg.msu.edu. From the selections "Undergraduate, Graduate, and Lifelong," select "Lifelong." Indicate undergraduate or graduate level on the form.

The Lifelong Education enrollment status permits and facilitates access to Michigan State University courses and workshops (on-campus, off-campus, online, and Study Abroad) for persons not wishing to pursue an undergraduate or graduate Michigan State University degree.This status is limited to persons who have attained a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Students who have obtained a baccalaureate degree will enroll under the Graduate Lifelong Education enrollment status. All others will be enrolled under the Undergraduate Lifelong Education enrollment status.

A person who has been denied admission to an undergraduate degree program at Michigan State University may not enroll under the Lifelong Education enrollment status until at least two years have elapsed from the date of the denial.

Students pursuing Michigan State University degree programs, students pursuing programs in the Institute of Agricultural Technology or English Language Center, students pursuing the Veterinary Technology certificate program, and students who have been recessed or dismissed from Michigan State University or any other college or university are not eligible for enrollment under the Lifelong Education enrollment status.

Rules of Application, Enrollment, and Fees:

  1. Students wishing to enroll under the Undergraduate Lifelong Education enrollment status must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.  This information is collected as part of the application procedure.  The high school transcript is not normally required as proof.

    Students with a baccalaureate degree will enroll under the Graduate Lifelong Education enrollment status. This information is collected as part of the application procedure. The degree granting transcript is not required as proof.
    Students enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status who wish to be admitted as undergraduate or graduate degree candidates must make regular application for their desired degree programs with the Office of Admissions. They must do so in accordance with established application deadlines for the given semester
  2. All students enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status are assessed fees at the Lifelong Education rates. These rates are set at a per credit amount. There are no additional fees associated with this status (i.e., no registration or late registration fees, etc). There are surcharges on some online courses.
  3. Prerequisites, grading standards, class assignments, and attendance requirements   of a course apply to all students in that course including those enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status.
  4. Colleges, departments, and schools determine rules of access to courses for which they are responsible, and may limit enrollment of students enrolling under the Lifelong Education enrollment status.
  5. The Office of the Registrar will monitor students’ academic progress each semester to ensure that once nine or more credits have been attempted, acceptable progress has been maintained.
    1. An undergraduate student enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status and who has attempted nine or more credits and has not maintained a 2.0 GPA, will be issued a letter stating he/she is no longer eligible to take courses at Michigan State University. An Academic Advising hold is placed on the student's record.
    2. A graduate student who has attempted nine or more credits and has not maintained a 3.0 GPA, will be issued a letter stating he/she is no longer eligible to take courses at Michigan State University. An Academic hold is placed on the student's record.
  6. Students enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status are not eligible for most sources of financial assistance including federal financial assistance programs, graduate assistantships, and most fellowships. The Mildred B. Erickson Scholarship is an exception; for information, contact the Women's Resource Center at 1-517-353-1635 or visit www.wrc.msu.edu.  
  7. Students who have completed course work while enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status and who contemplate subsequent admission to degree programs must seek advice from the admitting department or school and college as to the applicability of courses/credits taken while under the Lifelong Education enrollment status. There is no guarantee that these credits will be acceptable. Applicability is subject to the following general limits.
    1. No more than 16 credits taken while enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status may be applied to the undergraduate degree program.
    2. No more than 9 credits taken while enrolled under the Lifelong Education enrollment status may be applied to the graduate degree program. Refer to the Graduate Education section of the catalog for the aggregate limit.
    3. Courses taken under the Lifelong Education enrollment status may not be transferred to Human, Osteopathic, or Veterinary Medical Programs but may be used to waive program requirements at the discretion of the college.


Study Abroad

For information regarding study abroad, see Study Abroad in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog.

 


Code of Teaching Responsibility

Satisfaction of teaching responsibilities by instructional staff members (herein referred to as instructors) is essential to the successful functioning of a university. This University conceives these responsibilities to be so important that performance by instructors in meeting the provisions of this Code shall be taken into consideration in determining salary increases, tenure, and promotion.

  1. Course content:  Instructors shall be responsible for ensuring that the content of the courses they teach is consistent with the course descriptions approved by the University Committee on Curriculum and the University Council. Instructors shall direct class activities toward the fulfillment of course objectives and shall evaluate student performance in a manner consistent with these objectives.
  2. Course syllabi:  Instructors shall be responsible for distributing a course syllabus (either in print or electronic form) at the beginning of the semester. The syllabus shall minimally include:
    (a)    instructional objectives;
    (b)    instructor contact information and office hours;
    (c)    grading criteria and methods used to determine final course grades;
    (d)    date of the final examination and tentative dates of required assignments, quizzes, and tests, if applicable;
    (e)    attendance policy, if different from the University attendance policy and especially when that attendance policy affects student grades;
    (f)     required and recommended course materials to be purchased, including textbooks and supplies; and
    (g)   any required proctoring arrangements to which students must adhere. 
  3. Student Assessment and Final Grades:  Instructors shall be responsible for informing students, in a timely manner so as to enhance learning, of the grading criteria and methods used to determine grades on individual assignments.  Instructors shall be responsible for assessing a student’s performance based on announced criteria and on standards of academic achievement. Instructors shall submit final course grades in accordance with University deadlines. Assessment methods should be appropriate to the learning objectives of the course. In that context, instructors are expected to take reasonable steps to create an assessment environment that promotes academic integrity. When proctoring or other security measures are necessary to ensure integrity of assessments, then such measures should be administered in a manner consistent with the design and delivery of the course.
  4. Testing Documents:  Instructors shall be responsible for returning to student's answers to quizzes, tests, and examinations with such promptness to enhance the learning experience.  Instructors shall retain final examination answers for at least one semester to allow students to review or to retrieve them.  All testing questions (whether on quizzes, tests, or mid-semester or final examinations) are an integral part of course materials, and the decision whether to allow students to retain them is left to the discretion of the instructor.
  5. Term Papers and Comparable Projects:  Instructors shall be responsible for returning to student's term papers and other comparable projects with sufficient promptness to enhance the learning experience.  Term papers and other comparable projects are the property of students who prepare them.  Instructors shall retain such unclaimed course work for at least one semester to allow students to retrieve such work.  Instructors have a right to retain a copy of student course work for their own files.
  6. Class Meetings:  Instructors shall be responsible for meeting their classes regularly and at scheduled times.  To allow units to take appropriate action, instructors shall notify their units if they are to be absent and have not made suitable arrangements regarding their classes.
  7. Applicability of  the Code of Teaching Responsibility to Student Assistants:  Instructors of courses in which assistants are authorized to perform teaching, grading, or other instructional functions shall be responsible for acquainting such individuals with the provisions of this Code and for monitoring their compliance.
  8. Instructor Accessibility to Students:  Instructors shall be responsible for being accessible to students outside of class time and therefore shall schedule and keep office hours for student conferences.  Office hours should be scheduled at times convenient to both students and instructors with the additional option of mutually convenient prearranged appointments for students whose schedules conflict with announced office hours.  Each teaching unit shall determine the minimum number of office hours for instructors in that unit.  Instructors who serve as academic advisors also shall be responsible for maintaining appropriate office hours before and during enrollment periods.  In addition to office hours, instructor accessibility through e-mail and other means is encouraged.
  9. Commercialization of Course Notes and Materials:  The University prohibits students from commercializing their notes of lectures and University-provided class materials without the written consent of the instructor.  Instructors may allow commercialization by including permission in the course syllabus or other written statement distributed to all students in the class.

Hearing Procedures

  1. Students may register complaints regarding an instructor's failure to comply with the provisions of the Code of Teaching Responsibility directly with that instructor.
  2. Students may also take complaints directly to teaching units' chief administrators or their designates. If those persons are unable to resolve matters to the student's satisfaction, undergraduate students may request a formal grievance hearing before the University Academic Grievance Hearing Board (see SRR Article 7. III). Unsatisfied graduate students may request a formal grievance hearing before their department hearing board (see GSRR Article 5). Before doing this, all students are encouraged to meet with the University Ombudsperson.
  3. Such complaints must normally be initiated no later than the middle of the semester following the one wherein alleged violations occurred. Exceptions shall be made in cases where the involved instructor or student is absent from the University during the semester following the one wherein alleged violations occurred.

Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS)

Preamble

The principal objective of the student instructional rating policy is to secure information which is indispensable to implementation of the University's policy of providing its students with instruction of the highest quality. This information is put to two principal uses:  (1) providing instructors and teaching units with an accurate account of student response to their instructional practices, to the end that classroom effectiveness be maintained at the highest level of excellence; and (2) providing teaching units with one kind of information to be considered in deciding on retention, promotion, salary, and tenure, to the end that effectiveness in instruction constitutes an important criterion in evaluating the service to the University of members of the teaching faculty. In order to accomplish these objectives more fully, the following procedures were established.

  1. Every teaching unit shall approve one or more common student rating instruments through its own channels of participation, in accordance with unit bylaws and customs of collegial decision making. Regardless of the type of instrument adopted, it must prominently display the following notation:
        The Michigan State University CODE OF TEACHING RESPONSIBILITY holds all instructors to certain obligations with respect to, 
        e.g., course content consistent with approved descriptions, timely statement of course objectives and grading criteria, regular class 
        attendance, published office hours, and timely return of examinations and semester papers. This Code is printed in full in the 
        Academic Programs catalog or is available online at https://www.reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Text.aspx?Section=112#s514
    . It 
        includes specifics about complaint procedures available to students who believe that their instructors have violated the
    Code.
  2. Each teaching unit shall make regular and systematic use of student instructional ratings as part of the unit's evaluation of instructional performance. Each teaching unit shall formulate and promulgate a comprehensive policy covering all aspects of student instructional rating procedures, and shall be responsible for implementing that policy within the framework of the provisions contained in this document. Students shall not be required or requested by faculty members to identify themselves on the rating forms.
  3. All instructors, regardless of rank, including graduate assistants, shall use unit-approved student instructional rating forms in all classes (every course, every section, every semester). For team-teaching situations, units shall develop procedures consistent with the intent of these provisions.
  4. Individual instructors may use other instruments to gather additional information.
  5. Results of student instructional ratings shall be used in accordance with the following provisions:
    1. Results shall be returned promptly to the instructor for information and assistance in improving course design and instruction.
    2. Instructors shall have the opportunity to comment, orally and/or in writing, upon the ratings received. These comments shall be taken into account by persons or groups charged with making or advising on personnel decisions.
    3. Results of student instructional ratings shall be systematically consulted, with due regard for strict confidentiality, in conjunction with other means for assessing individual effectiveness, according to the review criteria promulgated within each unit. Other means might include, e.g., classroom visits or consideration of course syllabi, assignments, and examinations.
  6. Procedures for implementing the rating process and for utilizing the results shall be promulgated by each teaching unit, subject to the following provisions:
    1. Duly promulgated unit procedures shall be filed in the offices of the appropriate Dean and the Provost, where they will be matters of public record.
    2. Unit administrators are responsible for implementing in their units SIRS procedures which follow fully the requirements of this document.
    3. Teaching units may have the required SIRS instruments administered by a person other than the instructor. If the unit does not administer the instruments, instructors are obligated to do so, and to return all results to unit offices within the time period specified in the unit procedures.
    4. At the time instruments are administered, students shall be informed who will have access to the results and how the results will be used.

 


Student Opinion of Courses and Teaching (SOCT)

Preamble

The following policy operates as a complement to the Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) policy to provide selected public information for students as an aid to choosing courses.

Policy on the Student Public Evaluation System

Students at Michigan State University have an interest in being able to make informed judgments in selecting courses and faculty members as students pursue their academic programs. To this end, the University Committee on Undergraduate Education has framed a set of questions that should provide the type of information that students seek. In order to facilitate the transmission of this information to the students, the following procedures are established:

  1. In addition to using standard university or unit-based SIRS forms in every class each semester in compliance with the Student Instructional Rating System policy, faculty members at the rank of instructor or above, and specialists who are assigned to teach, shall administer a standard form (Student Opinion of Courses and Teaching) in all of their regular undergraduate classes.
  2. The SOCT forms shall be administered within the last two weeks of classes. Instructors should leave the room until the forms have been completed and collected. The forms should be collected by a neutral party, turned in to a predetermined location, and should not be accessible to the instructor until grades are submitted. 
  3. Results will be disseminated in summary form, displayed by instructor and department, once per year through a Web site, https://soct.msu.edu, accessible to students and other members of the University community with the appropriate identification. A maximum of two recent semesters taught by that instructor over a maximum of two years with a minimum of five student responses will be displayed.

Credit by Examination

The credit-by-examination option is available to qualified students. Examination may take the form of course or laboratory projects, written or oral reports, evidence of satisfactory skill performance, etc. Enrollment is subject to the provisions detailed below.

Some courses are especially designated for credit by examination in the Schedule of Courses (sections numbered 999). Students who wish to avail themselves of this option must do so through the regular enrollment procedure.

The credit-by-examination option may also be made available in courses not so designated in the Schedule of Courses. Instructors will consider requests from interested students, and may recommend to the unit administrator the offering of an ad hoc credit-by-examination section to accommodate the needs of particular students. Following approval by the unit administrator, regular enrollment procedures apply.

Provisions

  1. The credit-by-examination system is designed to serve students who have the capability and discipline for independent learning. Students who are in academic difficulty should not use it.
  2. Enrollment must be by approval of the department or school. Before approval is given, department and school offices and/or designated instructors will provide the student with a written statement of the materials and skills to be mastered, and the manner in which proficiency is to be demonstrated.
  3. The credit-by-examination procedure is not intended, and should not be construed, as a tutorial system, or as a system comparable to regular class enrollment: students must not expect tutorial assistance from professors, and professors must not expect students to attend class.
  4. Units should exclude from this option those courses in which class attendance and participation are an integral part of the instruction.
  5. Academic standards shall be comparable to those applying to regular courses.
    5.1    A failing grade should be reported to the Registrar in cases of failure to appear for the examination, or failure to demonstrate stipulated minimum proficiency. The I-incomplete or DF-deferred or ET-extension symbol for the postponement of a grade may be used in extraordinary circumstances, providing appropriate documentation is placed in the record by the instructor and approved by the assistant or associate dean.
    5.2    Credit-by-examination may not be employed as a means of repeating a course in which a low or failing grade was received, either through regular enrollment or by examination.
  6. Implementation of the policy is the responsibility of unit administrators, Deans, and the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

 


Computer Science Waiver Examination: CSE 101

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers the option of a waiver examination in CSE 101 for students whose programs (a) require the course and (b) are willing to accept passage of the waiver examination in place of the actual course. Students who wish to explore this option should do the following:

  1. Consult Academic Programs or the academic advisor in your major program to determine if the waiver examination is acceptable for purposes of the major.
  2. For information regarding examination information such as time, date, location, and cost of examination as well as examination contents and preparation information, visit https://cse101.cse.msu.edu.

Students may take the waiver exam only once. It must be taken prior to enrollment in the course. Pre-registration is required. The exam is proctored and administered once per semester. No make-up tests are provided. Successful completion of the test waives the requirement for participating programs but does not produce academic credit or a grade. A transcript notation will indicate the CSE 101 Waiver.



Definitions of Terms Related to Calculations of Credits and Grade-Point Averages

Credits Passed

Total Michigan State University credits passed on the numerical system, the Credit-No Credit (CR-NC) system, the Pass-No Grade (P-N) system, and by examination plus all credits accepted in transfer from other institutions. For a course that was repeated, only the credits associated with the last enrollment are counted in the total number of credits passed.

Credits Repeated

Total credits repeated at Michigan State University and all Michigan State University credits repeated at and accepted in transfer from other institutions.

Credits Attempted

Total Michigan State University credits for which a grade was recorded or for which the W (no grade) symbol was recorded. Credits accepted in transfer from other institutions are included in the total number of Michigan State University credits attempted. Credits in courses taken on the CR-NC system count as credits attempted irrespective of whether the outcome is CR or NC. Similarly included are all credits in courses taken on the P-N system. Credits in courses for which a V symbol was recorded are not included in credits attempted.

Grade-Point Credits

Total number of credits in all Michigan State University courses for which a numerical grade was recorded.  Credits for courses repeated on the numerical system count only for the last grade recorded.

Grade-Point System

The grade-point system and the  numerical grading scale are identical. Grade points for each course are determined by multiplying the numerical grade by the number of credits for the course.

Grade-Point Average

A measure of the student's  academic performance in Michigan State University courses for which the student received a numerical grade.

Semester

To compute the grade-point average for a semester, divide the total grade points for the semester by the total grade-point credits for the semester.

Cumulative

To compute the cumulative grade-point average, divide the total grade points for all semesters by the total grade-point credits for all semesters.

A cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 is required for graduation from the university for bachelor's degrees.  A cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 is required for graduate degrees.

For information on Grading Systems and Repeating a Course, refer to those statements.

 


Independent Study

Definition

At Michigan State University, Independent Study is planned study, highly individualized, not addressable through any other course format, proposed in writing by the student on a standard form, accepted for supervision by a faculty member, and approved by the student's academic advisor and the teaching unit at the beginning of the semester.

Guidelines

Independent Study should:

  1. Consist of work not described in the university catalog in any other format;
  2. Be taken under a course number commensurate with the student's class level, major field, and experience;
  3. Relate to a subject for which the student has adequate preparation;
  4. Be directed by a faculty member with whom there is periodic contact and consultation throughout the study;
  5. Not exceed 8 semester hours of credit in a single semester or summer session;
  6. Not exceed 10 percent of the credits earned in a bachelor's program;
  7. Be applied for on the form provided by the department or school or college;
  8. Be approved on this form before the student enrolls for the course; registration should be completed by the end of the period for adding courses.



Grading Systems

Michigan State University employs three systems of grading: a numerical system, a supplemental credit-no credit system, and a limited pass-no grade system.

All grades are final and may not be changed by re-examination or by the submission of additional work. See Repeating a Course.



The Numerical System

The numerical system consists of the following scale. 4.0 - 3.5 - 3.0 - 2.5 - 2.0 - 1.5 - 1.0 - 0.0.

Grading Procedure of the Numerical System:

  1. Credit is awarded at the following minimum levels:
    1.0 for undergraduate students.
    2.0 for graduate students.
    However, all grades are counted in the calculation of the grade-point average (GPA).
  2. The minimum cumulative grade-point average required for graduation is a 2.0 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students.
  3. In particular graduate programs the number of 2.0 grades acceptable for credit may be expressly restricted and/or levels higher than the 2.0 minimum may be established for the fulfillment of degree requirements.
  4. Grades given in courses completed under enrollment on the numerical system cannot be converted to credit or no-credit under the credit-no credit system.

 


The Credit-No Credit System

The credit-no credit system is intended to allow students to study in areas outside the major field of study without jeopardizing their grade-point averages. In the credit-no credit system the following symbols are used.

CR-Credit—means that credit is granted and represents a level of performance equivalent to or above the grade-point average required for graduation. Thus, undergraduate students must perform at or above the 2.0 level before credit is granted; graduate students must perform at or above the 3.0 level.

NC-No Credit—means that no credit is granted and represents a level of performance below the grade-point average required for graduation, i.e., below 2.0 for undergraduate students, below 3.0 for graduate students.

Grading Procedure of the CR-NC System

  1. Grades on the CR-NC system are not included in computing the semester or cumulative grade-point average.
  2. Enrollment on a CR-NC basis is recorded with the academic advisor and with the Registrar. The instructor's class list does not indicate which students are enrolled on CR-NC basis.
  3. When the course is completed, all students are graded on the numerical system.
  4. The Registrar then converts the numerical grades to credit or no credit in accord with the definitions of CR-NC stated above, but retains the numerical grades in the student's academic records.
  5. When a student changes a major preference or a major, the Registrar will convert those letter grades to numerical grades in courses that are necessarily graded on the numerical system in the new major upon request by the student's college.

Enrollment in the CR-NC System
Enrollment on a CR-NC basis is open to students, at their option, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Course prerequisites and other criteria for enrolling in any course shall be determined by the department or college offering the course and apply equally to both the numerical and the CR-NC systems.
  2. The choice of numerical or CR-NC system does not affect admission to the course.
  3. All courses in every department and college are available on a CR-NC basis unless these courses are:
    1. Used to satisfy the Tier I writing requirement, the Tier II writing requirement, the university mathematics requirement, and Integrative Studies Program requirements, or
    2. Designated as Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3 courses under the remedial-developmental-preparatory course policy.
    3. Specifically excluded from CR-NC enrollment by the department, school, or college of the student's major preference or major, or the unit recommending the student for certification.
  4. Limitations:
    1. No undergraduate student may enroll in more than a total of 20 credits on the CR-NC system.
    2. The limitations on the number of credits a graduate student may take in a given semester on the CR-NC basis, and the total number of credits that may be taken in a given degree program on a CR-NC basis, shall be established by the college, department, or school, or the unit recommending the student for certification in which the student is a major.
  5. Each department, school, or college, or the unit recommending the student for certification shall designate those courses that its majors or candidates for certification may not take on the CR-NC system.
  6. Choice of the CR-NC system must be communicated by the student to the Office of the Registrar within the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters) and may not be changed after that date.
  7. Any course taken more than once must be repeated on the same grading system under which the course was completed the first time, except where standard requirements to the contrary must be satisfied in order to meet graduation requirements.

 


The Pass-No Grade System

This system is used only in courses specifically approved by the University Committee on Curriculum. Non-credit courses and those involving field experience are the usual types of courses approved for P-N grading. Courses approved for P-N grading are so marked in the Schedule of Courses on the web.

In the pass-no grade system the following symbols are used:

    P-Pass—means that credit is granted and that the student achieved a level of performance judged to be satisfactory by the instructor.

    N-No Grade—means that no credit is granted and that the student did not achieve a level of performance judged to be satisfactory by the instructor.

 


Grade Markers


Conditional Pass Marker

The Conditional Pass (CP) marker is used only for graduate-professional students in the College of Human Medicine and the College of Veterinary Medicine when all of the following criteria are met:

  1. The student is enrolled in a 500- or 600-level course that is administered by the College of Human Medicine or the College of Veterinary Medicine. The University Committee on Curriculum approved the use of the Pass-No Grade (P-N) grading system for College of Human Medicine students who are enrolled in 500- and 600-level courses in this college.
  2. The student has either:
    1. met almost all of the course objectives (criteria for passing), but is deficient in a specific, definable course segment; or
    2. completed all of the course requirements but failed to meet the overall pass level by a narrow margin (e.g., received a 68 percent overall score where 70 percent is the pass level).
  3. The course instructor believes that the student's overall performance has been such that the student should not be required to repeat the entire course and that the character of the deficiency is specific and identifiable and is likely to be remediable within a foreseeable time span and through specifiable action by the student.

The required work must be completed and a grade (P or N or numeric) must be reported to the Office of the Registrar no later than the middle of the student's next semester in attendance, if that semester is within one calendar year following the receipt of the CP. An exception may be made if an instructor submits an administrative action form stating that the course structure necessitates delay of remediation grading until the end of the student's next semester in attendance (excluding summer session).

When the specified remediation activity is completed or the time allowed for remediation has expired, the grade of P or N or numeric is assigned. The Conditional Pass marker remains on the student's academic record. Thus, the completion of the remediation activity within the time allowed results in a grade of CP/P or CP/1.0, and failure to complete the specified remediation activity by the due date results in a grade of CP/N or CP/0.0.

 


Visitor

The V-Visitor—is recorded on the transcript in credit courses for students enrolled as a visitor on a non-credit basis. Choice of the V-Visitor must be communicated by the student to the Office of the Registrar during the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters) and may not be changed after that date.

 


Postponement of Grading

When special or unusual circumstances occur, the instructor may postpone assignment of the student's final grade in a course by use of an I-Incomplete, a DF-Deferred, or an ET-Extension marker.

 


I-Incomplete

The I-Incomplete may be given only when: the student (a) has completed at least 6/7 of the term of instruction, but is unable to complete the class work and/or take the final examination because of illness or other compelling reason; and (b) has done satisfactory work in the course; and (c) in the instructor's judgment can complete the required work without repeating the course.

Provided these conditions are met, the instructor electing to give an I-Incomplete files an Agreement for Completion of (I) Incomplete at the time course grades are due. This agreement specifies what the student must do, and when, to remove the I-Incomplete. The department or school office gives a copy to the student, and retains a copy for at least one year.

The required work must be completed, and a grade must be reported to the Office of the Registrar, no later than the middle of the student's next semester in attendance (summer session excluded) if that semester is within one calendar year following receipt of the I-Incomplete. Exception to this deadline:  An instructor may submit an Administrative Action stating that course structure necessitates delay of make-up grading until the end of the student's next semester in attendance.

Failure to complete the required work by the due date will result in a grade of I/0.0, I/NC or I/N, depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled. (A student who does not register for Michigan State University courses subsequent to receipt of an I-Incomplete has one calendar year to complete the required work; after that, the I-Incomplete will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to I/U on the student's academic record, and the course may be completed only by re-enrollment).

An extension of time for completion of the required work may be approved by the college offering the course only by means of an Administrative Action documenting physician-certified illness or other extraordinary circumstances.

An Extension of Time is a formal agreement between the instructor and the student. After an Extension of Time has been filed, the work must be done by the deadline determined by the instructor or the I-Incomplete will be changed to I/0.0, I/NC, or I/N depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled.

 


DF-Deferred

The DF-Deferred applies to the numerical, the CR-NC, and P-N grading systems.

Given only to graduate students who are doing satisfactory work but cannot complete the course work because of reasons acceptable to the instructor.

The required work must be completed and a grade reported within six months (190 calendar days from the last class day of the term of instruction), with the option of a single six-month extension (190 calendar days). If the required work is not completed within the time limit, the DF-Deferred will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to DF/U. This rule does not apply to graduate thesis or dissertation work.



ET-Extension

The ET-Extension applies to the numerical, the CR-NC, and P-N systems.

Given to undergraduate, graduate, and graduate-professional students only in courses specifically approved by the University Committee on Curriculum. Approval requires specification of the time period within which work must be completed. Courses that involve field experience or thesis work and courses in which work normally extends beyond one semester are the types of courses normally considered.

A final grade must be reported upon completion of the final course in the sequence or in the time approved for the completion of the work. If a final grade is not reported in these periods, the ET will be changed to ET/0.0, ET/NC or ET/N, depending on the grading system under which the student was enrolled.



Repeating a Course

An undergraduate student who received a grade of 2.0 or above, CR, or P in a course may not repeat the course on a credit basis. An undergraduate student may repeat no more than 20 credits in courses in which grades below 2.0 were received.

A  graduate student who received a grade of 2.0 or above, CR, or P in a course may not repeat the course on a credit basis with the following exception: with the approval of the associate dean, a graduate student may repeat a course in which a grade of 2.0 or 2.5 was received.  The number of credits that a graduate student may repeat is determined by the student's academic advisor or guidance committee, in accordance with unit policies.

Whenever a course is repeated on a credit basis, the last grade and credits earned completely replace the previous grade in the satisfaction of requirements and computation of the cumulative grade-point average. All entries remain a part of the student's permanent academic record. 

Any course repeated for credit must be taken on the same grading system under which the course was taken the first time, except where standard requirements to the contrary must be satisfied in order to meet graduation requirements.

Credit by Examination may not be used to repeat a course in which a grade below 2.0 was received.

A student who has taken a course as a visitor may subsequently enroll in the course for credit with the approval of his or her advisor.

Financial Aid and Repeats

Federal financial aid regulations limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive financial aid for that course.  The following guidelines apply to students eligible for federal aid.

  1. A student may receive aid when repeating a course for the first time.
  2. A student may receive aid when repeating a course that was previously failed (received a 0.0 or No Pass), regardless of the number of times the course was attempted and failed.
  3. A student may receive aid to repeat a previously passed course one additional time.
  4. Once a student has completed any course twice with a passing grade, he/she is no longer eligible to receive aid for that course.
  5. If a student retakes a course that is not aid eligible, a recalculation of aid is done to exclude the credits for the repeated courseStudents are notified by the Office of Financial Aid if their aid needs to be reduced.

 


Correction of Grades

Once recorded in the Office of the Registrar, a student's grade may not be changed unless the first grade was in error.  An Administrative Action must be submitted certifying the reasons why the first grade is in error. The request must be approved by the instructor, the chairperson of the department or school offering the course, the associate dean of the college in which the course is offered, and the student's associate dean. The time limit for the correction of grades is 30 days after the start of the subsequent semester or summer session.

The Office of the Registrar reserves the right to audit student records and to correct them as necessary.

 


Integrity of Scholarship and Grades

(Note: This policy is not applicable to students in the MSU College of Law degree programs.  The Law College follows American Bar Association requirements and the Law Students Rights and Responsibilities document. http://splife.studentlife.msu.edu/law-students-rights-and-responsibilities

The following statement of university policy addresses principles and procedures to be used in instances of academic dishonesty, violations of professional standards, and falsification of academic or admission records, herein after referred to as academic misconduct. [See General Student Regulation 1.00, Protection of Scholarship and Grades.]

  1. The principles of truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to a community of scholars. The university expects both instructors and students to honor these principles and, in so doing, to protect the validity of university education and grades. Practices that maintain the integrity of scholarship and grades include providing accurate information for academic and admission records, adherence to unit-approved professional standards and honor codes, and completion of original academic work by the student to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind. To encourage adherence to the principles of truth and honesty, instructors should exercise care in planning and supervising academic work, and implement proctoring standards appropriate to the design of the course.

  2. If an instructor alleges a student has committed an act of academic misconduct, the instructor is responsible for taking appropriate action. Depending on the instructor’s judgment of a specific instance, the instructor may give the student a penalty grade. A penalty grade may be a reduced score or grade for the assignment or a reduced grade for the course. [For a definition of “penalty grade”, see Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) 11 and Graduate Students Rights and Responsibilities (GSRR) 8.1.18.]

  3. When an instructor gives an undergraduate or graduate student a penalty grade for academic misconduct, the instructor must complete and submit an Academic Dishonesty Report (available on the Registrar’s Form Menu under Instructor Systems). The report will be sent to the student, the student’s dean, the Dean of the Graduate School (for graduate students) or Dean of Undergraduate Studies (for undergraduate students) and be added to the student’s academic record provisionally.  It will remain in the student’s record unless: a) the student successfully grieves the allegation; b) the instructor filing the report requests it be removed; or, for undergraduates only, c) upon conferral of their degree if only one report has been filed, the student has successfully completed the required course on academic integrity, and no additional sanctions were requested.

  4. When completing the Academic Dishonesty Report, if the instructor gives a failing grade in the course, the instructor may request the student’s academic dean to impose sanctions in addition to the failing grade.

  5. When in the judgment of the student’s academic dean, a sanction in addition to a penalty grade is warranted (e.g., dismissal from a unit or program), the dean may call for an academic disciplinary hearing. In calling for an academic disciplinary hearing, the student’s academic dean may act independently or in response to a request by the instructor. [See SRR 7.V., GSRR 5.5., and Medical Student Rights and Responsibilities (MSRR) 5.3.]

  6. A student accused of academic misconduct may request an academic grievance hearing to contest the allegation before the appropriate hearing board. In cases involving academic misconduct, no student may be dismissed from a course or program of study without an academic disciplinary hearing.

  7. On the first offense of academic misconduct, the student must complete an educational program on academic integrity and academic misconduct provided by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies for undergraduate students or the Dean of the Graduate School for graduate students.

  8. In cases involving undergraduate students in which the student’s academic dean, or designee, calls for an academic disciplinary hearing, the student’s academic dean will refer the case to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies will notify the student in writing of the call for a disciplinary hearing and will invite the student to a meeting to determine the appropriate judiciary for the hearing. [See SRR 7.V.]

  9. In cases involving graduate students in which the student’s academic dean, or designee, calls for an academic disciplinary hearing, the student’s academic dean will inform the student and then refer the case to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will notify the student in writing of the call for a disciplinary hearing and will invite the student to a meeting to discuss the hearing process. [See GSRR 5.5.]

  10. Either party may appeal a decision of an administrative disciplinary hearing or a disciplinary hearing board to the appropriate appellate board. [See SRR 7.VII., GSRR 5.4.12., and MSRR 5.8.]


Protection of Scholarship and Grades General Student Regulations, 1.00

The principles of truth and honesty are fundamental to the educational process and the academic integrity of the University; therefore, no student shall:

               
1.01 claim or submit the academic work of another as one's own.
1.02 procure, provide, accept or use any materials containing questions or answers to any examination or assignment without proper authorization.
1.03 complete or attempt to complete any assignment or examination for another individual without proper authorization.
1.04 allow any examination or assignment to be completed for oneself, in part or in total, by another without proper authorization.
1.05 alter, tamper with, appropriate, destroy or otherwise interfere with the research, resources, or other academic work of another person.
1.06 fabricate or falsify data or results.


Ordinance on Examinations MSU Ordinances, 17.00

17.01 Unauthorized attainment of
17.02 Unauthorized transfer of
17.03 Prima facie evidence

.01 No person shall procure in any unauthorized manner any examination question or answer related to any course of study offered at Michigan State University, regardless of the form or format in which such question or answer may originally have been maintained.

.02 No person shall furnish to any unauthorized person any examination question or answer related to any course of study offered at Michigan State University, regardless of the form or format in which such question or answer may originally have been maintained.

.03 The unauthorized possession of any of the aforesaid examination documents shall be considered prima facie evidence of an attempt to violate the provisions of this section.

 


Personal Integrity and Conduct

The university expects student conduct and behavior to reflect qualities of good citizenship. The out-of-classroom activities of Michigan State University students should reflect favorably upon the institution and should indicate the personal integrity of the individual.

See Spartan Life for specific policies, ordinances and regulations that define some of the relevant university expectations. Visit http://splife.studentlife.msu.edu.


The Academic Record

A Grade Report of a student's grades earned in each course is available to the student at the end of each semester or summer session at www.stuinfo.msu.edu.

Due to unsatisfactory work, a student may be warned, placed on probation, academically recessed, or academically dismissed from the university.

A permanent record of all the student's courses, credits and grades earned is maintained by the Office of the Registrar, 150 Administration Building. The permanent record reflects all courses taken while enrolled at any academic level at Michigan State University. Records are regularly audited and corrected as necessary. The student should maintain a record of courses, credits and grades each semester or summer session and check from time to time to see that this record agrees with that of the university. The record may also help the student determine eligibility for any activity that requires meeting specific scholastic standards.


Transcripts

A copy of a student's complete permanent record is available to the student upon receipt of a request. The permanent record reflects all courses taken while enrolled at any academic level at Michigan State University.  Transcripts can be requested at https://reg.msu.edu/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx. Requests can also be made in person or by writing to the Office of the Registrar, Hannah Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 150, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-2603. The university reserves the right to withhold the transcript in case of delinquent student indebtedness to the university. However, the Student Accounts Office may authorize release of a transcript directly to a prospective employer on an exception basis.


Certified Copy of Diploma

A certified copy of the student's diploma is available to the student. The student must bring the original diploma and the $25 fee for each copy to the Office of the Registrar, Hannah Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 150, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-2603. (See Costs in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section of this catalog.)


Honorary Degrees

Michigan State University has been awarding honorary degrees since 1885 to honor distinguished persons for their contributions to their field and to society. Nominees exemplify the values inherent in MSU’s mission. Past recipients include accomplished scientists, humanists, scholars of the arts, members of the professions, and persons in public life or business. Invitations to nominees are issued only by the President.

For more information on the nomination process, visit www.msu.edu/~vprgs/honorarydeg/HonoraryDegrees.htm.

 


Posthumous Degrees

A posthumous degree may be awarded in the name of a deceased student upon the recommendation of the student’s major department and college when the student was in good academic standing and had made substantial progress towards the degree.
 
The chairperson of the department responsible for the administration of the degree program of the deceased student may submit a recommendation to the dean, who, in turn, may submit a recommendation to the registrar for records verification. The registrar will forward to the provost. If the provost endorses, then the recommendation will be sent to the president to be considered for final approval. The transcript bears the notation, “Degree granted posthumously.”

Student Records and the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Michigan State University complies fully with the letter and spirit of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA) which governs access to, and confidentiality of, student records.

As a means of complying with this act, the university has developed the Michigan State University Access to Student Information. These Guidelines are reproduced below.



Michigan State University Access to Student Information

Introduction
Michigan State University (“the University”) maintains student education records and is responsible for their access to and release in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (“FERPA”). It is the policy of the University to comply with FERPA.
Reason for Guidelines
These guidelines comply with standards established in FERPA. The guidelines govern the procedures for maintenance and access to student education records held by the University. The guidelines have a two-fold purpose:
  1. To protect a student’s right to privacy of information in the University’s possession concerning the student; and 
  2. To provide guidance on release or disclosure of student information required by law and as necessary for the effective functioning of the campus community.
Who Should Read These Guidelines
All students, faculty and staff with access to student education records should read and be familiar with these guidelines.
Notification of Student Rights under FERPA
All currently enrolled students at the University are notified annually of their rights under FERPA. These rights include:
  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records.
  2. The right to request amendment of education records the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
  3. The right to provide written consent before personally identifiable information from the student’s education records is disclosed except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning any alleged violation of the student’s rights under FERPA.
Definitions
The following definitions apply to terms as they are used in these guidelines.
Directory Information
Directory information is information in a student’s education record which may be disclosed to outside parties without a student’s prior written consent. While disclosure of directory information about a student is not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy under FERPA, FERPA does not require the University to disclose directory information to outside parties. Information that the University has designated as directory information is listed in the Michigan State University Notification of Student Rights under FERPA available at https://www.reg.msu.edu/read/NotificationandDirectoryInformationNotice.pdf.

Currently enrolled students may restrict the release of directory information by notifying the Office of the Registrar or updating their directory restrictions online through the StuInfo web site at https://stuinfo.msu.edu/.
Education Records
Education records are those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the University or by a party acting on behalf of the University. This includes information or data recorded in any medium including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, microfiche, and any electronic storage or retrieval media.
Education records exclude: (1) records that are in the sole possession of school officials and are not accessible by other personnel; (2) law enforcement or campus security records that are maintained or created by the law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement; (3) employment records relating to students who are employed by the University, unless the employment is a result of his/her status as a student; (4) records created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional, that are used only in connection with the treatment of the student and are not available to anyone other than those providing such treatment; and (5) records that contain information about an individual after that person is no longer a student at the University, unless the records pertain to the individual’s previous attendance as a student.
FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html).
Legitimate Educational Interest
An individual has a legitimate educational interest in education records if the information or record is relevant and necessary to the accomplishment of some employment or other institutional task, service, or function.
Parent
A parent is an individual who is the natural parent, the guardian, or the individual acting as the parent in the absence of a parent or guardian, of a student at the University.
Personally Identifiable Information
Personally identifiable information is any information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the campus community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty.  Examples of personally identifiable information include, but are not limited to: (1) the student’s name; (2) name of the student’s parent or other family member; (3) the address of the student or student’s family; (4) a personal identifier, such as a student’s social security number or student number; (5) the student’s date and place of birth; (6) the student’s mother’s maiden name; (7) biometric record; and (8) a list of personal characteristics or other information that would identify the student with reasonable certainty. Personally identifiable information also includes information requested by a person who the University reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.
School Official
A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic/research, or support staff position; contractors, consultants, volunteers and other non-employees performing institutional services and functions; and a person serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
Student
A student is any individual with respect to whom the University maintains education records and has been in attendance at the University. Attendance is defined as physical attendance or participation in an academically-related activity, including but not limited to the submission of an assignment, taking an exam, or participation in a study group or online discussion about academic matters. A student’s education records are protected under these guidelines beginning on the first day of the first term for which they have enrolled. No student shall be required to waive his or her rights under FERPA as a condition of admission or for the receipt of any services or benefits.
Responsibilities
Anyone Who Maintains or Seeks Access to Education Records
Maintain and release records in accordance with FERPA and these guidelines. (http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html)
Office of Planning and Budgets
Maintain and provide external and internal reporting of institutional data, which may include student information.  Provide internal access and analytical reports of data for institutional studies and research.
Student
Read the Michigan State University Notification of Student Rights under FERPA and these guidelines.
University Registrar
Disseminate Michigan State University Notification of Student Rights under FERPA.
Manage the process by which students opt-out or restrict disclosure of their directory information.
Administer the process to determine whether alleged errors in education records are misleading, inaccurate, or in violation of a student’s privacy rights.
Facilitate communications with appropriate school officials and provide advice, clarification, or direction on when release of confidential information is permissible.
Facilitate all responses to third party requests, subpoenas, or judicial orders for student education records.
Oversee campus compliance, education and awareness of FERPA.
Procedures
Disclosure to Students
Inspection and Review
A currently enrolled or former student has the right to inspect and review his/her education records upon proper identification. All such requests must be made to the Office of the Registrar. Requests for access to records must be granted within a reasonable period of time, but in no case later than forty-five (45) days from the date of request. If a student is denied access to his/her education records, the student may appeal in writing to the official maintaining the records or to the University Registrar. If the decision to deny access is upheld, the school official handling the appeal must provide a written statement to the student regarding the basis for the denial within ten (10) days of the receipt of the appeal. Following the appeal, the student or the school official may request the Associate Provost for Academic Services and Enrollment Management to provide guidance on the rules and policies concerning access to education records. If the Associate Provost for Academic Services and Enrollment Management determines that the requested record is an education record to which the student may have access under FERPA and these guidelines, the record shall be made available to the student.
Applicants have the right to review records and data submitted for admission with an admissions officer. Those denied admission must exercise this right within six (6) months of the date of denial. The decision to admit or deny admission is, however, a composite professional decision not subject to review.
Amendment of Record
A currently enrolled or former student has the right to request an amendment of records that he/she believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A request to amend a record should be made in writing to the school official maintaining the record, clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed and specifying why it should be changed. If the student’s request to amend is denied, the school official will notify the student in writing of the decision and the right to a formal hearing on the matter.
A request for a formal hearing on the denial of a request to amend records must be made in writing to the University Registrar. Hearings will be conducted by a school official, otherwise known as the hearing officer, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing officer will provide notice to the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing. The student will be afforded a full and fair opportunity at the hearing to present relevant evidence and is entitled to have a representative or advisor attend the hearing. 
Following the hearing, the hearing officer will prepare a report discussing his/her decision. Copies of the report will be distributed to the parties who have a legitimate educational interest in the report. If the hearing officer decides the student’s request to amend the record was improperly denied, the record shall be amended accordingly. Should the hearing officer uphold the denial, the student may appeal the hearing officer’s decision, in writing, to the Associate Provost for Academic Services and Enrollment Management within ten (10) days after notice of the decision is sent. The Associate Provost for Academic Services and Enrollment Management will request an Appeals Committee, consisting of three (3) disinterested University officials, to make a final determination after reviewing records from the hearing, the hearing officer’s report, and other relevant information. If the Appeals Committee determines the student’s education record is factually incorrect, the record shall be amended accordingly. If the Appeals Committee decides to uphold the hearing officer’s denial, the student will be given an opportunity to place a written statement with the education record setting forth his/her disagreement with the decision. The student’s statement and the Appeal Committee’s decision will be maintained as part of the student’s education record for as long as the University maintains the record and may be disclosed to an authorized party when requested. The student also has the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office at the U.S. Department of Education.
Letters of Recommendation
Students may not have access to letters of recommendation or statements of evaluation obtained or prepared before January 1, 1975.  A student may waive his/her right to access letters of recommendation obtained after January 1, 1975.  A student who wishes to waive his/her right to access letters of recommendation must provide a signed statement of waiver to the author of the letter or the Office of the Registrar.
Disclosure to Third Parties
Personally identifiable information from a student’s education records may not be released to third parties without the student’s prior written consent, with certain exceptions.  The exceptions to the consent requirement are limited to the following:
 
  1. Disclosure to School Officials. Personally identifiable information from education records may be disclosed without written consent to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. These records may be disclosed only on a need to know basis. Specifically, a school official requesting information must have a legitimate need for the requested information for the effective functioning of his/her position or office.  Determination as to whether the need to know requirement has been satisfied is made by the head administrator for the unit retaining the information or by the Office of the Registrar. All information released may only be used for the purpose intended.

    For purposes of the school official’s exception, education records may also be disclosed without consent to contractors, consultants, and other outside parties to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions that it would otherwise use employees to perform, provided that the outside party is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of the education records and subject to the same conditions governing the use and redisclosure of education records that apply to other school officials. The outside party must sign a statement indicating its compliance with the non-redisclosure provisions of FERPA prior to receiving any student information. 
  2. Disclosure to Officials of Another School. Personally identifiable information from education records may be disclosed to officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
  3. Disclosure of Directory Information.Information that the University has designated as directory information in the Michigan State University Notice of Directory Information may be disclosed without the student’s consent.
  4. Disclosure pursuant to Judicial Order. Personally identifiable information from education records may be released to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. As permitted by law, reasonable attempts will be made to notify the student of the judicial order or subpoena in advance of compliance.
  5. Disclosure pursuant to Requests for Financial Aid.  Personally identifiable information from education records relevant to the student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid may be disclosed if the information is necessary to determine eligibility, determine amount or conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  6. Disclosure to Federal and State Authorities.  Authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, may have access to education records. Disclosures under this provision may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of personally identifiable information to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.
  7. Disclosure to Accrediting and Professional Associations. Designated representatives of accrediting and other professional organizations with which the University is affiliated may have access to personally identifiable information to the extent necessary to fulfill the obligation of that accreditation or affiliation. 
  8. Disclosure pursuant to Student’s Delinquency on Payment. Personally identifiable information from education records may be disclosed as necessary to effect collection of a student’s financial obligations to the University.
  9. Disclosure pursuant to Litigation against the University. Personally identifiable information from education records deemed necessary for the defense of the University in a suit filed by a student may be disclosed to attorneys representing the University. 
  10. Disclosure pursuant to the University’s Obligations to Support Study and Research.  The University may disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s education records without consent if the disclosure is to an organization conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the University to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction.  Requests for access to student education records under the studies exception must be approved by the Office of the Registrar.  Such requests will be fulfilled, if possible, by information from which all identification of the student has been removed.

    The written agreement between the University and the organization conducting the study must specify the purpose, scope, and duration of the study and the information to be disclosed; require the organization to use personally identifiable information from education records only to meet the purposes of the study; limit any disclosures of personally identifiable information to individuals in the organization who have a legitimate interest in the information; and require the organization to destroy all personally identifiable information within a specified time period when the information is no longer needed for the purposes of the study.

    For information related to conducting approved research involving surveys, please review the “Procedure to Request Confidential Student Data in Support of University Research” (http://reg.msu.edu/read/pdf/ResearchProcedure.pdf). For information concerning mass e-mail distribution related to approved research, please also review the “Appropriate Use of MSU E-mail Services by Internal Users on MSUNET” (https://tech.msu.edu/about/guidelines-policies/appropriate-use-msu-email/)
  11. Disclosure to Protect the Health and Safety of an Individual. The University may disclose personally identifiable information from education records to appropriate parties including, but not limited to, parents of an eligible student, whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or another individual if there is a significant and articulable threat to the health or safety of a student or other individual, considering the totality of the circumstances. The University must record the articulable and significant threat that formed the basis for the disclosure and the parties to whom the information was disclosed. 
  12. Disclosure Pursuant to the Wetterling Act, 42 U.S.C. 14071. The University may disclose without consent personally identifiable information received under the Wetterling Act about a student who is required to register as a sex offender.
  13. Disclosure of Results of a Disciplinary Proceeding. The final results of a disciplinary proceeding may be disclosed if the school determines that the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him/her. 
Parents or Legal Guardians
The University does not make disclosures of information to parents or legal guardians without written consent from the student.  However, consistent with FERPA, the University does not need a student’s consent to release information from education records to parents or other appropriate individuals in the case of health and safety emergencies. The University may also disclose to parents without consent information regarding their student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the University, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the University determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.
Data Requests
All academic and administrative units at the University seeking student and institutional data have: (1) full access to the Enrollment and Term-End Reports through the Office of the Registrar (https://reg.msu.edu/RoInfo/EnrTermEndRpts.aspx); (2) full access to Institutional Studies and historical data reports through the Office of Planning and Budgets (https://opb.msu.edu/functions/institution/datadigest/index.html); and (3) restricted access to the Student Information Generator (https://reg.msu.edu/Forms/StuInfoGen/Menu.aspx).

Requests for student information beyond the scope of the systems referenced above should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar using the Data Request Form available at: https://reg.msu.edu/Forms/DataRequest/DataRequest.aspx.

Only the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Planning and Budgets are authorized to fulfill such requests. All other units and organizations may not release student or institutional data without prior approval from the appropriate Vice-President and the Office of the Provost.

If the data request involves confidential student data and University research, please review the “Procedure to Request Confidential Student Data in Support of University Research” (http://www.reg.msu.edu/read/pdf/ResearchProcedure.pdf).

Requests from recognized educational or governmental organizations for student or institutional data should be addressed to:
    Michigan State University
    Associate Registrar for Academic Records
    Hannah Administration Building
    426 Auditorium Road, Room 150
    East Lansing, MI  48824-2603

All data requests are subject to review and approval for compliance with FERPA and University policies.

The University does not release student information for commercial purposes.
Requests which require extensive labor, interfere with regular operations, or require data in specific formats (e.g. mailing labels) may be denied or charged a fee for the service. An estimate of the fees may be provided upon request.
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), M.C.L. 15.231 et seq., regulates and sets requirements for the disclosure of public records by all public bodies in the state. FOIA provides that all public records of a public body are subject to disclosure unless specifically exempted by the Act. A public body may, but is not required to, withhold from disclosure those categories of public records exempt from disclosure under the Act. FOIA requests seeking student records, including directory information about a student, may be denied on a statutory exemption for records protected by FERPA, privacy, or other available exemptions. All FOIA requests must be submitted to:
    Michigan State University
    Freedom of Information Act Office
    408 West Circle Drive
    Room 177 Olds Hall
    East Lansing, MI  48824
Further Information
If circumstances arise involving release of confidential information that are not covered in the University’s Academic Programs catalog or by these guidelines, please contact the Office of the Registrar for assistance.

Protection of University Functions and Services General Student Regulations, 5.00

Functions, services, and processes of the University must be protected if the institution is to be effective in discharging its responsibilities; therefore, no student shall:

               
5.01 provide false information for the purpose of gaining benefit for oneself or others to any office, agency, or individual acting on behalf of the University.
5.02 interfere with the functions and services of the University (for example, including, but not limited to, classes, social, cultural, and athletic events, computing services, registration, housing and food services, governance meetings and judicial hearings) such that the function or service is obstructed or disrupted.
5.03 alter or forge any University document and/or record, including identification materials, issued or used by the University.
5.04 allow any University document and/or record, including identification materials, issued by the University for one's own use to be used by another.
5.05 use any University document and/or record for other than its authorized purpose, including identification materials issued to another.
5.06 act as an agent of the University unless authorized to do so.
5.07 fail to present correct identification issued by the University for the student's use when requested to do so by an authorized University agent acting in the performance of designated job responsibilities or who has reason to believe that the student may be involved in the violation of a regulation.
5.08 without proper authorization, sell or make contracts for purchase or delivery of any commercial merchandise or services for personal profit or gain, or solicit voluntary contributions for organizations.


Counterfeiting, Altering and Copying MSU Ordinances, 14.00

14.01 False copy
14.02 Possession of false copy
14.03 Unauthorized keys

.01  No person with intent to injure or defraud shall falsely make, forge, manufacture, print, reproduce, copy, tamper with, or alter, any writing, record, document or identification used or maintained by Michigan State University.

.02  No person shall knowingly possess, display or cause or permit to be displayed any writing, record, document, or identification form used or maintained by Michigan State University knowing the same to be fictitious, altered, forged, counterfeited or made without proper authority.

.03 No person without proper authority shall knowingly possess, make, or cause to be made, any key, card, or unlocking device, to operate any lock or locking mechanism used or maintained by Michigan State University.



Policy on Religious Observance

It has always been the policy of the University to permit students and faculty to observe those holidays set aside by their chosen religious faith.

The faculty and staff should be sensitive to the observance of these holidays so that students who absent themselves from classes on these days are not seriously disadvantaged. It is the responsibility of those students who wish to be absent to make arrangements in advance with their instructors. It is also the responsibility of those faculty who wish to be absent to make arrangements in advance with their chairpersons, who shall assume the responsibility for covering their classes.

As Michigan State University has become increasingly multicultural, the incidence of conflicts between mandatory academic requirements and religious observances has increased. In the absence of a simple and dignified way to determine the validity of individual claims, the claim of a religious conflict should be accepted at face value. Be aware that some degrees of observance may have a more extensive period of observance. Instructors may expect a reasonable limit to the number of requests by any one student. Some instructors attempt to cover all reasons for student absences from required academic events such as quizzes or exams with a blanket policy, e.g., allowing the student to drop one grade or two quizzes without penalty. If this is meant to extend to religious observances, the instructor should state this clearly at the beginning of the term. If instructors require make-up exams, they retain the right to determine the content of the exams and the conditions of administration, giving due consideration to equitable treatment.


Policy on Grief Absence

The faculty and staff should be sensitive to and accommodate the bereavement process of a student who has lost a family member or who is experiencing emotional distress from a similar tragedy so that the student is not academically disadvantaged in their classes or other academic work (e.g. research). For undergraduate and master’s (Plan B) students without research responsibilities, it is the responsibility of the student to: a) notify the Associate Dean or designee of their college of the need for a grief absence in a timely manner, but no later than one week from the student’s initial knowledge of the situation, b) provide appropriate verification of the grief absence as specified by the Associate Dean, and c) complete all missed work as determined in consultation with the instructor. It is the responsibility of the Associate Dean or designee to: a) determine with the student the expected period of absence – it is expected that some bereavement processes may be more extensive than others depending on individual circumstances, b) notify the faculty that the student will be absent, and c) receive verification of the authenticity of a grief absence request upon the student’s return. It is the responsibility of the instructor to work with the student to make reasonable accommodations and to include appropriate language describing such accommodations in their course syllabus, so that the student is not penalized due to a verified grief absence.

For master’s (Plan A), master’s (Plan B) with research responsibilities, and doctoral students, it is the responsibility of the student to: a) notify their advisor/major professor and faculty of the courses in which they are enrolled of the need for a grief absence in a timely manner, but no later than one week from the student’s initial knowledge of the situation, b) provide appropriate verification of the grief absence as specified by the advisor/major professor and faculty, and c) complete all missed work as determined in consultation with the advisor/major professor and faculty. It is the responsibility of the advisor/major professor to: a) determine with the student the expected period of absence – it is expected that some bereavement processes may be more extensive than others depending on individual circumstances, b) receive verification of the authenticity of a grief absence request upon the student’s return, and c) make reasonable accommodations so that the student is not penalized due to a verified grief absence. If employed as a RA or TE, the graduate student must also notify their employer. Both employer and student will swiftly communicate to determine how the student’s responsibilities will be covered during their absence. Graduate teaching assistants (TAs) should refer to the bereavement policy in the MSU GEU CBU Article 18.

Students in the graduate professional colleges (CHM, COM, CVM, LAW) with their own grief absence policies are excluded from the above and should follow their own policies.

Students who believe their rights under this policy have been violated should contact the University Ombudsperson.

 

Library Lending Policies

Borrowers are responsible for understanding these polices. Disregard for these policies may result in permanent suspension of borrowing privileges. 

Borrower Responsibilities and Lending Policies

  1. Care of Library Materials

    Material must be returned in the same condition as when it was checked out.  Borrowers may not write in books, turn down page corners, or use “post-it”-type notes/flags or a fine may be issued.
     
  2. Responsibilities Regarding Addresses

    You must keep the library updated with your current mailing address and email address. MSU borrowers must assure that email from msu.edu is not diverted to spam quarantine files.
     
  3. Checking Out Material

    To check out material, an MSU ID or a library card along with photo ID must be presented. Borrowers are responsible for knowing the date material is due and returning (or renewing) it promptly. Material may not be checked out for others. 
     
  4. Renewals

    Library material must be renewed in order to extend the due date.  Borrowers may renew eligible material online via “Your Library Account” at: http://www.lib.msu.edu. Some material is not eligible for renewal.
     
  5. Main Library Loan Periods

    Some materials cannot be checked out at all. Reserve materials circulate for 2 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, or 7 days. Loan periods for most other types of library material: Faculty/Staff/Graduate Students – 180 days and Undergraduate Students, Spouses and Community Borrowers – 21 days.
     
  6. Get It @ MSU

    If you need material that is checked out, or that MSU Libraries does not own, request the material from another library by visiting http://www.lib.msu.edu/about/ils/.
     
  7. Recalled Material

    Recalled material must be returned by the new recall due date to avoid fines.  To prevent recall fines while away from MSU, material should be returned before leaving or arrangements made for someone to return recalled items.
     
  8. Returning Material

    Return DVDs, videos, CDs, records, ILLiad/MeLCat items and items from Reserve, Reference, Art, Maps, Music, and Software to the desk where they were checked out.  Place other material in any book return at the Main Library or mail it to Michigan State University Libraries, Patron Services, 366 W. Circle Drive, East Lansing, MI 48824.
     
  9. Fines and Bills

    Fines and bills are the responsibility of the borrower regardless of being away from campus, vacations, exams, illness, car trouble, unread MSU e-mail, late or never-received reminder notices, etc. Material returned after closing is not considered returned until the next day the library is open. Overdue fines are charged for the following high-demand items: Reserves, Collaborative Technology Lab material and Equipment: $1.00/Hour; Recalled material, software, CDs, records, videos and  DVDs:  $1/day; Material borrowed from other libraries:  $2/day. When an item is significantly overdue, the borrower is billed, and holds are placed on MSU student enrollment, registration, diplomas, and transcripts. Minimum replacement charges are $100. When a billed item is returned, the replacement charge is cancelled but overdue fines may still be charged. Unresolved bills may be turned over to a collection agency any time after 30 days from date of issue. Payment may be made by mail (Michigan State University Libraries, Patron Services, 366 W. Circle Drive, East Lansing, MI 48824), at the Patron Services Desk, or by calling 1-517-355-2333.
     
  10. Library Cards for Michigan Residents

    Michigan residents over the age of 18 may apply for community privileges by showing a valid Michigan driver’s license/ID containing the individual’s address. Cards will not be issued if the address is a Post Office Box. Two books can be checked out on the day the card is created. Additional books cannot be checked out until the library card is received in the mail.  Community borrowers may have no more than 25 items checked out at one time and are not eligible to use one-day lockers. Community borrower cards expire after two years, at which time a community borrower must reapply for a library card.
     
  11. Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities

    Accommodation related to checking out library material may be requested calling 1-517-884-6458 or by e-mailing atc@mail.lib.msu.edu.
     
  12. Michigan Law and University Policies

    Michigan Compiled Law (MCL750.391) defines damaging library material (or keeping it overdue) as larceny. The confidentiality of library records in the State of Michigan is protected by "The Library Privacy Act," Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL 397.601-606, Act 455 of 1982).  Federal law may supersede Michigan Law. Removing material from the MSU Libraries without checking it out may result in criminal charges. MSU ID cards are property of MSU. If used by anyone other than the owner, an MSU ID will be confiscated.

Commencement

Students expecting to graduate must file an application on or before the end of first week of the fall or spring semester to assure a certification check and listing of their name in the commencement program. Summer graduates must apply by the first week of spring semester.

Applications must be filed with the Office of the Registrar at www.reg.msu.edu.

Degrees are granted with a fall, spring, or summer effective date when all graduation requirements are met. Michigan State University supports fall and spring commencement exercises for the awarding of bachelor's, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Transcripts and diplomas are held until all financial holds have been paid in full. However, the Student Accounts Office may release a transcript directly to a prospective employer on an exception basis.

Visit www.commencement.msu.edu for additional information.