Course Registration Policies

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Information on policies regarding course registration and academic coursework at the University of Louisville can be found on this page or by clicking on the following links to topic-specific pages: 

These policies are effective August 20, 2018 (Fall 2018 semester). Students enrolled in a term before this effective date should consult with an advisor in their enrollment unit if they feel that they are disadvantaged by any change from 2017-18 policies.

Previous catalogs are available via the archive page of this catalog. Reference copies of the university catalog are maintained by University Libraries, the university registrar, the Student Government Association (SGA) Office, the student grievance officer, and the Dean of Students/Vice Provost for Student Affairs.


Academic Advising

Academic Advising at the University of Louisville is an on-going, intentional, educational partnership dedicated to student academic success.  More information about academic advising can be found within the University-Wide Policies section of this Undergraduate Catalog.

Flight Plan

Flight Plan is a university-wide initiative that assists students in staying on course to graduate in four years or in the timeframe of their choice. Students learn about majors and how they connect to careers and then select a Flight Plan that meets their interests and their level of skills. Academic progress toward degree completion is monitored and students not meeting the published milestones for their Flight Plan must meet with an academic advisor to develop a plan to get back on course or select a different Flight Plan.

More information about Flight Plan can be found at louisville.edu/flightplan.

Athletic Academic Services

This office provides academic support for all students involved in the University’s intercollegiate athletic programs. The academic performance of all student-athletes is monitored during the semester as well as their progress toward graduation. A liaison is maintained with the faculty through close collaboration with the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) and Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) – Elaine.Wise@louisville.edu.

Services offered include academic counseling, tutoring, objective based study hall, career services, computer services, accommodative learning services for student-athletes with learning challenges, and referral to other university offices to ensure that student-athletes are informed about other available resources. The office also advises several Registered Student Organizations which provide opportunities for student-athletes to get involved on campus and in the community. Additional information can be found online at UofLsports.com/school-bio/lou-academic-services.html.


Alternative Coursework

In addition to the traditional course offerings, the University of Louisville may award academic credit through alternative means.  Such opportunities do not require the customary classroom attendance and participation and include extramural examinations, conference work, independent studies, internships, cooperative education, field experiences, and clinical rotations.  Each of these experiences requires the approval of the enrollment unit and not all are available in every unit, so students should consult with the advising office for availability and requirements. The most common alternatives for earning credit outside of traditional coursework are independent study and internships:

Many units offer independent study courses, which provide the opportunity for the student, under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member, to pursue individualized study related to research or practice that is not included in regular courses in the curriculum. Students must present a written plan to their department that includes the purpose, rationale, activities planned, and expected learning outcomes, and the plan must be approved by the instructor, department chair, and unit dean and submitted to the registrar. A title for this individualized study course will be assigned by the supervising faculty member and will appear on the student’s academic record.   Before applying for an independent study, students should have at least 30 semester hours and a 3.0 GPA.

Internships, cooperative education, field experiences, and clinical rotations give students the opportunity to earn academic credit for workplace experiences that support the educational goals of the student’s academic discipline, and thus students should consult with their academic advisor to determine the requirements within their units.  Approved opportunities range from full to part-time, temporary to permanent, paid to non-paid.  In some programs, internships, cooperative education, field experiences, and clinical rotations are required to satisfy degree requirements. 


Auditing Courses

Audited courses do not earn credit, although the transcript will indicate that the course was taken as an audit.  Because audit status is offered only on a space available basis, students may not register for a class in an audit status during early registration, nor may a student change from graded to audit status during that period.  Students may register for classes in audit status during regular registration and then only with the written approval of the instructor of the course. Not all instructors allow auditors. Work expectations of auditors can vary across courses and instructors, and the specific work expectations that will warrant the audit designation on the transcript should be confirmed with the instructor facilitating the course.  Auditors who do not fulfill the work expectations may be withdrawn from the course with a grade of W noted on the transcript.

Students who have registered in audit status will not receive credit for the course unless their registration has been changed officially from audit to credit by the published deadline for such a change.  Students are allowed to change from audit to grade status or from grade status to audit status at any time from the beginning of regular registration through the last day to add a class with approval from the course instructor.  Students are advised that such approval is the instructor’s prerogative, subject to completion of course prerequisites, and that audit status may have implications for financial aid eligibility.  Any change of status must be submitted on a Drop/Add and Grade Type Change Form and turned in to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline.  Students admitted to the unit as Auditors are not eligible to take courses for credit and may not change their class registration from audit to credit.

Students are cautioned that auditing a class cannot substitute for taking the course for credit if that course is part of the credit hour requirement for graduation, including both college-wide and major requirements. Any required course taken as audit must be retaken for credit in order to be counted toward a degree. Students are advised to consult with their academic advisor to determine if registration in audit status is appropriate. Students may enroll for credit in any course which was taken for audit, in a semester subsequent to the semester when the course was audited, provided those students have been admitted to the unit on a basis that confers eligibility to take courses for credit. If students take a course for both audit and credit, the transcript will show both entries.


Course Loads

Students may need to prove full-time/half-time status in order to be eligible for dependent insurance and to defer repayment of some loans, among other reasons. Definitions of full-time/half-time may be changed as required by federal government regulations for financial aid recipients. Students will be certified as full-time if registered for 12 or more hours in any semester, including summer.  Cooperative internships also qualify for full-time status in some units.  For half-time status, students must be registered for a minimum of 6 hours during any semester, including summer.

All baccalaureate degree programs require at least 120 credit hours, but more may be required in some programs.  A typical schedule in the fall and spring semesters is 15 semester hours, but again varies by semester and program, ranging from 12 to 18 hours.  Some programs also have planned summer loads.

Students in good standing typically may take no more than 18 hours in the fall and spring semesters.  Students are also limited to 18 hours total for the summer semester, with limits of 4 hours in the three-week summer session and 7 hours during each five-week summer session. Under special circumstances, students who have completed a minimum of 30 hours at U of L and who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 may request  permission through  their advising center to take an overload.  Overload approvals vary by unit. Typically, there are no overloads for summer.  Permissions are handled by procedures determined by the Dean’s Office in each unit, and some units may accept petitions for course overloads above those listed above. 

Students on academic warning or probation and students admitted in conditional status are limited to 13 hours during the fall and spring semesters and to a total of 10 semester hours during the summer sessions.


Pass/Fail

Undergraduate students in good academic standing may enroll in one undergraduate course each semester on a pass/fail basis, provided that the course is not used to meet a general education requirement, a programmatic requirement, a prerequisite requirement for admission to a degree program, or a foreign language requirement for a degree program.  If the course is letter-graded, the instructor’s agreement (signature) must be secured by students for pass/fail grading to be applied to the course, and the student’s enrollment unit must approve the request.  Courses completed on a pass/fail basis will not be assigned any quality points, but credit will be given if the grade assigned is a P.  If the grade assigned is F, it will be calculated as such in the student’s grade point average. No changes from letter grade to pass/fail, or vice versa, may be made after the University’s deadline to withdraw from a course.  No letter-grade equivalent for a P grade will be assigned or reported.  This policy will not apply to courses taught only on a pass-fail basis, such as some internship and field experience courses. 


Registration

Students may register for courses during the priority early registration period before the beginning of the semester. A student’s first opportunity is based on classification and alphabetic rotation. The early registration period is then followed by regular and late registration.  The registration calendar for any term is published online by the office of the registrar.  Initial registration and any later registration changes are usually completed by students through the registration link of the ULink online portal. 

Initial registration must be completed by the date announced by the registrar, typically the Friday of the first week of classes. Students may make adjustments to their course schedule until the end of the first week for regularly scheduled fall and spring courses.  For summer courses and courses with atypical duration, the last date to adjust schedules is specified by the registrar in the official registration calendar.  This last day to adjust schedules is referred to as the last day to drop/add.

Students may add courses to their schedules until the last day to drop/add. No signature or other authorization is required if the added course is open for enrollment, if students meet all course prerequisites, and if such additional courses do not raise the students’ credit‐hours for the term above the maximum allowed by the students’ enrollment unit or academic standing.  If the addition increases the tuition cost for the semester, the additional payment must be settled with the university bursar by the last day to drop/add. 

Students can place their names on the waitlist for a course that is closed.  Students are automatically moved from the waitlist to registration in the course as spaces open until the end of the first week of classes.  Students may add their names to the waitlist until the third day of classes for regularly scheduled fall and spring courses, and the first day of classes for summer courses. 

Students may drop a course from their schedule until the last day of drop/add. Courses that are dropped during the regular registration period are not listed on the transcript. Students should consider how dropping a course will affect their Flight Plan status, their progress toward their degree and their financial aid eligibility. Students who stop attending a class but fail to complete the drop process, regardless of the date when they stopped attending the course, will be given the grade of F for the course.

Students who wish to enroll in concurrent courses at another institution should consult their academic advisor before registration to secure a visiting student letter, and to ensure proper enrollment and recording of courses.  Students in good standing who have earned a minimum of twelve hours may be able to cross register at other universities in the Kentuckiana Metroversity consortium.  Cross registration is permitted on a space-available basis at the discretion of the member institutions.  The combined program of work in all institutions may not exceed the maximum course load permitted for students at the University of Louisville. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in loss of credit or in ineligibility to transfer the credits from the other schools toward the requirements for graduation.


Repeating Courses

Students are allowed to repeat a course only once, with the most recent grade counting for grade point average calculation and towards degree requirements.  Students are advised to weigh carefully the trade-off between 1) possibly improving their academic standing by repeating a course and earning a higher grade, and 2) the investment of time and money in repeating courses. 

Students may petition to repeat a course more than once through a process determined by each academic unit.

Although all grades are displayed on the official transcript, repeated courses cannot receive double credit in hours required for the degree and count only once toward graduation.

Students may only receive federal and state financial aid funds one time for retaking previously passed coursework.   Students should speak with a financial aid advisor about the impact on financial aid before making the decision to repeat a course that was previously passed.


Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

University of Louisville undergraduate students typically take courses at the 100 through 400 level.  Courses numbered below the 100 level are not used in calculations of earned hours or the university grade point average.  Courses numbered at the 100 and 200 level are primarily for freshmen and sophomores, and such courses generally contain introductory or basic material. Courses numbered at the 300 and 400 level are primarily for juniors and seniors, and such courses generally contain advanced undergraduate material.

Courses at the 500 level may be open to both advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Courses numbered at the 600 level and above are for graduate students only. Undergraduate students requesting to enroll in a 600-level course may do so only with special permission of the instructor in the course and the unit dean, and they must be registered for at least one undergraduate course. Such graduate level courses will satisfy requirements toward the undergraduate degree and therefore cannot be used for subsequent graduate credit.

In rare cases, undergraduate students at the University of Louisville who are within six (6) semester hours of completing the baccalaureate requirements and who are enrolled in a graduate course may obtain graduate credit at the University of Louisville. This can only occur if the course has not been used to satisfy part of the baccalaureate requirements, and if the chair of the department involved and the unit dean approve.  Students who have applied and been accepted into an accelerated master’s program may take a maximum of nine hours of graduate level courses as an undergraduate to satisfy master degree requirements.  Those nine credit hours of graduate credit are transferred to the students’ University of Louisville graduate record after students complete one semester as a graduate student. 

Students must have completed the proper prerequisites to register for any course.  It is the student’s responsibility to know the prerequisites for a course by checking the course description section of the online university undergraduate catalog.  While some of these courses are open to all students enrolled in the University of Louisville, many are restricted to students in certain programs. 

The dean’s office in each unit reserves the right to administratively withdraw students from courses based on academic policies.

The units also reserve the right to cancel without prior notice any courses listed in the Schedule of Classes, and to cancel any course that does not have an adequate enrollment at a reasonable time during the registration period for the semester. The university attempts to provide all courses required for graduation frequently enough to ensure that no student's degree will be delayed by course unavailability, but the university cannot guarantee that such delay will not occur.


Withdrawals

Students may withdraw from courses after the drop/add period up until the withdrawal deadline.  A grade of W (withdrawal) will be posted to students’ transcripts.   The hours count as attempted hours but do not count as earned hours, and the grade will have no effect on the students’ grade point averages.  Students withdraw by using the registration link of the ULink online portal. No signature or other authorization is required if the change is made by the withdrawal deadline, but students should consult with academic and/or financial aid advisors to understand how withdrawing from a course will affect their Flight Plan status, their progress toward their degree and their financial aid eligibility. 

The withdrawal deadline for each semester is specified in the official registration calendar. The deadline typically occurs shortly after mid-term.  Students who stop attending class without withdrawing will be given the grade of F for the course. 

Students who make a complete withdrawal from all courses for a particular semester should contact their academic advisor to seek alternative solutions and/or to improve the possibility of returning to the university at a later date. A complete withdrawal must be processed in accordance with the procedures established by the academic unit.

In exceptional circumstances, students may petition for a late withdrawal after the withdrawal deadline.  Students who intend to continue in other courses during the semester must petition the course instructional unit (the academic unit in which the course is taught). Students who intend to withdraw from all courses for which they are registered (late complete withdrawal) must petition their enrollment unit (the academic unit in which they are enrolled for their degree work).  Proper documentation of the exceptional circumstances must accompany the petition for a late complete withdrawal. The enrollment unit shall request and consider all instructors’ recommendations in deciding on the petition for a late complete withdrawal.  Students should contact the advising office in the appropriate unit for guidance in the petition process. 

Students may request and be considered for a compassionate withdrawal when extraordinary circumstances prevent students from continuing in classes or completing academic requirements.  If students are gravely incapacitated, the request may come from the student’s spouse, family or legal surrogate.  The Office of the Dean of Students will gather necessary documentation to show that the situation is incapacitating.   Such situations cover both physical and mental health issues, serious illness or injury, and extraordinary personal reasons.  The Office of the Dean of Students will review and evaluate the compassionate withdrawal request and take follow‐up action to refer the case to the appropriate officer (e.g., unit dean) for review and decision. The Office of the Dean of Students will coordinate the process with the unit dean’s designee.

An academic withdrawal does not remove a student’s financial responsibility for his/her educational expenses. Students are responsible for payment of any outstanding charges including, but not limited to tuition, fees, parking, housing and other expenses, after the academic withdrawal is granted. The Office of the Dean of Students will assist with the identification and completion of all necessary business processes.

The effective withdrawal date is the date on which the withdrawal is processed in the student records system. This date is used in calculating any applicable tuition reduction. When students officially withdraw from any course or courses for which hourly rates apply, tuition will be adjusted at the following ratios for regularly scheduled fall and spring classes:

Drop during the first week of semester............................. 0% charge / 100% credit
Withdrawal during second or third week of semester....... 50% charge / 50% credit
Withdrawal during fourth week of semester..................... 75% charge / 25% credit
Withdrawal after fourth week of semester........................ 100% charge/ 0% credit

Summer courses and some fall and spring semester courses vary in length and the percentage of refunds is modified.  Refund deadlines for special terms and courses are listed in the online Registration Information. Course fees  (as opposed to tuition) are refundable only with 100% credit.