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Fall 2008 - Summer 2009
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CLASS Policies and Procedures
The goal of the advisors in the CLASS Academic Affairs Center and the departments within the college is to ensure that each student has access to competent academic advising at all stages of the student's college career. All incoming freshmen and transfer students are strongly encouraged to go through orientation, where pertinent policies and procedures are introduced and potential problems are discussed.
Orientation for the college is handled in conjunction with the Dean of Students Office. Once the student has been given an overall view of the college, the undergraduate advisor in each department helps students with the initial task of schedule planning and enrollment (registration). Thereafter, advisors are available on an ongoing basis should any questions or problems concerning academic progress occur .
Specific times when academic advising is suggested:
Declaration of Major
Many entering students have a well-defined career objective and major course of study. These students should declare their majors upon entering the college and should seek academic counsel from their major departments.
Freshman students who are uncertain of their majors are encouraged to enroll first as CLASS-unspecified majors and seek academic advising from the advisors for the major(s) they are considering. Before enrolling as juniors (60 hours), students must petition for a change in major to one of the degree programs in the college.
Change of Major
Students who wish to change their majors to any of the college's degree programs must have a 2.00 minimum cumulative grade point average on courses taken at this university, except students in their first semester of enrollment, who are exempt from the grade point average requirement. Some major programs, such as music, have additional requirements.
Students with less than a 2.00 grade point average are encouraged to obtain academic advising from the department to which they wish to change; however, they are not eligible to officially change their major until the required grade point average is attained.
To apply for a change of major, consult the departmental advisor of the desired major and submit an undergraduate general petition requesting the change.
The department and the Academic Affairs Center will review the petition and send notification of approval or disapproval to the department.
Students must meet all requirements of the catalog under which they are graduating. After selecting a major field of study, and no later than the beginning of the junior year, students should request that a degree plan be prepared through the department of their major. Students with double majors must file a degree plan with each major and should choose a primary major for record keeping and degree plan purposes. Students proposing a minor must file a declaration of minor form and minor degree plan in the department of their minor and obtain approval from that department's undergraduate advisor. Final major and minor degree plans for CLASS must be approved by the Academic Affairs Center. Degree plans for majors or minors will not be approved if the cumulative GPA at the time of the request in below 2.0.
Students may not count repeated course hours toward their graduation total or towards their 36 required advanced hours unless courses are listed in the catalog as repeatable, are designated as special/ selected topics or are required for their major.
CLASS strictly adheres to the university calendar, e.g., deadlines for admission and enrollment (registration), and drop dates, and application for graduation, etc. Exceptions are considered only for documented, extenuating, nonacademic circumstances.
Questions regarding grades in CLASS courses must be resolved within 90 calendar days following the posting of the grade. Grade changes are approved only for correction of errors in computing the grade, and a grade change form must be submitted no later than the close of the semester/summer session following the posting of the grade.
Grades of I (incomplete) must be resolved within one year of the posting of the grade. Incomplete grades must be resolved with the instructor awarding the grade. Incomplete grades cannot be resolved by reenrolling (reregistering) for the course in question.
Fulfillment of Grade Requirements for a Degree
To determine the fulfillment of degree requirements, the required grade point average for graduation is calculated as described in the Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements section of this catalog with the following differences:
Filing for Graduation
Degrees are not awarded automatically upon completion of the scholastic requirements. To be a candidate for a degree, students must submit an application for graduation by the stated deadline in the university schedule, for the intended semester of graduation. Candidates for graduation who were previously disapproved must reapply.
Successful graduation candidates can anticipate the posting of the degree approximately six to eight weeks after the official closing date of the semester, and the receipt of their diplomas approximately six to eight weeks after the degree is posted.
Undergraduate Course Load
Course loads for undergraduate students are determined by university policy, curriculum of study, and personal factors such as work and family responsibilities. See the Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements section of this catalog for a complete discussion of course loads. In general, for those students who expect to complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree in about four years, the maximum undergraduate course loads for the fall and spring semesters are as follows:
The totals listed above include all courses for which students may wish to enroll. Permission to take course loads above these maximums must be approved by the faculty advisor (or the chair of the major department) and dean. (See Regulations and Requirements section for details on maximum course loads and overloads for Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions. Students on probation must check regulations and requirements for specific class load limitations.)
Academic Grievance Policy
In the normal conduct of education at the University of Houston, justifiable grievances may arise concerning the violation of university, college, or department academic policies or procedures. CLASS is committed to resolving these grievances in a fair, orderly, and expeditious manner. To that end, the college has established informal and formal procedures beginning at the department level for settling academic grievances.
An academic grievance refers to an action taken against a student by a member of the faculty (including part-time instructors and teaching assistants), staff, or administration that either violates a university, college, or department academic policy or procedure or prejudicially treats the student on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, veteran status, or any other nonacademic status.
Because assigning a grade or evaluating a student's work performance involves the faculty's professional judgment and is an integral part of the faculty's teaching responsibilities, disagreement with an instructor concerning a grade or evaluation is not a justifiable grievance to be considered under this policy unless factors such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph can be shown to have affected that grade or evaluation.
A student with a justifiable grievance that can be substantiated should initiate academic grievance proceedings within 90 calendar days of the action in dispute.
Any student who believes he or she has an academic grievance involving CLASS should first try to resolve the grievance informally with the faculty member or other involved parties within 90 calendar days of the action in dispute. In some cases, the student may have to discuss the grievance with the department chair, the college officer designated by the dean, or both before obtaining a satisfactory resolution .
If the informal discussions do not resolve the academic grievance, the aggrieved student may initiate a formal grievance by submitting a written complaint to the chair of the department involved (or the college officer designated by the dean if the chair is the focus of the grievance) as soon as the informal proceedings have ended.
The aggrieved student who does not obtain a satisfactory resolution at the departmental level may file a formal appeal first with the office of the dean and then, failing to obtain satisfaction, with the office of the senior vice president for academic affairs.
The procedures a graduate student must follow to file an academic grievance in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences are in the Faculty Handbook. The procedures an undergraduate student must follow are available in writing in the office of each department in the college and in the Office of the Dean (402-AH).
Freshman students who earn less than a 2.00 grade point average in the first long semester (i.e., Fall or Spring) of enrollment at the University of Houston shall be placed on academic notice. All new students are encouraged to take 15 hours or less in their first semester at this university. Students on academic notice are not on academic probation and cannot be suspended. Students on academic notice must be advised by the Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH and their major departments.
Students are placed on academic probation if their cumulative grade point average falls below 2.00. Freshman and sophomore students on academic probation are urged to seek advising in their major departments. They may also consult the advisors in the Academic Advising Center of Undergraduate Scholars at UH.
Students on academic probation whose cumulative grade point average is below 2.00 but whose semester or summer session grade point average is 2.00 or higher will remain on academic probation.
Students on academic probation will be removed from that status when their semester or summer session grade point average is 2.00 or higher and their cumulative grade point average is at or above 2.00.
Readmission from Suspension
Any student suspended from the college for academic or disciplinary reasons is ineligible to return during the designated period of suspension. Students may apply to the CLASS Academic Affairs Center for readmission after scheduling an appointment with their academic advisor, who will make a recommendation regarding readmission. Students must check with the CLASS Academic Affairs Center for the time period during which they may begin the readmission process. While on suspension at UH, a CLASS student may not enroll in classes as follows:
CLASS does not grant readmission during summer terms. Students should be advised that readmission is neither automatic nor guaranteed.
A student readmitted from academic suspension enters the semester on probation and must fulfill the following requirements to avoid further academic action.
Failure to attend the university during the semester of readmission cancels the readmission approval. Students may reapply in any subsequent semester.
Special Problems Courses and Internships
Each CLASS area provides opportunities for majors and minors to take special problems (independent study) courses and/or internships. Participation in special problems courses and/or internships requires an approved petition to be on file in the appropriate department. No more than six semester hours of these special problems courses and/or internships may be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements in CLASS. An unlimited number may apply toward elective hours.
Questions concerning transfer credit are resolved by the petition process. This process originates in the department of the major, and the petitions are routed to the relevant department and dean's offices.
The Dean's List, a tabulation of the names of all undergraduate honor students, is compiled each semester. To qualify for this recognition in CLASS, students must earn a 3.50 minimum grade point average (the grade of S is not counted) on twelve or more semester hours completed during the semester. At least nine of the twelve semester hours must be letter grades. Students who earn a grade of I (except in a senior honors thesis course), D, F, or U during the semester are excluded from consideration for the Dean's List. Students who have filed a Request to Withhold Public Information form with the university will not be listed.
Special Programs and Organizations
The Center for Immigration Research was established in 1995 to conduct research on immigration processes and issues that have policy implications at the local, national and international levels. A major goal of the center is to train students in immigration research. Students work as assistants in research projects and use center research data for writing senior honors theses. The center conducts research from a wide range of perspectives, e.g., health, religion and federal policies in local, national and international areas. Findings from center projects are shared with policy makers and the public through conferences, professional publications and public media. The center actively seeks working collaborations with other academic institutions and community organizations in the United States and abroad.
Center for Public Policy
Established in 1981, the Center for Public Policy serves the Houston community as an impartial research organization in the University of Houston's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Drawing on the collective research and public service interests of university faculty, the center was designed to identify and evaluate major public policy issues through program activities that include conferences and symposia; economic, demographic and political research; and educational programs. Supported by an advisory board of Houstonians prominent in business and civic affairs, the center maintains cooperative relationships with many educational and public service entities in the Houston area.
International Telecommunications Research Institute
The International Telecommunications Research Institute (ITRI) has three primary objectives: to assist in the successful implementation and utilization of communication technology, to address the social consequences of communication technology, and to study the underlying processes involved in people's interaction with communication technology. Areas of research include identification of factors that influence the success or failure of communication systems and services, the potential of telecommunications for altering social and cultural patterns in ways un-anticipated by society, and applied research on communication technology.
The institute staff includes faculty members from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. In addition, leading scholars from universities and research institutes around the world may become associates of the institute for specific projects related to their areas of expertise.
The ITRI archives contain a number of telecommunications journals as well as files of articles and reports on broadcasting, computers, teleconferencing, electronic mail, social and public policy issues, and other topics related to telecommunications. The institute has received several significant library contributions.
Inter-University Consortium for International Studies
The University of Houston, the University of St. Thomas, and Texas Southern University have established the Inter-University Consortium for International Studies to broaden the opportunities for undergraduates to take courses in the field of international studies.
Students may take certain approved courses at any of the three universities without added tuition. This opportunity is subject to the following conditions:
For more information write:
The college provides counseling in preprofessional training to all undergraduates who wish to prepare for the study of law. Such counseling includes providing students with a list of recommended courses that undergraduates may take regardless of their social science major. These recommended courses significantly benefit pre-law students in several ways: they better prepare students for the formal study of law, they increase the capacity to perform well on the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT), and many are useful to the future practice of law.
In addition to recommending courses to undergraduate pre-law students, the college offers counseling on such subjects as how to prepare for the LSAT, the process of selecting the law school best suited to the student's personal desires and credentials, and the procedures for applying to law school. Up-to-date information is also provided on the various career opportunities and general employment prospects within the legal field.
Address all inquiries about pre-law counseling and training to:
Please see the departmental sections for recommended courses.
The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP), located in 501
Ezekiel Cullen, is the umbrella for all study abroad programs at the University
Three types of programs are offered:
Students must apply to Faculty-Led programs through the departments.
Social Sciences Laboratory
The Social Sciences Laboratory is sponsored jointly by the departments of Political Science and Sociology to facilitate computer applications in research and teaching among the faculty and students of those departments. The laboratory serves as an archive for data received from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research and other sources and offers a series of training workshops and class presentations on computer usage, data analysis, and word processing. Laboratory facilities include 21 microcomputer terminals providing use of current software applications and access to the university's mainframe system.
CLASS departments and schools hold the following accreditations: