Academic Regulations

Credit Hour/Semester Hour

The credit hour or semester hour, terms used interchangeably, is the unit of instruction. One credit hour is constituted by a minimum of one hour of classroom or direct instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for a semester (or its equivalent). An equivalent amount of work (minimum three hours per week for a semester or its equivalent of combined direct instruction and out-of-class student work) must be represented for a credit hour in other academic activities such as laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work. A semester is defined as not less than 15 weeks. Courses offered in shorter timeframes must have an equivalent number of hours dedicated to instruction and student work as that spent in a semester-based class.

Time Status

A student's time status is calculated by totaling all course credit hours registered within a single term (i.e. Summer, Fall, or Spring), including all full-term and modular courses with shorter duration.

Time Status Credits Per Semester
Full-Time 12 or more credits
Three-Quarter Time 9 or more and less than 12 credits
Half-Time 6 or more and less than 9 credits
Less Than Half-Time More than 0 and less than 6 credits

Student Classification

A student's classification is based on the student's cumulative earned credit hours.

  • First-year student/freshman entering directly from high school — fewer than 30 credit hours
  • Sophomore — 30 to 59 credit hours
  • Junior — 60 to 89 credit hours
  • Senior — 90 credit hours and above

Class Attendance and Enrollment Validation

Regular class attendance is expected of all students, although the specific attendance policy in each course is determined by the instructor. Information on the attendance policy of each college and school is available in the deans’ offices or college/school Web site.

Students are required to validate their enrollment by attending the first class meeting for each course on their schedule.  Failure to attend the first class or to make prior arrangements with the professor may result in the student being dropped from that course.

Grade Point Average and Grade Values

The minimum requirement for the bachelor's degree is a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.00 for all work attempted at Drake University.

Grade points are earned on the following basis:

Grade Point Value
A+ 4.00
A 4.00
A- 3.70
B+ 3.30
B 3.00
B- 2.70
C+ 2.30
C 2.00
C- 1.70
D+ 1.30
D 1.00
D- 1.00
F 0.00
WU 0.00

Other marks not included in grade point calculation:

Grade Description
CR Credit given under Credit/No Credit provision
NC No credit under Credit/No Credit provision
W Official withdrawal from course
XX Repeated course
I Incomplete
IP Course in progress
AU Audit
NR No grade recorded

Transfer college work earns credit only and is not included in computing the Drake University cumulative G.P.A.

Grades for coursework completed as part of an associate's degree through Bright College will be included in GPA calculations for students who elect to move from Bright College into a Drake University bachelor's degree program.

The G.P.A. is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of credit hours attempted. Grades of "F" are computed in the G.P.A., but no credit toward graduation is earned.  G.P.A. calculations are rounded to the nearest hundredth.

The mark “I” (Incomplete) indicates a student has not submitted all evidence required for a final grade. The student must make satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the work by the end of the next semester of enrollment (excluding enrollment in summer terms or the January term). The instructor writes out the conditions that must be met to remove the incomplete. As a component of these conditions, the instructor may demand an accelerated deadline (the midterm of the following semester) or may provide an extended deadline if special circumstances warrant (a semester abroad, student teaching, etc.). The instructor will indicate online the final grade for the course in the event the work is not completed. A copy of conditions that must be met to complete the course is also given to the student. Marks of incomplete are changed to a final grade either by the instructor (upon completion of the work) or by the Office of the Registrar (upon attaining the specified due date). Marks of incomplete are not computed in the G.P.A.

The mark of “IP” (In Progress) may be given in certain courses where special conditions make the grade of Incomplete unrepresentative of the status of the students at the close of the semester. The grade of “IP” is appropriate only when the coursework could not be finished during the semester for the entire class (e.g., internships, practicums or courses that do not fit the standard academic calendar; fieldwork or research presentations that may take place after a semester has ended; theses or dissertations; or other special situations where coursework extends beyond one semester). A grade of "IP” must be changed to a final grade by the instructor by the end of the next semester (excluding the summer or January term). The instructor must indicate to the appropriate dean’s office in what courses students will be assigned an “IP.”

A student may not graduate/earn a degree from Drake University with an "I" (Incomplete) or an "IP" (In Progress) notation on his/her transcript.

The mark of “AU” (Audit) is recorded in place of a letter grade in courses when the instructor and dean have consented to such enrollment. Students who audit classes are not required to take part in discussions or complete examinations. If the attendance requirements are not completed to the satisfaction of the instructor, a permanent record of the enrollment is not retained. Courses taken for audit are charged the same fees as courses completed for academic credit.

Students intending to enroll in a course on an audit basis must indicate this intention at the time of registration. Students wishing to change from a credit to an audit basis during the semester must have the approval of the instructor, the adviser, and the dean, and must do so no later than the midpoint of the semester or, in the case of a short course, no later than the midpoint of that course.

Credit / No Credit Option

After achieving sophomore standing, a student pursuing a bachelor's degree may elect to register for a maximum of 12 credit hours of work (of the total 120 credit hours required for the degree) on a credit/no credit basis. Neither the “credit” nor the “no credit” grades are included in the student’s cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.).

The student may elect to take any course in the University as credit/no credit which is open to students who meet the usual standards for admission to the course except a course that satisfies basic requirements, or a primary or related course applying to the major. Not more than seven credit hours may be taken in a semester on this basis. A student receives credit for a course in which the student earns the equivalent of the grade of "C-" or better.

The student must have a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 before registering for a course on a credit/no credit basis. A senior with at least a 2.00 cumulative G.P.A. is eligible to take a maximum of two courses in a semester on a credit/no credit basis, provided the adviser has approved the arrangement.

Although the University requires that a student indicate at the time of registration that a specific course is being taken on a credit/no credit basis, some exceptions are made allowing students to change from credit/no credit grading to regular letter grading — or from regular letter grading to credit/no credit grading — until the midpoint of the semester, or, in the case of a short course, no later than one week following the midpoint of that course.

Students should be aware that most law schools and many graduate schools re-compute a student’s G.P.A. in such a way as to count courses graded “no credit” as “F” grades.

Visiting students from other institutions may elect to register for undergraduate courses on a credit/no credit basis.

Repeating a Course

Repeating a Course or Seminar Component

Students must pass all courses and seminar components to earn the associate’s degree. Courses and individual seminar components may be repeated in order to replace a low grade with a higher grade, when doing so is necessary to ensure satisfactory and timely progress through the program and/or comply with University probation and suspension policies. The probation and suspension and integrated seminar repeat policies are available here.

A student is not automatically granted permission to repeat a course; the student must apply to the dean for permission to do so. The dean will then consult with the faculty and review the student’s overall record before granting permission to repeat. The College does not guarantee the availability of more than one opportunity to repeat a course or seminar component,

To repeat a course or seminar component, a student will complete in one of the following, at the discretion of the dean in consultation with the faculty:

  • an independent study bearing the course number of the course or component to be repeated; or
  • an approved equivalent course offered in one of Drake University’s disciplinary departments along with a required tutorial; or
  • a section of the same course offered in a subsequent year; or
  • satisfactory demonstration of subject-matter learning through additional coursework integrated into coursework within a subsequent seminar or course; or
  • a combination of the above.

Students should contact the dean's office to initiate planning for repeating a course or seminar component.

Appeals on Academic Evaluation

The appeal for a change in final grade is handled through the college, school or unit in which the course in question is offered. 

Students must initiate a grade appeal within 10 business days following the final grade submission due date published by the Registrar. The appeal is initiated by first seeking a resolution with the instructor.  Exception: For courses in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the final grade appeal must be initiated 3 business days following the final grade submission due date published by the Registrar, or in the event that the final grade submission occurs prior to course completion, the timeline will begin with official College notification to the student.

Students may appeal a final grade for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Procedural or clerical error by the instructor that had a negative impact on the student’s grade 
  2. The grading being arbitrary, capricious or outside accepted norms with resultant negative impact on the student’s grade. Possible examples: work is graded differently than stated in the rubric; final grades are calculated with a different method than stated on the syllabus, etc.
  3. The evaluation was of a different standard than that required of other students in the class, resulting in a negative impact on the student’s grade. Possible examples:  some students were permitted to submit late work without penalty and others were not; extra credit opportunities were provided to some, but not all students, etc.

If the student believes that the grade received is based upon discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation, as defined and prohibited by Drake policy, the student should initiate the complaint process set forth in the related policy: Non-Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Policy (Non-Sex-Based), or Sexual Harassment Policy.

Students must provide sufficient evidence to support how their appeal meets one or more of the grounds for appeal, and the inability to provide this evidence may result in dismissal of the appeal.  To be clear, students may not appeal the final grade on the grounds that they disagree with the professional judgment of the instructor as to the quality of the students’ performance or work or whether they met course standards. 

It is expected that most, if not all, appeals will be resolved between the student and their instructor. If an agreement is not reached between the instructor and the student, the appeal may be escalated based on each college, school or unit’s appeal process and time frame. If unsure about which college, school or unit offers the course please contact the Office of the Registrar ( If an agreement between the parties involved occurs at any step of the appeals process, the appeal has concluded and the grade may not be appealed again.

To learn more about the appeals process please refer to the college/school/unit that offers the course from the links included:


John Dee Bright:






IN college courses (INTD, HONR, FYS):

Academic Integrity

  1. Each college/school has an Academic Integrity Policy Committee:
    1. To propose policies for dealing with problems of academic dishonesty including but not limited to plagiarism and cheating, and to ensure that these policies and procedures are consistent with University policies and procedures;
    2. To implement policies and procedures for dealing with academic dishonesty; and
    3. To review appeals from academic evaluations associated with academic dishonesty.
  2. Academic dishonesty is an encompassing term involving any activity that seeks to gain credit for work one has not done or to deliberately damage or destroy the work of others. Plagiarism is defined as misrepresenting another’s ideas, phrases, discourse or works as one’s own. Cheating is defined as the act, or attempted act, of giving or obtaining aid and/or information by illicit means in meeting any academic requirements, including examinations.
  3. The composition of the committee is determined by each college/school with consideration given to including both faculty and students.
  4. The penalty for academic dishonesty will vary from incident to incident, depending upon the scope and magnitude of the offense and the circumstances in which it occurred; upon the prior record of the person being penalized; and upon evidence suggesting the existence or absence of a pattern of academic dishonesty in the academic performance of the person committing the offense.
    1. If it is determined by the instructor that the student is guilty of academic misconduct, it is the prerogative of the instructor to assign the appropriate penalty in the course.
    2. Included among the possible penalties that may be imposed by the instructor are a reprimand, grade reduction (including assignment of a failing grade), or dismissal from the course with a failing grade. All such actions must be reported by the instructor to the dean of the college/school in which the incident occurred. For information purposes, the dean should report the incident to the dean of the college/school in which the student is enrolled and may forward the case to the Academic Integrity Policy Committee for further action.
    3. The committee may make a recommendation to the dean concerning whether probation, suspension or dismissal from the University should be imposed.
  5. Each college/school must have procedures to be used by its committee to address appeals from actions taken as a result of an instructor’s determination that a student’s performance involved academic dishonesty.
    If, after appeal, it is determined that there is insufficient evidence of academic dishonesty, the instructor is bound by that finding and may only evaluate the assignment as to its content or other time-honored bases of academic evaluation.
  6. The appeals procedure must include provisions that address the following:
    1. How the appeals process is initiated, and by whom;
    2. A timetable, including the date by which an appeal must be initiated;
    3. Steps to be taken in the appeals process;
    4. The nature of the documentation of evidence required or permitted;
    5. The rules applicable in hearings if a hearing is required.
  7. The policies and procedures of the college/school in which the alleged offense occurs are applicable in each instance. In the event that the student is not a member of the college/school in which the alleged offense occurs, the dean of that college/school must report the offense and its disposition to the dean of the student’s college/school for further action, if appropriate. If a recommendation is made for probation, suspension or dismissal from the University, this recommendation must be forwarded for final action to the dean of the college/school in which the student is enrolled. A copy of the recommendation and subsequent action by the dean of the student’s college/school must be sent to the provost.
  8. College/school policies and procedures must be consistent with University policies and procedures. In the event of inconsistencies, University policies and procedures shall prevail.

Suggested Hearing Guidelines: These are suggested guidelines that may be refined in each instance, if the college/school desires, in consultation with the legal counsel of the University.

  • The hearing shall be informal, and formal rules of evidence need not apply.
  • The hearing shall be private; it shall be attended only by the members of the committee, the student and the instructor; there may be advisers for the committee, the student and the instructor, and when called, witnesses for the parties. However, a party’s adviser may not serve as a witness.
  • At the request of either party or the committee, the proceedings shall be tape-recorded. A written transcript shall not be required.
  • The hearing shall begin with the presentation of an opening statement by the instructor, summarizing concisely the basis of the actions taken or the practices at issue.
  • The student shall then present an opening statement, summarizing concisely the basis for the appeal.
  • The instructor may then support his/her presentation by the testimony of witnesses and by other evidence. The student and the committee may question the instructor and the witnesses; the student’s adviser or counsel may not question the instructor or the witnesses.
  • The student may support his/her presentation by the testimony of witnesses or other evidence. The instructor and the committee may question the student and the witnesses; the instructor’s adviser or counsel may not question the student or the witnesses.
  • At the close of the evidence presented by the student, the instructor shall be given the opportunity to introduce rebuttal testimony, which must be limited to any matters that have been raised in the testimony presented by or in behalf of the student.
  • After all evidence has been presented, the instructor may make a final argument, after which the student may make a final argument.

Examples of Academic Dishonesty: Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying from another student’s paper, laboratory report or other report or computer files and listings;
  • Using, during a test or laboratory experiment, material and/or devices not authorized by the person in charge of the test;
  • Without the instructor’s permission, collaborating with another, knowingly assisting another or knowingly receiving the assistance of another in writing an examination or in satisfying any other course requirements;
  • Incorporating into written assignments materials written by others without giving them credit, or otherwise improperly using information written by others (including that which might be stored on computer disks or other technological devices); buying and submitting commercially prepared papers as one’s own;
  • Submission of multiple copies of the same or similar papers without prior approval of the several instructors involved;
  • Claiming as one’s own work that which was done by tutors or others with no mention of credit to or the assistance of those persons;
  • Deliberately damaging or destroying another’s laboratory experiments, computer work or studio work;
  • Knowingly obtaining access to, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting or soliciting in its entirety or in part, the contents of a test or other assignment unauthorized for release;
  • Substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for oneself, to take a test or other assignment or to make a presentation;
  • Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise;
  • Forgery, alterations or misuse of University documents;
  • Falsifying information submitted or failure to reveal relevant information in any University application form or offering any false information in any University disciplinary proceeding.

Withholding Transcripts

End-of-term grade reports are not withheld from students because of financial indebtedness. However, “holds” are placed on the release of permanent records (transcripts). Transcripts will not be released by the Office of the Registrar until satisfactory arrangements have been made by the student with the office that has placed the hold on the record. A student is promptly notified by the Office of the Registrar if there is any reason why that office cannot comply with the request to release his/her transcript. The student should resolve this matter by contacting the appropriate office(s).

Curricula Modification

Modifications of the required curricula may be made only on the recommendation of the student’s adviser and the dean of the college or school. Reasons for such modification include: (a) transferring from another college or university; (b) bypassing of basic courses by scoring satisfactorily on special examinations.

Credit is given only for courses in which the student has been regularly enrolled or for courses in which the student has scored satisfactorily on special examinations. A student who receives a satisfactory score on a special examination receives credit for the course but does not receive a letter grade.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.