Matt Stillman, University Registrar
Academic Standing and Academic Assistance
Southern Oregon University requires students to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion and provides resources to assist students with successful completion of their coursework. All students are encouraged to seek this help when needed. Students may contact major departments, individual professors, or The Office of Academic Advising for assistance.
At the conclusion of each term enrolled, term and cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) are computed and academic standing is determined (see criteria below). Students are expected to maintain good standing. Students who are not in good standing will be notified of their academic standing and requirements to return to good standing. Students are encouraged to seek help and identify resources to support their academic improvement from their academic advisors or Student Success Coordinators.
Students who earn a term GPA of at least 2.0, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, and are making satisfactory academic progress as defined below are in good standing.
Students in good standing who earn a term GPA of less than 2.0 will be placed on academic warning.
Students on academic warning who earn a term GPA of at least 2.0 but have an SOU cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 will remain on academic warning.
Students who fail to earn at least 50 percent of their attempted hours in two consecutively enrolled terms in which they attempted a minimum of six hours each term will be placed on academic warning. Grades of F, I, E, NP, WD, and NC count as failed to earn attempted hours for these purposes.
Students on academic warning who earn a term GPA of less than 2.0 will be placed on academic probation.
Students on academic probation who earn a term GPA of at least 2.0 but have an SOU cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 will remain on academic probation.
Students who fail to earn at least 50 percent of their attempted hours in three consecutively enrolled terms in which they attempted a minimum of six hours each term will be placed on academic probation. Grades of F, I, E, NP, WD, and NC count as failed to earn attempted hours for these purposes.
Students on academic probation who earn a term GPA of less than 2.0 will be placed on academic suspension.
Students who fail to earn at least 50 percent of their attempted hours in four consecutively enrolled terms in which they attempted a minimum of six hours each term will be placed on academic suspension. Grades of F, I, E, NP, WD, and NC count as failed to earn attempted hours for these purposes.
Academic suspension is recorded on the student’s academic record. Students who are academically suspended are denied all the privileges of the University and of all organizations in any way connected to it, including University-organized living groups.
Reinstatement to Southern Oregon University
Suspended students will be considered for reinstatement to the University after a one-year suspension. Requirements and restrictions may be placed on a student’s return. Please contact Raider Student Services to seek reinstatement. Under exceptional circumstances, students may be considered for early reinstatement. To resume studies, students must petition the Academic Standards Committee through Raider Student Services. The Academic Standards Committee has the right to reduce the suspension period and place requirements and restrictions on a student’s return. For more information regarding reinstatement, contact Raider Student Services.
Undergraduate students may take a maximum of 18 credits per term without additional approval. Effective with Fall term 2021 registration, undergraduate students who are in good academic standing and have a SOU cumulative overall GPA of at least a 3.00 may take a maximum of 20 credit hours per term without additional approval. Exceptions, including for incoming first-year students and transfers, may be made with approval from a student’s academic advisor and the University Registrar. There is no such limit during Summer session. Graduate students have no maximum credit restriction per term.
Application for Degree and Degree Conferral
Students planning to graduate must submit an Application for Degree online through Enrollment Services two terms prior to their anticipated term of completion. Late applications will be accepted but may affect graduation term and degree conferral (awarding).
Commencement is the celebratory graduation ceremony held once a year in June. Students with an approved degree application on file for the current academic year, including the upcoming summer term, are eligible to participate in the ceremony. Participation in the ceremony is not a guarantee of degree completion. Students are subject to final degree evaluation prior to the awarding of their degree.
Degrees are not conferred (awarded) until the student has submitted an Application for Degree and fully met graduation requirements. To avoid delay in degree conferral, all incomplete grades and any pending degree affairs must be completed and resolved within 45 days from grade posting in final term. After 45 days, a student’s conferral term and date will be changed to the term in which all business associated with the degree has concluded. For students using credits from another institution for their SOU degree, official transcripts must be submitted within 45 days following their final term. Transcripts received after 45 days will move a student’s conferral term and date to the term in which the transcript is received.
After a degree is conferred, students have 30 days to contest the degree or ask that the degree be canceled or altered. After that time, no alterations will be permitted. Once a degree has been conferred, no changes to graduation honors will be granted.
Transcripts and diplomas are not released until the student has fulfilled all financial obligations to the University.
Per each Admissions Application and Degree Application students are permitted to pursue a maximum of two bachelor’s degrees and two certificates. For each bachelor’s degree a student pursues, they are permitted to pursue a maximum of two majors, two minors, and two concentrations per major. Individual degrees or programs may have additional restrictions. If students plan to pursue additional degrees or certificates they may do so after the awarding of at least one bachelor’s degree and will be required to re-apply to the University. Per each Admissions Application and Degree Application students are permitted to pursue only one master’s degree but up to three certificates.
Undergraduate students (seeking their first undergraduate degree) graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher are eligible to receive graduation honors. The honors are listed on students’ transcripts and diplomas. Graduation honors are based on SOU cumulative GPA only. Masters and Post-Baccalaureate students are not eligible for these honors, including Post-Baccalaureate students seeking an undegraduate degree. A student’s SOU cumulative GPA through the end of Winter term will be used to determine recognition of graduation honors during Spring Commencement ceremonies. A student’s final SOU cumulative GPA will be used to determine official graduation honors status indicated on transcripts and diplomas. Once a degree has been conferred, no changes to graduation honors will be granted. Complete SOU cumulative GPA will be utilized with no mathematical rounding permitted.
Honors are as follows:
|Magna Cum Laude:
|Summa Cum Laude:
Students must meet all degree requirements from one SOU catalog. This catalog may be chosen from the year students are first admitted and enrolled, or from any subsequent year of enrollment. For these purposes, “enrolled” means having earned credit at SOU as an admitted and degree-seeking student. At the time of graduation, the catalog chosen may be the current catalog, or any catalog from the immediately preceding seven academic years in which a student has taken courses for which they have earned a passing grade. Students readmitted after graduation (as graduate or post-baccalaureate students) may only choose from catalogs published the year of readmission or later.
All curricula being pursued concurrently by a student (major, minor, concentration, certificate, etc.) must meet the requirements for the same catalog. In exceptional circumstances, the University may allow a student to pursue curricula on different catalogs or may allow an extension to allow a student to pursue curricula from an older catalog.
Requirements in Major
Students must meet all requirements for the major, including supportive coursework from the catalog chosen. However, departments that make significant changes in major requirements may establish alternative courses to meet those requirements. .
Classification of Students
Freshman: Has accumulated fewer than 44 credits applicable toward a scholastic objective at the time of the last enrollment.
Sophomore: Has accumulated at least 45 credits, but no more than 89 credits.
Junior: Has accumulated at least 90 credits, but no more than 134 credits.
Senior: Has accumulated at least 135 credits toward the scholastic objective but has not yet been awarded the baccalaureate degree.
Postbaccalaureate: Pursuing a program not leading to a master’s degree.
Postbaccalaureate nongraduate: A holder of an accredited baccalaureate degree who has not been admitted to a graduate degree program and who submits an official application for admission to pursue a second baccalaureate degree or enroll in coursework not to be used for graduate credit.
Grad-master: Admitted to a master’s degree program.
Nonadmitted Student (aka Non-Degree Seeking Student)
An undergraduate or graduate student who is not admitted to SOU, not working toward a degree or Certificate.
Course Prerequisites Policy
Course prerequisites are designed to ensure that students registered for a course have the required minimum background for study of the course content. This background may be obtained through courses equivalent to the listed prerequisites or through other educational experiences. In such cases, students should consult the instructor. Instructors have the authority to admit into their courses students with backgrounds equivalent to the listed prerequisites.
Minimum Class Size
Classes with fewer than ten students may be canceled.
An undergraduate student may earn a double major if all of the requirements for the two majors are met. This includes University Studies, school, and departmental requirements of the curricula represented by the majors.
Students seeking double majors should contact both departments and must secure written approval, which is to be placed in students’ department files. Students must complete a capstone in each major. Each department must approve requirements for its capstone, and students must communicate these requirements in writing to the collaborating department. A double major does not qualify students for a second baccalaureate degree unless they have earned the additional credits required.
A student may complete a maximum of two majors for each baccalaureate degree.
The University uses letter grades and the four-point maximum grading scale. The grade of A is the highest possible grade. Plus (+) or minus (-) symbols are used to indicate grades that fall above or below the letter grades. For purposes of calculating grade points and averages, the plus (+) is equal to the grade point +0.3 and the minus (-) to the grade point -0.3 (e.g., a grade of B+ is equivalent to 3.3, and B- is equivalent to 2.7). The following grades are used at SOU.
||4.0 (Exceptional accomplishment)
Other grades are:
E: Final exam not taken. The E is assigned when a student fails to take a final examination. Unless the grade is changed by the instructor, it automatically changes to an F at the end of the next regular term. Spring term E grades will change to an F at the end of the subsequent Fall term unless changed by the instructor.
I: Incomplete. When the quality of work is satisfactory but the course has not been completed for reasons acceptable to the instructor, a report of I is made. The student has a maximum of one calendar year to complete the course requirements. An I grade automatically changes to an F after twelve months. (To avoid delay in degree conferral, all incomplete grades must be completed within 60 days from grade posting in final term. Changes made after 60 days will move a student’s conferral term and date to the term in which the change is entered.)
M: Missing. Instructor has not yet entered a grade. No credit or grade points.
P: Pass (equal to C- or above).
NP: No pass.
WD: Withdrawn. Appears on the transcript when the student withdraws from a course after the fourth week and by Monday of the week prior to finals. A WD is not counted when determining grade point average.
NC: No credit. May be used if the student has not come to class for a long time (e.g., only took the first exam) but is still on the roster at the end of the quarter.
Grade Change Limitation
The primary instructor enters grades at the end of each term. This person also makes any changes to E (missed final exam), I (incomplete), and M (missing) grades. If an error is made in calculating a grade, a written course or department/program policy has been misapplied, or a grade has been affected by extraordinary circumstances, an instructor has through the end of the following term to change other grades without the chair or program director’s approval. After the following term has passed, other grades may be changed for a period of up to two years and only with the chair or program director’s approval. Under exceptional circumstances, a Division Director, or the the Provost may consider granting a short extension of this deadline.
Southern Oregon University students may also grieve an assigned grade under certain circumstances (see the Academic Standards/Grading Grievance Policy at http://www.sou.edu/policies, OAR 573-095 for details). If a student is unable to work out an informal resolution with the instructor, the student may file a formal grievance.
Grades on the final transcript may not be altered thirty days after a student’s degree is awarded.
Grade Point Average
Grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing grade points earned by the number of credits attempted. Grades of E, I, P, NP, W, WP, WF, and NC do not carry grade points, and the credits are not calculated into the GPA. Credits attempted for F grades are calculated into the GPA. Only grades earned at SOU are used to calculate quarterly or cumulative GPAs. The following example illustrates computation of the GPA:
Credits with grade points (16) divided into total grade points earned (48) = GPA (3.0). Total credits earned = 17.
Repeating a Course
Students may repeat a course to improve their grade or to provide more experience with the activities covered in specific courses. Courses that may be repeated for additional credit and to be included in the student’s GPA are specified in the particular course descriptions. Otherwise, only the most recent credits and grade will be computed in institutional and cumulative GPA regardless of earlier grades. This policy applies to both undergraduate and graduate coursework.
Pass/No Pass Grades
1. A student is permitted to have one course a term with the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grading option. This limitation is in addition to any courses that are only offered with a P/NP grading option, such as activity courses. A course is a subject or an instructional subdivision of a subject offered during a single term.
The definition of one course may include two courses normally taken concurrently to produce an integrated treatment of the subject, such as a lecture course on principles coordinated with a laboratory course on applications. A specific example is CH 201 with CH 204. Such pairs are considered for P/NP grading only when taken concurrently.
Programs indicate whether the course is available for the P/NP option in the class schedule.
2. Students have up to 30 days after the posting of the grades for the term to declare a P/NP option or to change to the A-F grading method.
3. In extreme or exigent circumstances during which significant impact to the instructional environment is deemed likely or imminent (including, but not limited to, pandemic, natural disaster, and/or political unrest), this policy may be temporarily suspended upon recommendation by Academic Policies Committee and approval of the Faculty Senate and Provost. This may include any of the following temporary amendments to the existing policy, and should only be undertaken for the term for which the disruption occurs and with an identified date on which the suspension will expire:
- Suspension of the limit of one pass/no pass course per term requirement;
- Pass grades (both taken at SOU and transfer courses) will count fully for major/minor
- Suspension of the regular grade mode change fee.
- Extension of the period to select grade mode.
4. The criteria for a P are the same as those for earning at least a C- grade in the course.
5. P or NP is entered on the student’s transcript and the credits successfully completed count toward graduation. However, credits recorded as P/NP are not included in the computation of the grade point average. Upon written request of Enrollment Services, a student may have a P/NP replaced with the actual letter grade (A-F) earned in that course. The deadline to submit this written request to Enrollment Services is thirty days from the date the original grade posted for the course. That letter grade will then be included in the computation of the student’s grade point average. A fee will be charged to the student’s account for such changes.
6. Courses taken for a P/NP grade may only be used to satisfy the student’s major program requirements with prior approval of the major program. Such approval is designated by a degree program publishing a list of such courses in the SOU Catalog. If no such list is published in the SOU Catalog by the degree program, only those courses which are designated as P/NP grade mode only for all sections of a given course may be used to satisfy major requirements.
7. P/NP grading may not be used for graduate credit courses, unless the courses is offered only on a P/NP basis.
8. SOU courses offered only on a Pass/No Pass basis are not subject to the listed limitations, such as activity courses.
A student may choose to take a class for audit with instructor permission. The student is not required to do any of the coursework and does not receive a grade. Classes are often audited if they are not needed for graduation and if the student is interested in learning the course material but not in earning a grade. There is no fee reduction for auditing a class. A student must choose to audit a course by the registration deadlines listed in the Academic Calendar. Due to the format of studio art instruction and lab use, auditing studio art courses is not permitted. See the Admission of Senior Citizens section of this Catalog for additional information regarding senior citizens auditing coursework.
A minor normally consists of 21 to 30 credits in a subject field outside the major. The minor typically includes 12 to 18 credits of upper division coursework, in addition to any lower division courses necessary as a foundation for the upper division part of the minor program. The total requirements for a minor depend on the structure of the academic discipline, the prerequisites for required courses, and the student’s starting level in the discipline. Courses that are required for a major but are outside of the department granting the major (i.e., supporting courses) may count toward a minor, as well as toward the major requirements. Courses used for a minor may also be used to satisfy the University Studies requirements. Students must complete at least 8 credits of upper division coursework toward an optional minor while in residence at SOU.
Students contemplating a minor should carefully study the list of required courses and prerequisites and then consult an advisor in the academic unit with jurisdiction over the minor. This advisor must approve the program for the minor and completion of course requirements with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
A minor is not required for subject matter degree programs. A student may complete a maximum of two minors for each baccalaureate degree. Students must list their minor(s) on their Application for Degree in order to have the minor(s) awarded with their degree. Awarded minors are entered on transcripts but will not appear on diplomas.
Undergraduate Students Taking Graduate Level Courses
Undergraduate students are not typically permitted to take graduate level courses. However,specific approved academic programs (e.g. accelerated programs that may combineundergraduate and graduate degrees) may permit qualified undergraduate students in theseprograms to take graduate level coursework. In these scenarios, it is permissible to utilizegraduate level coursework to simultaneously satisfy both undergraduate and graduate degreeand program requirements. Qualifications, shared credit maximums, tuition rules, and otherspecifics must be delineated in the Catalog for participating programs. Exceptions may be granted by the University Registrar and/or the Director of Graduate Studies.
For a baccalaureate degree, students are required to complete 45 of the last 60 credits at SOU. (This requirement is waived for students enrolled in selected preprofessional programs. Consult individual preprofessional advisors to determine if a particular program is approved for this waiver.)
Credits earned by SOU online coursework, credits earned through approved SOU Study Abroad programs, as well as SOU coursework at the Higher Education Center (Medford Campus) qualify for residence credit.
Credits earned by extension work or awarded through prior learning are not eligible for residence credit.
Students must complete at least 20 credits of upper division coursework toward a major while in residence at SOU. They must complete at least 8 credits of upper division coursework toward an optional minor while in residence at Southern Oregon University.
Students may be granted a certificate, concurrently or consecutively to a bachelor’s degree, but may not be awarded prior to a bachelor’s degree. A certificate normally consists of 28 to 48 credits focused on providing students with specialized focus and set of skills. The total requirements for a certificate depend on the structure of the academic discipline, the prerequisites for required courses, and the student’s starting level in the discipline.
The certificate typically requires a minimum of 20 credits of upper division coursework, in addition to any lower division courses necessary as a foundation for the upper division part of the certificate. Students must complete 20 of the final credits of a certificate while in residence at SOU. Courses used for a certificate may also be used to satisfy the University Studies, major and/or minor requirements.
Students contemplating a certificate should carefully study the list of required courses and prerequisites and then consult an advisor in the academic unit with jurisdiction over the certificate. This advisor must approve the program for the certificate and completion of course requirements with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Some certificates may require a higher GPA. Please refer to the individual certificate sections for their specific requirements. All courses in the certificate must be taken for a letter grade unless approved by the certificate coordinator. Some certificate courses are offered at the graduate and undergraduate level. If a certificate course is being used to satisfy a graduate program requirement, it must be taken at the graduate level.
A certificate is not required for subject matter degree programs. Students must submit an Application for Degree in order to have the certificate(s) awarded. If certificates will be earned alongside a degree, students must list their certificate(s) on their Application for Degree in order to have the certificate(s) awarded with their degree. There is a processing fee for each certificate earned. Awarded certificates are entered on transcripts and students are provided with official certificates.
Students pursuing a certificate but not concurrently seeking a degree are not eligible for financial aid. If a student is pursuing a certificate concurrently with a degree, the certificate will be awarded at the same time as the degree.
Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students may be granted a second bachelor’s degree, concurrently or consecutively, provided they meet the requirements for both degrees and complete a minimum of 216 (if both degrees are earned at SOU) or 225 credits (if the first degree was not granted by SOU). The last 36 credits of the second bachelor’s degree (45 if the first degree was not granted by SOU) must be taken at SOU.
If the first bachelor’s degree is from an accredited institution, as determined by SOU Admissions, the University Studies requirements for the second bachelor’s degree are waived.
If the second bachelor’s degree is being sought consecutively, students must declare their major after one term of attendance; have an assigned advisor; and if receiving financial aid, submit required forms to the Financial Aid Office.
Veterans and Military Affiliated Students
Any student intending to use Military/Veterans connected educational benefits or resources associated with the State of Oregon, Department of Defense, or Department of Veterans Affairs must contact the Veterans Resource Center and School Certifying Official. Students, Faculty, and Staff can reach the Veterans Resource Center at (541) 552-7102 or VRC@sou.edu for additional assistance.
Credit for Prior Learning
Credit for prior learning (CPL) provides an opportunity for students to document acquired learning from life/work experiences in a format that can be assessed for academic credit. CPL credits may be earned by students who can demonstrate that they have gained university-level knowledge and skills that articulate with university coursework on the specific topic.
CPL may be appropriate for students if their prior learning experiences have resulted in college-level knowledge, skills and abilities, and if they are able to demonstrate that this knowledge meets the objectives of designated SOU courses.
Before seeking credit for prior learning, the student must apply to the academic program in which course credit is sought for approval to complete a prior learning portfolio to meet the requirements for coursework designated for CPL.
Students may not seek credit for prior learning for a course they have previously taken for credit and for which they have received a grade other than an audit, nor may they seek credit for a course more than once. If students register for a course for which they are seeking credit for prior learning, they must drop that course and submit an application for CPL for the course before the last day to drop without a grade record.
No more than 25% of the credits submitted for graduation may be earned through CPL.
Credit for prior learning counts toward graduation residency requirements.
Portfolios receive either a P (pass) or NP (no pass). A pass indicates that the student has mastered material comparable to a grade of C- or better in the corresponding course. The Registrar records P grades on the student transcript, but does not count the P in grade point average calculations. The Registrar does not record NP grades. Transcripts will identify credits earned through prior learning assessment.
CPL credits may be awarded for courses required by the student’s major program that are eligible for P/NP option through prior approval of the major program.
A student is permitted to have one course a term with the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grading option. This limitation is in addition to any courses that are only offered with a P/NP grading option, such as activity courses, or courses completed through credit for prior learning.
A non-refundable fee of $150 will be charged for each application to assess credit for prior learning, regardless of the outcome. A nonrefundable fee of $55 per credit hour will be charged to the student at the time that credits are awarded.
Appropriate program faculty, or other approved departmental or institutional representative(s), are responsible for reviewing the portfolio, interviewing the student, and making a recommendation. The Program Chair or Coordinator is responsible for initiating the process and contacting program faculty who will review the portfolio and recommendation and make a decision to grant credit. If no program faculty are available to assess the portfolio, and no appropriate substitute can be identified, the program will have the option to deny the application
Disposition of the portfolio assessment, along with the application, will be forwarded to the Registrar, who will keep it as part of the student’s permanent academic record. The student’s portfolio will be stored by the Program Chair or Coordinator, or another appropriate administrator.
There is no guarantee of transferability of CPL credits awarded at or accepted by Southern Oregon University.
Credit for prior learning will be assessed for lower division credit only. Exceptions will be considered by petition, and approval by the Program Chair or Coordinator, appropriate program faculty, Division Direction and the Registrar.