The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences strictly enforces KU and CLAS policies on academic misconduct. Academic integrity requires honest performance of academic responsibilities by students. These include preparation of assignments, reports and research papers, taking examinations, completing administrative requirements, and a sincere and conscientious effort by students to abide by the policies set forth by instructors. See Academic Integrity on the Regulations page.
Change of School
To change from one school to another, you must submit a Change of School form in the dean’s office of the school you plan to enter or in College Student Academic Services if you plan to enter the College. Follow the deadlines on the form. See the school’s requirements for admission.
Students applying for admission to the College from other schools in the university must meet the same minimum grade-point average requirements in KU attempted course work as continuing College students. Consult College Student Academic Services, Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 109, Lawrence, KS 66045-7518, 785-864-3500.
A Credit/No Credit option is available to all degree-seeking undergraduates. You may enroll in 1 course a semester under the option, if the course is not in your major or minor. To exercise the option, you must fill out a card at the dean’s office of the school in which you are enrolled during the fifth and sixth weeks of the semester (or the third week of summer session and 8-week courses). See the Schedule of Classes for current dates for electing this option. After the close of the option period, the choice cannot be changed. Under the option, a grade of Credit is recorded for grades of A, B, or C; No Credit is recorded for grades of D or F. Courses graded Credit or No Credit do not count in computing the grade-point average. Courses graded Credit are included in the total hours counted toward graduation. Courses graded No Credit do not count toward graduation. For more information, visit the KU Policy Library.
Warning: Certain undesirable consequences may result from exercising the option. Some schools, scholarship committees, and honorary societies do not accept this grading system and convert grades of No Credit to F when computing grade-point averages.
Students must fill out a request in College Student Academic Services. The university-established timeline for exercising this option is strictly enforced.
See the Enrollment Guide for complete enrollment information.
New and Readmitted Student Enrollment
Immediately before the beginning of classes each term, an enrollment session is scheduled for new students. New students admitted for summer or fall term have an additional option of enrolling in fall courses during one of several summer orientation sessions. Invitations to orientation are sent automatically to newly admitted and readmitted students who applied for the spring, summer, or fall terms (except nondegree-seeking students). Readmitted students may attend a special abbreviated orientation session, may enroll during continuing enrollment, or may attend the enrollment sessions immediately before the start of the semester. Readmitted students whose readmission applications are completed by a designated date also may enroll during continuing enrollment, after meeting with an advisor. All students must preregister for orientation and enrollment sessions.
International students must complete the required check-in processes before enrollment and are encouraged to attend International Student Orientation, which includes advising and enrollment sessions.
This enrollment allows students who are currently enrolled during one term to enroll for the next term. Spring-enrolled students enroll in April for the following summer session or fall semester or both. Fall-enrolled students enroll in October or November for the following spring semester.
Each semester, the Schedule of Classes announces dates for late enrollment and the last day to submit a Petition to Late Enroll. A student may enroll in a course or change class sections after the semester has been in session for 4 weeks only if the course has met fewer than 25 percent of the class sessions. For most classes, the faculty have established earlier dates for beginning class attendance and participation. A fee is assessed for late enrollment.
The letters A, B, C, D, S (satisfactory), and Credit indicate passing work. The letters F and U (unsatisfactory) and No Credit indicate that the quality of work was such that, to obtain credit, the student must repeat regular course work. P represents satisfactory progress (an interim grade pending completion of a subsequent term’s course work). See the KU Policy Library for more information.
Graduation with Honors
Undergraduates may earn honors upon graduation in 3 ways. The student may graduate with distinction or highest distinction, earn departmental honors in the major, or complete the University Honors Program. It is possible to earn honors in 1 of these areas, any combination of them, or all 3. The award of honors is noted on the student’s transcript and in the Commencement program. Distinction and highest distinction are noted on the diploma.
Graduation with Distinction or Highest Distinction
The top 10 percent of each year’s graduating class is designated as graduating with distinction. Of these, the top one-third is designated as graduating with highest distinction. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 60 credit hours, graded A through F, in residence at KU. See Required Work in Residence below.
Graduation with Departmental Honors
Most departments and programs allow qualified majors to work toward graduation with departmental honors. Graduation with departmental honors is awarded in recognition of exceptional performance in the major, completion of a program of independent research or an alternative project, and a strong overall academic record.
In addition to the requirements of individual departments and programs (which must be approved by the College committee on undergraduate studies and advising), the College requires the following for graduation with departmental honors:
- Candidates must declare the intention to work for departmental honors with the appropriate departmental honors coordinator(s) no later than the time of enrollment for the final undergraduate semester, but sooner if required by the department(s). Copies of the intent form should be returned to College Student Academic Services.
- At the end of the final undergraduate semester, the candidate must have achieved an overall grade-point average of at least 3.25 and a grade-point average of at least 3.5 in the major. Both overall and major grade-point averages include work completed at other institutions, as well as at KU. No minimum grade-point average is required to declare candidacy for graduation with departmental honors unless specified by the department.
- Each candidate’s departmental honors work must include independent research or an acceptable alternative project. The results of research are presented in a form appropriate to the requirements of the major department. Equivalents to the independent research component are established by approved departmental honors programs. In courses meeting the independent research requirement, the candidate must earn a grade of B or higher. Successful completion of all departmental honors requirements must be certified to the departmental honors coordinator(s) by a panel composed of at least three members of the College faculty who have read the report of the independent research and heard the oral presentation, where required.
A department or program may petition to award graduation with departmental honors to deserving students who, for good reason, do not meet every College and departmental requirement. Send petitions to the committee on undergraduate studies and advising, College Student Academic Services.
Late Completion of Honors Requirement
Requirements for graduation with honors may be completed after the date on which certifications are requested from departments, and in some cases, requirements, if not needed for graduation, may be completed after a student has graduated. However, the Incomplete policy does apply and grades would lapse at the time of graduation. When a candidate finishes all requirements, departments must notify College Student Academic Services in writing.
Undergraduates with grade-point averages of 3.5 who have completed at least 12 hours with letter grades are recognized on the honor roll or dean’s list in fall and spring. An Honor Roll notation appears on the transcript.
The University Honors Program provides opportunities for outstanding and creative undergraduates in all schools at KU to develop their full potential during their undergraduate years. See Honors in this section of the online catalog for further information.
The letter I indicates incomplete work, such as may be completed without re-enrollment in the course. The letter I should not be used when a definite grade can be assigned for the work done. It is not given for the work of a student in any course except to indicate that some part of the work has, for reasons beyond the student’s control, not been done, while the rest has been satisfactorily completed. At the time an I is reported on the electronic roster, the character and amount of work needed, as well as the date required for completion and lapse grade if further work is not completed by this date, should be indicated.
A student who has an I posted for a course must make up the work by the date determined by the instructor, in consultation with the student, which may not exceed 1 calendar year, or the last day of the term of graduation, whichever comes first. An I not removed according to this rule automatically converts to a grade of F or U, or the lapse grade assigned by the course instructor, and appears on the student’s record.
Extensions to the time limit may be granted by the dean’s representative upon submission of a petition from the student containing the endorsement of the course instructor who assigned the I grade, or the department chairperson if the instructor is unavailable, prior to the expiration of the Incomplete. After the I grade is converted to a grade of F or U, the grade may only be changed in accordance with USRR Article II, Section 3.
Maximum and Minimum Undergraduate Semester Enrollment
No undergraduate may enroll for more than 20 hours a semester except by permission of the director of Student Academic Services. Summer enrollment is limited to 10 hours. Permission is not considered unless the student has demonstrated high levels of academic ability in previous semesters.
Prerequisites and Corequisites
Students are advised to enroll according to prerequisites and corequisites noted in individual course descriptions. These prerequisites are enforced in a variety of ways including blocking enrollment, administrative drops without notice, etc.
The College reviews all students' records at the end of fall and spring semesters and summer term to determine their academic standing. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative KU grade-point average to be in good academic standing. Students below that average are placed on probation.
- Freshmen and Sophomores on Probation (between 0 and 59 completed hours): Each student in this category must earn a 2.0 KU term grade-point average until his or her cumulative KU grade-point average reaches 2.0, returning the student to good academic standing. Students who fail to meet these requirements are dismissed.
- Juniors and Seniors on Probation (60 or more completed hours): Each student in this category must earn a 2.5 KU term grade-point average until his or her cumulative KU grade-point average reaches 2.0, returning the student to good academic standing. Students who fail to meet these requirements are dismissed.
To return to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the student must follow CLAS readmission guidelines.
Readmission after Dismissal
Students dismissed for the first time from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must wait at least 1 full fall or spring semester before returning to KU*. Summer session does not count as a full semester. In addition, a dismissed student must demonstrate academic success by completing a minimum of 6 hours of transferable academic course work at another higher education institution. To be readmitted, students must attain a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher in all hours taken after dismissal. All course work taken at every institution is calculated into the grade-point average since dismissal, even if the student opted for that institution’s retake policy. If students are lacking math or English courses to fulfill the Early and Continuous Enrollment requirements, they must complete all the courses necessary, through ENGL 101 (or equivalent) meeting or progressing on Written Communication requirements as established by KU Core and/or degree specific requirements and MATH 101* (or equivalent) meeting or progressing Quantitative Reasoning and Literacy requirements as established by KU Core and/or degree specific requirements during the dismissal period. The College reviews the status of students dismissed from another KU school, based on CLAS regulations, beginning with the initial KU term. If the student would have been dismissed under CLAS regulations, this is considered a first dismissal, even though the student was not a CLAS student. Upon readmission, the student must maintain at least a 2.5 semester grade-point average until reaching good academic status to be allowed to continue in the College.
*This may mean that some students must actually wait more than 1 semester to meet these conditions and apply for readmission.
Students dismissed for the second time from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must wait at least one academic year before applying for readmission. In addition, a dismissed student must demonstrate academic success by completing a minimum of 12 hours of transferable academic course work at another higher education institution. To be readmitted, students must attain a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher in all hours taken after dismissal. All course work taken at every institution is calculated into the grade-point average since dismissal, even if the student opted for that institution’s retake policy. If students are lacking ENGL 102 (or equivalent) and the second required math course (MATH 105, MATH 106, MATH 111, MATH 115, MATH 121, MATH 365 or BIOL 570 or an equivalent course), they must complete these courses during the dismissal period. Upon readmission, the student must maintain at least a 2.5 semester grade-point average until reaching good academic status to be allowed to continue in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Note: Students who are in their last 30 hours must meet with the readmission advisor in College Student Academic Services to discuss their options.
A third dismissal is final.
Required Undergraduate Work in Residence
Junior/Senior Hours Required for Graduation
KU requires all students pursuing bachelor’s degrees to complete a minimum of 45 credit hours at the junior/senior level (courses numbered 300 and above). The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires that 30 of these 45 credit hours be completed in residence.
Hours in the Major: Maximums and Minimums
There is no limit on hours taken in the major for the B.A., B.G.S., or B.S. degree. Departments are not allowed to require more than 40 hours in the major for the B.A. or more than 50 hours in the major for the B.S. Some skills courses and supporting science courses are not included in this maximum limit. A minimum of 12 hours in the major must be in courses numbered 300 or above. At least 15 hours in each major(s) must be taken in residence at KU.
Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to complete the bachelor’s degree within 4 academic years. Students should complete a minimum of 30 credit hours each year. If a student is unable to complete 30 hours in the fall and spring terms, summer enrollment should be strongly considered.
Students have a maximum of ten years to complete their undergraduate work in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences under degree requirements in effect at the initial term of matriculation. Students experiencing a break in enrollment during these ten years will follow their curricular requirements at the point of matriculation provided that the break in enrollment does not exceed two calendar years. Students readmitted after two years are held to the curricular requirements in place at the term of readmission. Students maintaining continuous enrollment but who do not complete their degree requirements within ten years, may petition the College to complete their degree requirements under the curricular requirements in effect during the term of admission.
Transfer of Credit
CredTran is a transfer course equivalency system that lists more than 2,200 colleges and universities from which KU has accepted transfer courses in the past. If your school or course is not listed, your evaluation will be completed when you are admitted to KU.
Only transfer grades of C or higher contribute to total hours earned for students entering KU in spring 1990 or after, and for courses taken in spring 1990 or after by all students. For questions about transfer work fulfilling College requirements, contact College Student Academic Services, 109 Strong Hall.
The pursuit of graduate study in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at KU is governed by department- or program-specific policy, College policies and procedures, Graduate Studies policies, and University Senate Rules and Regulations. Information on the most frequently consulted policies is contained in this section. Students should also consult the academic unit’s handbook, Graduate Studies and College sections of the KU Policy Library, and the Graduate Studies and University of Kansas Regulations sections of the online catalog.
Academic and Research Integrity
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences strictly enforces KU and College policies on academic and scholarly misconduct. Academic integrity requires honest performance of academic and research responsibilities by students. These include, but are not limited to, ethical preparation of assignments, reports, and research papers; completion of examinations; ethical treatment of human and animal subjects; execution of administrative requirements; and a sincere and conscientious effort by students to abide by the policies set forth by instructors and research advisors.
Full-time, Half-Time and Part-Time Enrollment
Graduate Studies defines full-time enrollment as 9 credit hours in Fall or Spring semester and 6 hours in the summer session. Maximum enrollment for graduate students, except in rare instances, is 16 hours in Fall or Spring semester and 9 hours in the summer session. Please see the Full-time Enrollment for Graduate Students policy in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and the KU Policy Library for more information on what constitutes full-time, half-time, and part-time enrollment, including variations on this policy for GTA/GRA/GA appointments and active duty military. At a minimum, all graduate students should be continuously enrolled in the Fall and Spring semesters while completing the credit hours required for the fulfillment of their degrees. Please consult the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and the KU Policy Library for other enrollment regulations.
Continuous Enrollment for Master’s Students
All master’s students who have completed the required coursework for their degrees must be continuously enrolled in the Fall and Spring semesters until all remaining requirements for the degree, including thesis when applicable, are completed. No enrollment is required during the summer session unless it is the semester during which the student will graduate, in which case enrollment is required. Certain academic units have rules governing summer enrollment.
Post-Comprehensive Enrollment for Doctoral Students
After passing the Comprehensive Oral Exam, doctoral candidates must be continuously enrolled. During this time, until all requirements for the degree are completed (including the filing of the dissertation) or until 18 post-comprehensive hours have been completed (whichever comes first), the candidate must enroll for a minimum of 6 hours a semester and 3 hours a summer session. At least one of these hours must be in dissertation or programmatically equivalent coursework.
In addition, the College requires a period of at least 5 months to elapse between the comprehensive oral exam and the final exam. Students that have completed all degree requirements before completing 18 hours are still required to continue enrollment until this 5-month requirement has been met.
Upon completion of the 18-hour requirement, a student’s level of enrollment should reflect as accurately as possible the faculty time he or she utilizes. This may be as little as one hour per semester.
Lapses in Enrollment
Generally, no student is allowed to enroll after the first 4 weeks of a semester or the first 2 weeks of a summer session. If a student does not intend to enroll, he or she must determine the appropriate course of action in consultation with the department or program.
The student may elect to Voluntarily Discontinue from the program, and must inform the department or program in writing of this decision, which will in turn file the necessary forms with the College. This option requires the student to seek re-admission to the program if they choose to return at a future date. They remain eligible to seek admission to another department or program in the College.
The student may also petition for a Leave of Absence of up to one calendar year. If granted, the Leave of Absence maintains the student’s place in the program. Leave of Absence petitions must be filed by the department or program and provide evidence of the department or program’s endorsement of the student’s petition. Students interested in this option should begin by consulting with their advisor.
The time spent on Leave of Absence does not count toward the student’s time to degree, and therefore does not shorten the time available to complete their degree requirements. Similarly, if a student that has elected to Voluntarily Discontinue subsequently returns to the program, the time that has elapsed since his or her last enrollment does not count toward the time to degree.
Students who fail to enroll without completing the Voluntary Discontinuance process or without being granted a Leave of Absence are reviewed by the College Office of Graduate Affairs and the students’ academic units for possible dismissal. Any time that accrues during these lapses of enrollment in which the student does not occupy any approved enrollment category (e.g., Enrolled, Voluntarily Discontinued, On Leave) is counted toward the time to degree.
Students on an international student visa should consult with the International Programs office prior to any change in enrollment status.
Dual EnrollmentsStudents enrolled in two schools or working on two degrees at the same time must complete the work for both degrees. Courses may not be counted toward both degrees, except in the joint degree programs that have been established (e.g., M.P.A./J.D., M.A. in Economics/J.D., M.B.A./M.A. in Area Studies, etc.). Please refer to the Combined Degrees information in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for a complete list of approved joint degree programs.
University Regulations on Grading
Article II of the University Senate Rules and Regulations provides detailed information on regulations governing the grading of graduate coursework. Students should also consult the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog and the KU Policy Library for more information on the Grading Policy.
The following are of particular relevance for graduate students in the College:
Passing Grades for Graduate Coursework
Only courses graded C or above are considered passing and may be counted for graduate credit. Courses graded C-, D or F may not be used to fulfill degree requirements.
Incomplete (I) and Waiting Grades (WG)
Incomplete (I) grades are used to note, temporarily, that students have been unable to complete a portion of the required course work during that semester due to circumstances beyond their control. Incomplete work must be completed and assigned an A-F or S/U grade within the time period prescribed by the course instructor. After one calendar year from the original grade due date, an Incomplete (I) grade will automatically convert to a grade of F or U, or the lapsed grade assigned by the course instructor.
Waiting Grades (WG) are placeholders and should only be used in rare instances when, for reasons beyond his or her control, an instructor is not able to assign a course grade by the deadline.
Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)
Graduate students may select the Credit/No Credit option only for those courses that do not fulfill a degree requirement. This includes courses used to fulfill the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement. Students should consult with their advisor prior to electing the CR/NC option.
College-Specific Grading Policy
Plus/Minus (+/-) Grades
Plus/minus (+/–) grades may be used in the College. The plus or minus sign describes intermediate levels of performance between a maximum of A and a minimum of F. Intermediate grades are calculated as 0.3 units above or below the corresponding letter grade.
Participation (P) Grades
Use of the Participation (P) grade is restricted in the College. It is only approved for a limited number of courses for which special permission has been sought. When permission is granted, it is only used to indicate participation in thesis, dissertation, or research enrollments (related to thesis or dissertation), or in the first semester enrollment of a two-semester sequence course. In any semester, the instructor may elect to assign a letter grade of A, B, C, D, or F when evidence about performance is available. A letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F) must be assigned in the last semester of enrollment to characterize the quality of the final product.
A-F or S/U grades are used in all other courses, including those that are repeated across semesters. The latter include courses in which students are collecting, assembling, or analyzing data; reviewing a research or scholarly literature; creating portfolios; or writing theses or dissertations (e.g., research, thesis, and dissertation hours). Students in these courses are expected to develop plans of study with their instructors and to contact these instructors throughout the semester to discuss their progress or changes in their plans. Instructors assign grades each semester based on the quantity and quality of the work students complete that semester. The grades that students receive in the last semester of these courses (e.g., for completing data analyses and literature reviews, exhibiting portfolios, defending theses or dissertations) apply only to that semester.
If a department or program has a course for which the P grading system may be more appropriate than the A-F or S/U grading system, it must seek special approval from the College.
Incompletes (I) and Waiting Grades (WG)
The College does not allow graduate students to take oral comprehensive or final examinations or to go forward with a thesis or dissertation defense if a waiting grade (WG) or an incomplete (I) grade is listed on the student’s transcript.
Probation and Dismissal Guidelines
To be in good standing, a student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and be making satisfactory progress toward the degree, as determined by the department or program.
If the grade-point average falls below 3.0, the department or program notifies the student in writing that they are being recommended for probation and outlines the expectations of the graduate program and the College that the student must meet to return to good standing. This is followed by a letter from the College confirming their probationary status.
When the rationale for probation is based on grade-point average, a student is typically placed on probation for 1 academic semester. If the cumulative grade-point average has not risen to 3.0 at the end of that semester, the student can either be dismissed or be allowed to continue on probation, depending on the department or program’s assessment of the student’s progress.
Students may also be placed on probation for failing to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. This may include, but is not limited to, failed exams or failure to make adequate and timely progress on the dissertation or thesis.
A graduate student is dismissed upon recommendation of the student’s department or program. This typically occurs when a student fails to raise the grade point average to 3.0 after one or more semesters of probation, or otherwise fails to meet the terms of the probationary period. Academic dismissal should occur before a semester begins. If a student is dismissed during the semester, the dismissal is effective only at the end of the semester in which the department or program gives notification of dismissal. The department or program will notify the student in writing of the reasons for their dismissal. This will be followed by a letter from the College confirming the dismissal from the program and from the College.
In cases when a student’s grade point average is so low that their ability to ever achieve the 3.0 grade-point average required for graduation is in serious doubt, the department or program should move to dismissal. If they wish to allow the student to continue, they must petition the College on the student’s behalf.
A student who has been dismissed from a graduate department or program in the College is not eligible for readmission to graduate study in any department or program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Graduate Studies has established time limits on master’s and doctoral degree completion. Please see Graduate Studies policies on Doctoral Program Time Constraints and Master's Program Time Constraints in the Graduate Studies sections of the online catalog and in the KU Policy Library for full details.
Students have a total of seven calendar years, excluding any periods of absence due to an approved leave of absence or voluntary discontinuation from a program, in which to complete the work for a master’s degree.
Academic units may set their own, more rigorous time limits. Consult with your advisor and review your academic unit’s handbook and the relevant Departments and Programs section of the online catalog for program-specific information, requirements, and restrictions.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree
Students have a total of eight calendar years, excluding any periods of absence due to an approved leave of absence or voluntary discontinuation from a program, to complete the Ph.D. This includes students who enter with a master’s degree from an institution other than KU and bachelor’s degree holders who bypass the master’s and are admitted directly to a Ph.D. program. Students who complete the master’s degree at KU and subsequently begin doctoral studies have 10 years to complete both degrees.
A time limit extension of up to one calendar year may be granted by the College on the written request of the dissertation advisor and with the endorsement of the graduate director of the department or program. Additional extensions may be granted only if the department or program provides a strong endorsement and compelling evidence that the student has made significant progress toward the degree during the previous extension period.
Academic units may set their own, more rigorous time limits. Consult with your advisor and review your academic unit’s handbook and the relevant Departments and Programs section of the online catalog for program-specific information, requirements, and restrictions.
Maximum Time to Count Required Course Work
Courses completed at the University of Kansas, or transfer credits from another university, are valid for a period of 10 years. Courses that were completed more than 10 years before the scheduling of the final defense may not be used to fulfill graduate degree requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
With the endorsement of their graduate programs, students may petition the College to accept out-of-date course work to fulfill the requirements for their graduate degrees, provided they are able to justify why this course work meets the current standards of scholarship in the discipline.
Maximum Time to Submit Thesis or Dissertation
Students must make all final revisions and file the final version of the thesis or dissertation manuscript to UMI/Proquest within six months of the date of final presentation and/or defense of the thesis or dissertation work. Until the final manuscript of a thesis or dissertation is filed, the student must be enrolled in accordance with enrollment policy. Graduate students in the College who do not file the final manuscript within the six-month time limit must enroll in 3 hours a semester until the thesis or dissertation is completed and filed.
All graduate students must be enrolled the semester they complete all degree requirements.
Graduate Studies establishes an early deadline for degree completion for each semester and summer session, usually occurring at the end of the first 2 weeks of a semester or the end of the first week of summer session. If the student meets all degree requirements including the submission of all required documentation by this date, they are not required to enroll for that semester.
The final Graduate Application for Graduation Deadline is set by the Registrar for each semester. Please consult the official Academic Calendar for specific dates. To be eligible for graduation, an application for degree must be submitted and all degree requirements met by this deadline. This includes the submission of all required documentation to the College Office of Graduate Affairs. See the Graduation section of the COGA website for more information.