Assessing Student Learning at UNI
UNI is committed to the assessment of student learning for purposes of the ongoing improvement of curriculum, programs, and services offered by the university and for accreditation processes. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators all play a role in student learning and all benefit from the creation of useful and meaningful assessment strategies and information.
Assessment activities at UNI are conducted by academic, administrative, and student affairs departments and units and may take the form of surveys, standardized tests, program evaluation forms, focus groups, student projects, student reflective activities, or any of a variety of other mechanisms. Some assessment instruments are given to specific groups of students; others are given to students randomly selected from a group or groups of students. Assessments may be administered both inside and outside of the classroom. Some assessments may be voluntary; others may be required.
Assessment-related data are kept confidential for individual students and are released only in aggregate form. Unless the assessment tool is also part of the assignments for a course, student performance in the assessment activity does not affect course grades or progress toward graduation.
Additional information about assessment policies and processes at UNI can be found on the website for the Office of Academic Assessment www.uni.edu/assessment. Questions about assessment at UNI can be directed to the Office of Academic Assessment and the Office of Institutional Research.
Academic Program: Student Load
The registration of every student is subject to the approval of her/his advisor.
The regular work of an undergraduate student for the fall or spring semester usually consists of 16 or 17 hours. First semester students are limited to a maximum of 18 hours.
Students may register for hours up to and including the limits indicated below without obtaining special permission:
- Probation and Warning Students: 14 hours
- All Other Undergraduates: 18 hours
- Graduate Students: 15 hours
Undergraduate students who wish to register for an overload must contact the Office of the Registrar for approval prior to registration.
The normal maximum undergraduate student load during the summer session is one semester hour per week of instruction. Undergraduate students who wish to register for an overload must seek approval through the Office of the Registrar.
Graduate students who wish to register for an overload must submit an online graduate Student Request. A 3.00 GPA or above at UNI will usually be required for consideration of an overload request.
The maximum graduate student load during each semester of the academic year is 15 hours. Persons employed full-time should not register for more than 6 hours of graduate credit in any semester of the academic year.
The normal maximum graduate student load during the eight-week summer session is 9 hours; for shorter summer sessions the normal maximum load is 1 hour per week (i.e., 4 hours for a four-week session, 6 hours for a six-week session).
Exceptions to load restrictions for graduate students may be granted only by the Graduate College.
Classification of Students
Earned Semester Hours:
- Freshman: less than 30 hours
- Sophomore: 30-59 hours
- Junior: 60-89 hours
- Senior: 90 hours and over
Fall and Spring Semesters
- Full-time: 12 or more hours
- 3/4 time: 9-11 hours
- ½ time: 6-8 hours
- Less than ½ time: 1-5 hours
- Full-time: 9 or more hours
- 3/4 time: 7-8 hours
- ½ time: 5-6 hours
- Less than ½ time: 1-4 hours
- Full-time: 9 hours
- 3/4 time: 7-8 hours
- ½ time: 5-6 hours
- Less than ½ time: 1-4 hours
- Full-time: 7 hours
- 3/4 time: 6 hours
- ½ time: 4-5 hours
- Less than ½ time: 1-3 hours
The above specifications apply only to eight-week courses. For the specifications which apply to four- or six-week session courses or a combination, consult the Office of the Registrar.
Change of Registration
Students may add classes, without approval, during the first seven (7) instructional class days of a semester. After the seventh instructional day of the semester and before the end of the third week of the semester, the student must have departmental approval to add a class. For the summer sessions a proportionately equal amount of time is allowed at the beginning of a session for adding classes.
Approval to add a course after the third week of the term is rare and is at the discretion of those approving the request. To add a class for credit after the third week of a term, the student must have the approval of the instructor, the student's advisor, and the head of the department in which the course is offered. Courses dropped after the deadline for dropping with a W (Withdrawn), which is 10 calendar days after the end of the first half of the fall and spring semesters and at the mid-point of half-semester and summer session courses, will be recorded as F (Failed) unless there are unusual circumstances and the student is doing passing work - in which case the instructor, the student's advisor, and the head of the department in which the courses are offered may approve a grade of W.
Pertinent dates governing the dropping and adding of courses, change to or from ungraded credit, and deadlines for making changes without charge are contained in the Schedule of Classes for that particular session.
Withdrawal Refunds or Fee Reduction
The information below applies to students who withdraw completely from school during a semester or summer session. Dropping one or more classes does not constitute a withdrawal unless students drop all classes for which they are registered.
If credit is earned during the period of enrollment, there is no refund or reduction of academic fees. For any two- or three-week session, there is no refund or reduction of academic fees. Room and board refunds are made according to agreement set out in the Contract for Room and Board.
Academic fees for a student enrolled for a regular semester or summer session who withdraws from the university will be reduced by the percentage indicated in the table below, beginning with the date of formal withdrawal with the Office of the Registrar. The amount of reduction will vary from 90 to 25 percent. For summer sessions, reduction percentages are on a day-count basis. (Please see the Schedule of Classes for information pertaining to a particular semester or summer session.)
|Percentage of fee reduction||Withdrawal during specified weeks|
|100||before classes begin|
|0||after fourth week|
8-week or longer session
|Percentage of fee reduction||Withdrawal on day number|
|100||before classes begin|
|0||11th day and beyond|
|Percentage of fee reduction||Withdrawal on day number|
|100||before classes begin|
|0||9th day and beyond|
|Percentage of fee reduction||Withdrawal on day number|
|100||before classes begin|
|0||6th day and beyond|
No refund for two- or three-week sessions.
A student who has started attending classes, and who finds it necessary to withdraw completely from school, initiates the withdrawal through the Office of the Registrar. Those students who live in residence halls must also cancel the housing contract through the hall coordinator of the residence hall in which they live. Those students receiving financial aid must contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students who wish to drop one or more courses and yet remain enrolled should consult the section Change of Registration.
A student who has registered but decides not to come to the University of Northern Iowa should advise the Office of the Registrar in writing at as early a date as possible of the need to cancel the registration, listing the reason(s) for withdrawing from the university. Withdrawal after classes begin will result in a tuition charge.
Student Identification Card (uCard)
Each new student receives an identification card (uCard) which is used throughout attendance at the university. A fee of $25.00 is charged to replace this uCard.
Students are expected to attend class, and the responsibility for attending class rests with the student.
Students are expected to learn and observe the attendance rules established by each instructor for each course.
Instructors will help students to make up work whenever the student has to be absent for good cause; this matter lies between the instructor and student.
Whenever possible, a student should notify the instructor in advance of circumstances which prevent class attendance.
Instructors will notify the Registrar in case a student's attendance is such that her/his membership in a class is in doubt.
Policy on Make-up Work and Missed Classes
It is the expressed focus of the University of Northern Iowa to further the educational development of each of its students. On occasion events will necessitate a student’s absence from class. In order for both faculty and students to effectively plan for these absences, the following procedures are recommended.
- All parties involved should be made aware of scheduled absences well ahead of the date(s) of absence. In the case of extra-curricular activities, a semester-long schedule should be prepared and distributed at the beginning of the semester. In instances where semester-long schedules are not feasible, two weeks written notification shall be given for all absences. This notification shall take place even if the absence is potential rather than definite. Assuming that appropriate notification has been provided, students and faculty shall mutually agree as to how assignments, lectures, exams, etc. shall be made up. The type and extent of make-up work shall be at the discretion of the faculty member.
- Occasionally there will occur situations where two weeks notice is impossible. On these occasions, students, faculty, and others concerned should work closely together to ascertain whether special arrangements can and/or should be made.
- Faculty shall not penalize a student for missing a class or exam for an educationally-appropriate activity, including university sponsored or sanctioned events.
- Where situations of irreconcilable disagreement occur which are not resolved at the department level, a panel comprised of the Vice President for Academic affairs, or that officer's designee, the Department Head of the academic department involved, and a representative of the extra-curricular program (where applicable) shall meet at their earliest convenience with the faculty member and the student to mediate the matter.
(Approved by the President’s Cabinet April 23, 2001. Approved by Faculty Senate April 24, 2001.)
Course Credit Expectation
An academic semester contains 15 weeks (approximately 75 days) of instruction. Students enrolled in courses whose mode of instruction is lectural/discussion-based should expect to have 15 hours of class contact over the length of the semester for each hour of credit available. Students enrolled in courses whose mode of instruction is activity-based should expect to have 30 hours of class contact over the length of the semester for each hour of credit available. Students enrolled in courses offered on a shorter-term basis should expect their class contact to be proportionately increased to be comparable with semester long course expectations.
Final Examination Information
The final examination schedule applies both to faculty and students. Unless previous arrangements have been made, it is expected that the official schedule in the semester Schedule of Classes will be followed.
A comprehensive final examination, if required, must be administered at the time indicated on the final schedule. No final comprehensive examination shall be administered to a class within the last two weeks prior to the officially scheduled final examination period (excluding summer sessions or half-semester courses). In the week prior to the beginning of the final examination period, unit tests, papers, projects, and other assignments are permissible if announced in the course outline/assignment sheet/syllabus or prior to midterm.
For those classes which do not, in the instructor's judgment, require a final comprehensive examination the time of the officially-scheduled final examination will be used for other appropriate class activities, such as evaluation, reports, performance, or regular class work. Therefore, it is expected that the class will meet at the time of the officially-scheduled final examination, whether or not a final examination is administered.
The department heads shall have the responsibility for seeing that the final examination schedule and the relevant policies are followed. Students may report policy violations to the appropriate department head, in accordance with the university academic grievance procedures.
Policies Regarding Course Grades of Incomplete
To receive credit for course work a student is required to be in attendance for the full semester. Exceptions to this rule are rarely made.
Work lost by late enrollment or by change of registration may be made up for credit by an undergraduate student with the consent of the Office of Academic Affairs. Graduate students must have the consent of the Dean of the Graduate College.
Work lost because of absence due to illness, or other extenuating circumstances, may be made up, but arrangements for making up work missed are made between the student and the instructor.
Work left incomplete at the end of a semester or summer session will be reported as F (Failure) unless a report of I (Incomplete) has been authorized by the instructor. The Incomplete is restricted to students doing satisfactory work in the class who, because of extenuating circumstances, are unable to complete the work of the course. The Incomplete is limited to assigned work during the final sixth of the term. If a course is reported as Incomplete, a student is not prevented from registering for another course for which the incomplete course is a prerequisite.
Work reported as Incomplete for undergraduate students in the fall semester must be completed by July 1st the next calendar year. Work reported Incomplete in the spring semester must be completed by December 1st. Work reported as Incomplete in the summer session must be completed by February 1st the next calendar year. The exact length of time to remove the Incomplete within the above guidelines, is set by agreement between the instructor and the student. If the work reported as Incomplete is not made up by the deadline noted above, it is automatically entered as an F (Failure) on the student's record. However, if for sufficient cause an Incomplete cannot be removed in the time allowed, a request for an extension of time may be made to the instructor of the course. The extension, if approved, is for a period of up to another six months as designated by the instructor.
Work reported as I (Incomplete) in the fall session for graduate students must be completed by June 1st the next calendar year. Work reported Incomplete in the spring and summer sessions must be completed by January 1st the next calendar year. The exact length of time to remove the Incomplete within the above timelines, is set by agreement between the instructor and the student. If the work reported as Incomplete is not made up by the deadline noted above, it is automatically entered as an F (Failure) on the student's record.
Any requests for an exception to the above timelines for graduate students must be submitted on-line through MyUNIverse (refer to Filing Graduate Student Requests). Only under the most unusual circumstances would requests for additional time be approved.
Some courses continue beyond the normal ending date of the semester or session. In such cases, the initial grade reported will be an RC which means Research or Course Continued. Once the extended instructional period is finished, the RC grade will be replaced with the A-F grade assigned by the instructor.
Regression occurs when a student enrolls in a course which has content fundamental to another course the student has previously completed successfully. When such regression occurs, the regressive course will be available on an ungraded (credit/no credit) basis only. Credit may be earned but the hours earned will increase the student's minimum degree hour requirement by an equal amount.
The decision as to whether a course is regressive is made by the department offering the courses. Regression does not occur when the more advanced course was failed. (Courses to which this policy applies will be identified in the Schedule of Classes.)
When two courses have content which is highly similar, e.g., one for the liberal arts core and one for major/minor requirements, the department offering the course(s) will determine if degree credit can be earned in both courses. If the department will not allow degree credit in both courses, the credit in the course taken second will increase the student's minimum degree hour requirement by an equal amount. Such second courses may be completed only on an ungraded (credit/no credit) basis.
Marks and Grade Points
The marks A, B, C, D, F (Failed), and I (Incomplete) are used in indicating quality of work. Courses dropped during the first one-eighth of the semester or summer session are not recorded on the student's record. Courses dropped during the second- through fourth-eighth of the term are indicated on the student's record by W (Withdrawn). For courses dropped during the final one-half of the term (the specific date of the last day to drop a course without an F is listed in the Schedule of Classes for each semester), F (Failure) shall be reported unless for unusual circumstances specific permission is given to report otherwise.
The time for dropping classes in the summer session is proportionately shorter than in the regular semester. Date deadlines for dropping or adding courses are given in the Schedule of Classes for each semester and the summer session.
Grade points are awarded as follows.
For each hour of credit marked:
- A, 4.00 grade points
- A-, 3.67 grade points
- B+, 3.33 grade points
- B, 3.00 grade points
- B-, 2.67 grade points
- C+, 2.33 grade points
- C, 2.00 grade points
- C-, l.67 grade points
- D+, l.33 grade points
- D, l.00 grade point
- D-, 0.67 grade points
- F, 0.00 grade points
In determining a student's cumulative grade index, all course work attempted at this university shall be used as the basis of computation with the following exceptions for students enrolled as undergraduates. If a student repeats successfully a course s(he) has previously failed, only the grade received for the successful completion will be included in figuring the cumulative grade point. If a student repeats a course s(he) has successfully completed, the grade received the last time the student takes the course will be used in figuring the grade index even though the last grade may be lower than the grade received previously. The student's transcript of record will show every time the course is taken and the grade earned. Post-baccalaureate students as undergraduates enrolled for work to meet requirements for certification as elementary or secondary teachers are given the same grade index advantage as is given undergraduate students for courses repeated. This applies only to those courses required for certification. If a graduate student repeats a course, both grades count in computing the index.
A course taken in an on-campus setting, which was failed, may be repeated but must also be taken in a like on-campus setting. A UNI course which was failed may be repeated at another accredited college or university as long as the course has been determined and approved to be an equivalent to the original course. A course that has been failed may not be repeated by correspondence (specified as Guided Independent Study at UNI), nor may credit be established by examination for a course which has been taken previously and failed. A correspondence/UNI Guided Independent Study course which has been completed and failed may be repeated through correspondence/UNI Guided Independent Study.
Undergraduate Academic Standing Policy
Undergraduate students at the University of Northern Iowa are expected to meet academic standards set by the university and to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress towards earning a degree. Academic alert and academic probation serve to warn students that unless academic performance improves, s/he may be academically suspended. No student in his/her first-semester in attendance at the University of Northern Iowa will be academically suspended.
First semester students (freshmen and transfer students) at the University of Northern Iowa placed on academic alert or academic probation may be subject to conditions designed to increase academic success. A student who does not agree to these conditions may have her/his course schedule canceled for the semester.
All continuing students (students who are in their second semester or beyond at UNI) who are placed on academic probation should also seek assistance for academic improvement from academic advisors, the Academic Learning Center, or the Counseling Center.
Any first semester student who has a 1.00 – 1.99 semester GPA will receive a first semester academic alert. Only first semester students new to the university can be placed on academic alert. While on academic alert, the student will be limited to 14 credit hours. Academic alert is not recorded on the student’s official academic transcript.
At the end of a student’s semester on Academic Alert, one of the following actions will be taken:
- The student will be placed on academic probation if his/her UNI GPA is less than a 2.0
- The student will be removed from academic alert and shall be in good academic standing if his/her UNI GPA is a 2.0 or higher.
Any first semester student who has a semester GPA below 1.0 will be placed on academic probation. Also, any continuing student will be placed on academic probation when their UNI GPA is below a 2.0. A student placed on academic probation must earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 for each semester while on academic probation until his/her UNI GPA reaches 2.0 or higher.
While on academic probation, a student will be limited to 14 credit hours. Once a student’s UNI GPA reaches 2.0 or higher, s/he will be removed from academic probation. Academic probation is not recorded on the student’s official academic transcript.
At the end of a student’s semester on Academic Probation, one of the following actions will be taken:
- The student will be academically suspended if his/her GPA for the semester is less than a 2.0.
- The student will continue on academic probation if his/her GPA for the semester is a 2.0 or higher and his/her UNI GPA remains below a 2.0.
- The student will be removed from academic probation and shall be in good academic standing if his/her UNI GPA is a 2.0 or higher.
A student on academic probation who fails to earn a semester GPA of 2.0 will be academically suspended. Academic suspension is for a minimum period of one calendar year and is permanently noted on the student’s official academic transcript. Once suspended, a student will not be allowed to re-enroll at the University of Northern Iowa until he/she has been academically reinstated.
Readmission after Suspension
Academic suspension is for a minimum period of one calendar year. Only the most extenuating circumstances would warrant consideration for readmission before the minimum of one academic year has elapsed.
An undergraduate student who has been academically suspended may be readmitted only after completing the Application for Readmission from Academic Suspension and receiving formal reinstatement from the Committee on Admission, Readmission, and Retention. The Application for Readmission from Academic Suspension can be completed and submitted online at www.uni.edu/registrar. As a condition of reinstatement, a student may be subject to stipulations designed to increase academic success. A student who does not agree to these conditions may be denied readmissions or have her/his course schedule canceled for the semester.
A student who is readmitted after suspension will be placed on academic probation following suspension beginning with the semester immediately following his/her return to UNI. A student readmitted after suspension must earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 for each semester after being readmitted until his/her UNI GPA reaches 2.0 or higher. While on academic probation following suspension, the student will be limited to 14 credit hours for a semester.
Academic suspension for a second time is considered permanent. Only the most extenuating circumstances would warrant consideration for readmission from academic suspension a second time.
At the end of a student’s semester on Academic Probation following Suspension, one of the following actions will be taken:
- The student will be permanently academically suspended if his/her GPA for the semester is less than a 2.0.
- The student will continue on academic probation following suspension if his/her GPA for the semester is a 2.0 or higher and his/her UNI GPA remains below a 2.0.
- The student will be removed from academic probation following suspension and shall be in good academic standing if his/her UNI GPA is a 2.0 or higher.
Graduate Probation and Suspension
Refer to Graduate Degree Requirements in this University Catalog.
To be eligible for the Dean's Honor List, which is published each fall and spring semester, a student must have earned a grade point average of no less than 3.50 while completing at least 12 semester hours in graded work or in field experience in that semester. A Dean's Honor List is not compiled for the summer session, nor does the list include graduate students.
Graduation with Honors
Three levels of honors are awarded to students on graduation from a bachelor's degree curriculum. To receive an honor rating, the student must earn not less than 55 semester hours of credit at this university (effective Spring 2008). Only credit earned in residence at this university is considered in making honor awards, except for students graduating with the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree in which case both residence and non-residence credit taken at this university is considered.
The names of the students receiving honors are identified in the commencement program and on their academic transcript.
Summa Cum Laude
Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 3% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Summa Cum Laude.
Magna Cum Laude
Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 4% through top 8% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Magna Cum Laude.
Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 9% through top 15% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Cum Laude.
University Honors Program
The University of Northern Iowa Honors Program is designed to meet the needs of motivated, high-achieving students. Challenging classroom experiences, interaction with faculty, and social connections with other capable students are just a few of the benefits of Honors involvement.
Qualifying first-year students will will automatically be invited to join the University Honors Program upon their admission to the University of Northern Iowa. Entrance requirements include:
- ACT composite of 27 or above (SAT-CR&M of 1210 or above) and top 10% high school class rank, or
- RAI of 330 or above
Students who do not meet the criteria for an automatic invitation can request that their case be reviewed on an individual basis. Current UNI or transfer students may apply for admission to the program with a GPA of 3.30 or better and a professor’s recommendation. See http://www.uni.edu/honors/content/entrance-requirements for more information.
To remain in the program, students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point of 3.30. Students who do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point requirement of 3.30 are placed on probation. The non-cumulative grade point average of the following semester should be above 3.30 to provide evidence of overall improvement. Such evidence of improvement, and continued improvement resulting in a cumulative grade point above 3.30, will remove the student from probationary status. If a student is on probation and no improvement is shown, the student will be dismissed from the program. If a student wishes to re-enter the program at a later date, reapplication is necessary.
The University Honors Program offers two designations for participation: University Honors with Distinction and University Honors. To graduate from the Honors Program with University Honors with Distinction, a student must produce an honors thesis or project and take a total of 30 hours of honors credit. To graduate from the Honors Program with University Honors, a student must produce an honors thesis or project and take a total of 18 hours of honors credit. See www.uni.edu/honors/content/program-requirements for a complete description of program requirements and a standard distribution of hours.
For more information, contact:
The University Honors Program
2401 College Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0355
Credit/No Credit Grading
An undergraduate student having earned twelve semester hours of credit at this university may take courses offered by this institution for which s(he) is otherwise eligible for degree credit without grade under the following conditions:
- The course work requirements for a student taking work on an ungraded basis shall be the same as for a student taking the work on a graded basis.
- A grade of C- or higher is required in a course to receive credit on the credit/no credit option.
- Not more than 22 hours of ungraded course work in addition to courses authorized to be offered only for ungraded credit may be taken toward any bachelor's degree.
- Ungraded credit may not be applied to work required for a major or minor except with the consent of the head of the department in which the course is offered.
- No course taken in the credit/no credit option may be applied toward meeting a Liberal Arts Core requirement.
- Except for Field Experience: Exploring Teaching (EDPSYCH 2017 (200:017) ), Field Experience: Teacher as Change Agent (EDPSYCH 3128 (200:128) ), and for Student Teaching (TEACHING 3132 (280:132) through TEACHING 3140 (280:140) ), ungraded credit may not be used to meet the Professional Education Requirements for the teaching program.
- Course work passed without grade (CR=credit) may not be retaken except by special permission of the dean of the college in which the course is offered.
- A graded course completed may not be retaken on an ungraded basis.
- The credit/no credit system may not be used with Credit by Examination, Extension, or Correspondence (specified as Guided Independent Study at UNI) courses.
- Change of registration in a course to or from a non-graded basis may not be made after five class days beyond midterm in a full, academic-year semester, or after the mid-point in the duration of a course taught in a period less than a full, academic-year semester. Only one such change of registration may be made per course.
A graduate student may include up to three credit hours of non-graded graduate course work in the program of study with the approval of the department.
- The credit/no credit grading system may not be used in Presidential Scholars Seminars or for the Presidential Scholars Thesis/Project credit.
Note: No upper level (100/3000-level and above) accounting courses may be taken on a credit/no credit or audited basis without written consent of the department head or director of the MAcc, except ACCT 3090 (120:169), ACCT 3092/5092 (120:170g), ACCT 3179 (120:179), and ACCT 6090 (120:269).
Open Credit System
This type of undergraduate credit is designed for special projects such as a paper, experiment, work of art, or portfolio assessment of prior learning. The experience upon which the project is based may have been completed at any previous time; however, the student must be registered for credit at this university during the semester open credit is requested and open credit will be recorded only after the student has satisfactorily completed 12 hours of credit at this institution.
A project may be submitted any time during the semester up to the last date to add a second half-semester course for credit. There is no guarantee of credit prior to or upon submittal of the project. The project is submitted to an ad hoc faculty committee of three faculty members recommended by the student and approved by the head of the academic department or discipline in which the project falls; two faculty members are chosen from the academic area or discipline of the project and one from any area. The student may not submit a project evaluated by one committee to a second committee for reevaluation. The student may resubmit a project to the original committee at the committee's discretion or with its encouragement.
The number of open credit hours assigned to a project will reflect the academic evaluation of the project; credit will be awarded for work judged to be of at least C-level quality. No letter grades are given. The range of credit is from 0-6 hours per project. A student may apply a maximum of 18 hours of open credit toward graduation requirements. Open credit is normally elective but, upon the recommendation of the ad hoc committee, it may be approved for requirements in the Liberal Arts Core with the approval of the Office of Academic Affairs or for major credit with departmental approval.
Students should contact the Special Programs Office or the appropriate departmental office for advice in submitting projects. Application forms may be secured from the Office of the Registrar.
Cooperative Education and Internships help students integrate academic study with work experience. Students may intern with business, industry, or governmental/non-profit organizations in locations ranging from local to international. Co-ops/internships are optional, except for certain majors which require a co-op or internship for graduation.
Students who participate in a co-op or internship may be eligible for academic credit or a transcript notation. Academic departments establish the requirements for academic credit and Career Services establishes the requirements for transcript notations. Factors such as GPA, prerequisite courses, year in school, and the intern’s responsibilities determine student eligibility.
Career Services encourages students to meet with staff as early as their freshmen year to begin talking about internship opportunities. More information about Cooperative Education and Internships can be found on the Career Services website www.uni.edu/career services.
Credit by Examination
Credit in a course may be earned by examination by undergraduates. Credit is earned only if a grade of A or B is received in the examination. A grade of C will release a student from a course requirement, but gives no credit. A grade below C gives neither credit nor release and is not recorded on the student's record. Credit earned by examination is recorded on the student's record only as Passed or Released. The results are not counted in a student's grade index.
Credit may not be established by examination for a course which has been taken previously and failed, or for a course for which the student does not meet the prerequisite, or for a course which is a prerequisite to one for which credit has already been earned.
Application for credit by examination is made to the Office of the Registrar, and approved by the head of the department offering the course and the dean of the college in which the course is offered.
The department is responsible for giving the examinations and establishing the requirements for fulfilling the examinations. Credit by examination is open to most courses offered on campus; however, a student should discuss the course requirements with the department head before making application for credit by examination.
Note: For limitations in the total amount of credit earned by examination, refer to Graduate Degree Requirements in this University Catalog.
Undergraduate students of outstanding ability and achievement may be permitted to earn credit by departmental independent study.
This method of study follows the pattern of an investigation undertaken by a graduate student, although in reduced form. It involves independent thinking, the drawing of conclusions, the summarizing of evidence, or creative work. Whenever possible, the result of the investigation is summarized in a scholarly paper or report, prepared and documented in an approved fashion. This report is filed in the department office.
Independent study should not involve work available through regular university courses; neither should it be confused with individual instruction, or the tutorial method. Individual instruction is provided on rare occasions for instruction in a university course not currently being offered.
Application for independent study, including an outline of the proposed project, should be made to the head of the department in which the study is to be done and must have this approval before the project is undertaken. The student's program of independent study will be under the immediate supervision of one or more faculty members. Except for the major in Individual Studies, not more than six hours of credit earned by independent study may be used to meet the requirements of a major.
Independent study may also be taken under the Individual Studies program. Refer to Individual Studies major in this University Catalog for details.
A student may register for classes on an audit (non-credit) basis at the University of Northern Iowa if a space is available in the class. If the addition of the course to be audited (visited) makes the student's total course load hours more than is permitted according to the student's grade point average, the student must also have written approval from the Office of the Registrar for an overload of course work.
There is no reduction of fees for auditing (visiting) a course.
Specific information on auditing (visiting) classes may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Visitors in the courses are not required to take examinations, take part in class discussions, or complete other work. Audits will not be recorded on the permanent record except by a student request approved by the instructor showing that the student regularly attended the course.
Writing in the Liberal Arts Core and the Disciplines
At UNI, students are expected to write in the Liberal Arts Core (LAC) and in each undergraduate major. The LAC writing experience fosters learning, develops thinking, and introduces students to understanding writing as a process integral to critical inquiry in academic, professional, and personal contexts. UNI is committed to helping students become competent writers in various areas and for various purposes. Each department sets the writing requirements for its majors; because writing needs vary across disciplines, the requirements and conventions vary across departments.
Students satisfy Northern Iowa's Liberal Arts Core writing requirement by completing one of three Liberal Arts Core writing courses:
|ENGLISH 1005 (620:005)||College Writing and Research||3|
|ENGLISH 2015 (620:015)||Craft of Academic Writing||3|
|ENGLISH 2120 (620:034)||Critical Writing About Literature||3|
Comparable instruction and practice may be available in integrated LAC communication courses designed for first-year students and for qualified students in writing-enhanced sections of other Liberal Arts Core courses.
For students who do not meet the English admissions requirement, and for other students with limited writing experience, ENGLISH 1002 (620:002) College Writing Basics provides instruction and practice designed to prepare students for success in courses that satisfy the LAC Writing requirement.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The University of Northern Iowa is a participating university in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). CLEP examinations are administered regularly throughout the year. Persons interested in earning credit through CLEP should contact Examination Services for information and dates of the examinations.
The best advice for any student considering CLEP is to plan ahead. Students should take CLEP exams early in their college career to avoid taking a course that will duplicate CLEP credit, or a course that will disqualify them from receiving credit.
Not all CLEP exams are accepted for credit at UNI. A list of courses for which CLEP examinations may be taken and minimum scores to earn credit is available from the Office of Admissions or Examination Services. Students should expect their scores at the time of testing with the exception of College Composition. Credit earned from a CLEP exam approved by UNI is applied to degree requirements.
At UNI, a CLEP examination may be attempted only once for credit. For limitations in the total amount of credit earned by examination, including CLEP, which may be applied toward graduation degree requirements, refer to undergraduate Degree Requirements in this University Catalog.
Credit established by CLEP at an institution participating in the Iowa Community Colleges/Regents' Universities Credit by Examination Agreement will be accepted in transfer at full value when terms of the agreement are met.
Students who have established credit by CLEP at a college or university other than an Iowa Regents' University or an Iowa area community college participating in the Iowa Credit by Examination Agreement, may submit official reports of their scores for consideration. Students whose scores meet UNI standards for awarding credit on the basis of CLEP will receive appropriate credit.
A student may not earn credit by examination in an area in which s(he) previously has attempted or completed an equivalent course, a course of similar level, or one that is more advanced in content level. A course in which a student was enrolled until such time that a W for a grade was earned is considered to be an attempted course.
Fee payment, registration procedures, and test date information are available by contacting:
Office of Examination Services
007 Innovative Teaching and Technology Center
Advanced Placement Program
The University of Northern Iowa participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Through enrollment in special courses in a participating high school, a qualified high school senior may take Advanced Placement examinations in one or more academic subjects at the college level. UNI grants college credits in art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, environmental science, history, human geography, languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish), mathematics, music, physics, political science, psychology, and statistics to students who pass examinations with scores of 3, 4, or 5 (minimum score of 4 for chemistry). (For limitations in the total amount of credit earned by examination, refer to additional information provided within this University Catalog.)
For additional information about the transfer of Advanced Placement credit to UNI, contact the UNI Office of Admissions.
Graduate Credit for Undergraduate Students
An undergraduate student of senior standing (90 or more credits earned) at the time of registration, earning the first bachelors degree, and with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00, may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours for graduate credit. Such registration requires approval on a student request form (available at http://access.uni.edu/forms/index.shtml or through department offices) by the student’s advisor, the instructor of the course(s), and the head(s) of the department(s) offering the course(s). Additional approval by the Graduate College on the student request form is required if the student’s GPA is below 3.00, or if the registration is occurring during advanced registration the semester before the student attains senior standing.
The combined total of course credits, both undergraduate and graduate, may not exceed 15 hours in a semester or 8 hours in a summer session. Overload requests must be approved by the student’s advisor and the Graduate College.
No course may count toward both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. Graduate credit earned as an undergraduate will not be counted toward the undergraduate degree and may or may not be counted toward UNI graduate degree programs at the discretion of the graduate program. Some graduate programs have early admission procedures which the student must follow in order for the graduate credit to apply to the graduate degree. The earliest graduate course that applies to a student’s graduate program marks the beginning of the recency period for the completion of the degree.
Students earning graduate credit as a senior are classified as seniors but will pay graduate tuition for the semester hours for which they will receive graduate credit. The maximum tuition will be the full-time graduate rate for the student's residence classification.
Post-Baccalaureate, Undergraduate Study
A student who has received a bachelor's degree may choose to apply for further study at the University of Northern Iowa as an undergraduate rather than a graduate student. Inquiries should be made to the Office of the Registrar. Undergraduate status will be accorded students who seek:
- a second baccalaureate degree (designation as senior) or
- teacher licensure (designation as senior) - a student who does not hold a teaching certificate and expects to be recommended by this university for an original certificate must also file an official transcript, or
- courses for undergraduate credit (designation as unclassified)
Students with baccalaureate degrees do not earn graduate credit while in one of these classifications. They must be admitted either to graduate Degree or Non-Degree Status before they can receive graduate credit for their course work (courses numbered 100g or 200/6000-level; see course description section for 4-digit numbering for 100g-level courses). Retroactive granting of graduate credit for course work taken while in post-baccalaureate, undergraduate status will not be done if, when the course work was taken, the student received financial aid dependent on undergraduate status.
Workshops and Study Tours
From time to time, and especially during the summer session, opportunities are offered for earning credit under the workshop plan. Workshops provide residence credit, but a maximum of 6 semester hours may be applied toward graduation.
Occasionally, departments of the university may arrange extensive study tours here and abroad for credit. These trips are open to graduate and undergraduate students. Plans for this type of study and the number of hours of credit which may be earned are announced through university publications.
Student Requests for Exceptions to Academic Policy
Undergraduate students who wish to request that an individual exception be made to a stated academic policy should complete a Student Request in consultation with their advisors. Undergraduate Student Request forms are available online at http://access.uni.edu/forms/index.shtml (Student Requests - Undergraduate), in all departmental offices, and from the Office of the Registrar. The advisor's signature is required for all requests. Other approvals may include the instructor, department head, dean, University Registrar, and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, depending on the nature of the request.
Graduate students submit graduate student requests online. See Filing Graduate Student Requests.
Academic Ethics Policies
Students at the University of Northern Iowa are required to observe the commonly-accepted standards of academic honesty and integrity. Except in those instances in which group work is specifically authorized by the instructor of the class, no work which is not solely the student's is to be submitted to a professor in the form of an examination paper, a term paper, class project, research project, or thesis project.
Cheating of any kind on examinations and/or plagiarism of papers or projects is strictly prohibited. Also unacceptable are the purchase of papers from commercial sources, using a single paper to meet the requirement of more than one class (except in instances authorized and considered appropriate by the professors of the two classes), and submission of a term paper or project completed by any individual other than the student submitting the work. Students are cautioned that plagiarism is defined as the process of stealing or passing off as one's own the ideas or words of another, or presenting as one's own an idea or product which is derived from an existing source.
It is not acceptable for the work or ideas of another scholar to be presented as a student's own or to be utilized in a paper or project without proper citation. To avoid any appearance of plagiarism or accidental plagiarism, it is important that all students become fully cognizant of the citation procedures utilized in their own discipline and in the classes which they take. The plea of ignorance regarding citation procedures or of carelessness in citation is not a compelling defense against allegations of plagiarism. A college student, by the fact that s(he) holds that status, is expected to understand the distinction between proper scholarly use of others' work and plagiarism.
A student who is found to have improperly used others' work must expect to be penalized for such action - even if the argument is made that the action was taken with innocent intention - and the student's instructor will normally judge such work unacceptable. But it should be noted that the assignment of a low or failing grade for unacceptable work is not in itself a disciplinary action - even if the assignment of such a grade results in the student's receiving a lower grade in the course, including F, than s(he) would otherwise achieve. Such a response by an instructor is part of the normal grading process; if a student feels that s(he) has grounds to protest a grade received through this process, the student has access to the academic grievance procedure which the university has developed to deal with all student academic grievances.
On the other hand, cheating and plagiarism are issues which can affect a student's status at the university in more serious ways. As an educational institution, the university maintains standards of ethical academic behavior, and recognizes its responsibility to enforce these standards. Therefore, the following procedures of academic discipline prevail at the University of Northern Iowa.
If a student is determined by an instructor to have committed a violation of academic ethics, the instructor may take additional disciplinary action including, but not limited to, grade reduction for the course in which the infraction occurs, even if the reduction is over and above the normal consequences resulting from the grade merited by the unacceptable work.
In cases where such disciplinary action is taken, the instructor is obliged to report the action in writing, to the student, to the instructor's department head, (and, if the student is from a different department, to the head of the student's department), and to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs. The Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs will notify the student in writing that such action has been taken, and will maintain a file for each student so disciplined. (This file is confidential and is independent of the student's normal university records.)
A student wishing to appeal or dispute the disciplinary action taken may seek redress through the university academic grievance structure. In the case of a successful grievance, the evidence of the disciplinary action taken by the instructor will be expunged from the student's file by the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs.
In cases of particularly flagrant violations of academic ethics relating to cheating or plagiarism, the instructor may feel obliged to recommend suspension from the University of Northern Iowa for a period ranging from the term in which the infraction occurs (with a loss of all credit earned during that term) to permanent suspension from the university.
Such recommendations are sent in writing to the department head and the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs, the latter of whom informs the student in writing that the recommendation has been made. In such cases, the academic appeals procedure is automatically invoked by the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs. Until the mandatory academic appeal in such cases has been completed, the recommended suspension is not in effect. In cases of a successful appeal to such action, the materials relating to the successfully grieved disciplinary action will be expunged from all university records.
Finally, the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs will regularly monitor all files relating to disciplinary action taken against specific students. If the monitoring reveals a history of disciplinary actions taken against a particular student (excluding any actions which have been successfully grieved) such that there are three or more instances of such action subsequent to any academic grievances generated by such actions, the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs will, as a matter of course, institute proceedings for permanent suspension of that student. The procedures demand that the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs notify the student in writing that suspension procedures have been invoked, and there is an automatic appeal to the university academic grievance structure in all such cases.
All parts of the academic grievance structure (including those stipulated in the immediately preceding paragraph) apply in such cases, except that the Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs, as the disciplinary officer, functions in the role of the instructor in an academic grievance relating to a specific class.
The University of Northern Iowa expects all students to observe university regulations and the city, state, and federal laws, and to fully respect the rights of others. The University Student Conduct Code contains more specific information concerning student conduct and disciplinary action. This information is available by visiting www.uni.edu/deanofstudents/handbook. A printed copy is available in the Dean of Students Office.
In the maintenance of student records, and in permitting access to those records or the release of information contained in those records, the University of Northern Iowa complies with the laws of the United States and the State of Iowa.
University policies relative to student records are available at the website www.uni.edu/pres/policies. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the regulations required by this act may be reviewed in the Office of the Registrar.
Iowa Regents' Universities have conducted studies annually of student persistence to graduation. A summary of the findings of the most recent study may be secured from the Office of the Registrar.
Academic Grievances/Undergraduate Students
Equitable due process in academic matters is provided in grievance procedures for undergraduate students. These procedures are published annually in the Northern Iowan in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Statement. Copies are also available in all departmental offices and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Seerley 1.
Academic Grievances/Graduate Students
For graduate students and graduate assistants, equitable due process in academic matters is provided in grievance procedures established by the Graduate College. Copies of the grievance procedure guidelines and grievance forms are available in the Office of the Graduate College, Lang 110 and on the web at www.grad.uni.edu/graduate-college/policies-procedures.
UNI Equal Opportunity Policy
To provide guidelines regarding equal opportunity at the University in compliance with applicable federal and state nondiscrimination and affirmative action laws and regulations.
The University has established its equal opportunity policy as follows:
No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in employment, any educational program, or any activity of the University, on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or on any other basis protected by federal and/or state law.
The University of Northern Iowa seeks to prohibit discrimination and to promote affirmative action in its educational and employment policies and practices.
(Office of Compliance and Equity Management, Approved 03/02)
(President’s Cabinet, Approved 04/01/02)
For additional information, contact:
Office of Compliance and Equity Management
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0028
or visit www.uni.edu/equity
UNI Discrimination and Harassment Policy
To provide guidelines regarding discrimination and harassment applicable to the entire University.
It is the policy of the University of Northern Iowa that there will be equal employment and educational opportunity without regard to age, color, creed, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal and/or state law. This includes the provision of a campus environment that is free from illegal discrimination and harassment. The University will not tolerate any form of illegal discrimination or harassment and will not condone any actions or words that constitute such.
All members of the University community are accountable for compliance with this policy. The University is committed to eliminating illegal discrimination and harassment, wherever they occur in the University community, by taking corrective action as a result of violations of this policy. Violations may lead to disciplinary action up to and including separation from the University.
Discrimination occurs when an individual is treated adversely because of that individual’s membership in one of the legally protected groups listed above.
Harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct based on an individual’s membership in a protected group unreasonably interferes with the individual’s work or academic environment.
Sexual harassment occurs when an individual is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic standing;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, academic, or social environment.
Consensual romantic and/or sexual relationships where a power differential exists, whether real or perceived, may constitute sexual harassment. The effect of such a relationship may render an individual’s work, academic, or social environment intimidating, offensive, or hostile. Further, the individual with the power in the relationship will bear the burden of responsibility should a complaint of sexual harassment be filed. Hence, all University employees are strongly discouraged from entering into romantic and/or sexual relationships, which could lead to the creation of a hostile educational, social, and/or work environment for other members of the University community.
Complaints of discrimination or harassment filed with the University will be treated with the utmost privacy possible to the extent allowed by law, while also assuring a complete investigation. University personnel involved in or responsible for any aspect of a complaint shall maintain such confidentiality throughout the processing of the complaint.
Should the complainant publicly discuss the complaint, the University shall be relieved of its confidentiality obligations related to the disclosed information under this policy.
The University seeks to create an environment where its students and employees are free, without fear of reprisal, to use these procedures to determine if there has been a violation of their civil rights. Any act of retaliation will result in appropriate disciplinary action. Similarly, persons who use this process to bring frivolous or otherwise bad faith allegations against an employee shall be subject to disciplinary action.
All University employees in a supervisory capacity are required to report to the Office of Compliance and Equity Management any allegation of discrimination and/or harassment of which they are made aware. The confidentiality of all parties will be honored to the extent legally allowed and which provides for an appropriate investigation. Persons seeking information or guidance concerning potential discrimination or harassment allegations are advised that the University may need to take action once it is informed of an allegation whether or not the person wants to pursue a complaint.
Non-supervisory employees are strongly encouraged to report allegations of discrimination and/or harassment to any supervisor or directly to the Office of Compliance and Equity Management.
In order to receive assistance with requests for accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the Office of Student Disability Services. An employee with a disability who wishes to request an accommodation should contact his/her supervisor or the coordinator of employee disability services located in Human Resource Services. A visitor with a disability who wishes to request an accommodation should contact Human Resource Services. If an employee or student feels his/her rights under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 have been violated, they may consult with the Office of Compliance and Equity Management and/or utilize the following procedures.
Procedure for Resolution
An allegation of discrimination and/or harassment against a University employee, vendor, or other third party should be addressed to the Office of Compliance and Equity Management. An allegation against a student should be reported to the Dean of Students and will be resolved through student conduct procedures.
Except in cases involving criminal activity and/or sexual assault, an employee or student alleging discrimination and/or harassment under this policy is encouraged to discuss the allegation with the head of the department in which the alleged discrimination and/or harassment occurred. The department head will then consult with the Office of Compliance and Equity Management to determine an appropriate course of action. If it is determined to be appropriate, an attempt to facilitate an informal resolution of the matter will be made. In the event that an informal resolution is not reached, is not appropriate, or is not pursued, the student or employee may consult with the Office of Compliance and Equity Management to initiate a formal investigation. If, at any time, the employee or student is not comfortable addressing the department head, the Office of Compliance and Equity Management may be contacted directly. Note: If an allegation includes actions that involve criminal activity and/or sexual assault, the individual is strongly encouraged to file a report with UNI Police. Such reports will not be handled informally within the department.
The Office of Compliance and Equity Management will provide a complaint form, which the complainant will then complete and return. The complaint will describe the alleged discrimination and/or harassment, the specific type of discrimination and/or harassment being alleged, and name of person(s) against whom the complaint is being filed.
The Office of Compliance and Equity Management will acknowledge the receipt of the complaint in writing and will also notify in writing the following parties: the accused person and his/her department head/director, dean, vice president, and the president. When deemed appropriate by the Office of Compliance and Equity Management, the complainant is given the option to resolve the complaint through mediation rather than investigation. Only if both the complainant and accused agree to mediation will that option be utilized. In the event that either party declines mediation, the Office of Compliance and Equity Management will conduct an investigation of the alleged discrimination and/or harassment charges. Cases of sexual harassment will generally not be considered for mediation.
Following is the process for the investigation of complaints which have not been resolved through mediation:
A person designated by the Office of Compliance and Equity Management will initiate an investigation into the allegations. A typical investigation will involve meeting with the person filing the complaint, the person(s) named in the complaint, and with other persons who may have knowledge relevant to the investigation.
The Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management will receive a report of the investigation from the designated investigator. S/he will render a finding of sufficient or insufficient evidence that this policy has been violated. This determination will be based upon the evidence obtained as a result of the investigation process. The complainant and the accused will be notified of the finding in writing. The accused person’s department head/director, dean, vice president, and the president will also be notified.
In the event that there is a finding of a violation of University policy, the vice president of the accused will determine appropriate disciplinary sanctions based on the recommendation from the Office of Compliance and Equity Management, and will notify in writing the accused and the Office of Compliance and Equity Management of his/her decision. This written decision must be issued within fifteen working days of the date of the notice from the Office of Compliance and Equity Management. If the vice president serves as a party or witness in an investigation, the notice will be sent to the president for determination of disciplinary sanctions. This is the conclusion of the internal procedures under this policy.
(Office of Compliance and Equity Management, Approved 03/02, Amended 06/07, Amended 02/09)
(President’s Cabinet, Approved 04/01/02, Amended 06/07, Amended 02/09)
For additional information, contact:
Office of Compliance and Equity Management
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0028
or visit www.uni.edu/equity