Jul 25, 2024  
University Catalog 2024-2025 
University Catalog 2024-2025

Academic Policies

Return to: General University Overview    

Student Classification

A regular student is one who has satisfied all entrance requirements, is qualified to pursue a curriculum leading to a degree, and is pursuing one of the prescribed curricula of the University.

A full-time undergraduate student is one enrolled in at least 8 semester hours for the quarter, excluding credit examinations and audited courses.

A part-time undergraduate student is one enrolled in fewer than 8 semester hours for the quarter.

A visiting student is one who has not been regularly admitted to the University and is not approved to pursue a curriculum. This undergraduate admission is for one quarter only. A student is not eligible to register for an additional quarter under the visiting student classification without reapplying for undergraduate admission for a subsequent quarter.

A transfer student is one who has previously enrolled at another college or university prior to enrolling at Tech.

A postbaccalaureate student holds at least one bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, but has not been admitted to the Graduate School and is not pursuing a prescribed undergraduate curriculum. A postbaccalaureate student may not take classes for graduate credit, and any course taken to make up undergraduate deficiencies cannot be later transferred for graduate credit. A student who holds a bachelor’s degree and is pursuing a curriculum leading to another bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate regular student.

A graduate student holds at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution (or in the case of an international student, from a recognized international institution) and has gained admission to Louisiana Tech University’s Graduate School.

Classification by Hours Earned

Classification Number of Hours Earned
Freshman 0-29 hours earned
Sophomore 30-59 hours earned
Junior 60-89 hours earned
Senior ≥ 90 hours earned

Semester Hour/Quarter Calendar

Louisiana Tech University operates on a quarter calendar, but the unit of academic credit awarded is the semester hour. This is accomplished by increasing the amount of contact time per class meeting. One and one-fourth hours (75 minutes) of recitation (class meeting) each week (total 750 minutes per term) is usually awarded one semester hour of academic credit; two 75-minute class meetings each week (total 1,500 minutes per term) yield two semester hours; three 75-minute meetings (total 2,250 minutes per term) yield three semester hours, and so on. Two or more periods of laboratory work per week are normally counted as one recitation, yielding one semester hour of academic credit. Credit for each course is described in the Courses section using a three-part numerical description. The first digit indicates the number of lab contact hours per week. The second digit is the number of lecture periods per week (75 minute class meetings). The final digit indicates the credit awarded for the class in semester hours. For example, the annotation 0-3-3 would mean that a course had 0 lab contact hours, 3 lecture periods per week, and successful completion of the course would yield 3 semester hours of academic credit.

Approved University Academic Calendars are published and changes updated on the University website at http://www.latech.edu/registrar/calendar.shtml.

Semester Hour Load

The maximum load allowed without special permission is 12 semester hours for undergraduate students, 9 semester hours for graduate students. This also applies to a full Summer Quarter. Six semester hours are maximum for any six- or three-week session during the Summer.

A degree candidate or a student with a “B” average (3.0), both overall and in the preceding quarter, may be permitted to register for more than 12 hours. Students attempting to register for 13 or more semester hours require written approval from their academic dean (or the dean’s designated representative) in the form of a signature and a specific approval statement on the advising form or drop/add form. Students requesting to register for 15 or more semester hours will require approval and signature from their academic dean (or the dean’s designated representative) and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Correspondence or Internet courses and concurrent enrollments at other institutions are considered as part of this load and must also be approved by the dean.

As for a minimum load, fulltime undergraduate students must be registered for 8 semester hours. A degree candidate may carry only the courses required for graduation at the end of the quarter and still be considered a fulltime student.

A graduate student is considered full-time with 6 or more graduate hours.

Credit examinations and classes taken for audit do not count in a student’s load.

Course Numbers

Courses are numbered as follows: freshmen, 100-level; sophomores, 200-level; juniors, 300-level; seniors, 400-level; graduate students, 500- & 600-level. Developmental courses with a catalog number beginning with zero (e.g. ENGL 099 /LCCN CENL 09xx; or MATH 099 /CMAT 09xx) will not be counted toward an academic degree.

Students with a Freshman or Sophomore classification are not eligible to register for 400-level (Senior) courses without the written approval of the academic dean (or the dean’s designated representative) of the college responsible for that specific subject and course.

Certain 400-level courses may be taken by graduate students for graduate credit; in such cases, graduate students complete additional research assignments of graduate-level rigor. The letter ‘G’ in parentheses, (G), appears at the end of those 400-level undergraduate course descriptions which are approved for graduate level work. When taught for graduate credit, those courses are taught by Graduate Faculty.

Only students admitted to the Graduate School may enroll in 500-, 600-, and 700-level courses.

Registration and Advisement

Students may attend class only after completion of advisement and registration, which includes payment of tuition and fees. Registration days and detailed registration and tuition/fee payment procedures are contained in the Schedule of Classes published online at https://catalog.latech.edu/content.php?catoid=13&navoid=461 each quarter. Students use their Bulldog Online Student System (BOSS) account to complete online registration and tuition/fee payment.

Students who are currently enrolled are expected to register for the next quarter during the early registration period conducted the last three weeks of each quarter.

New students and readmitted students will complete advisement, registration, and tuition/fee payment during the General Registration period that usually begins the day after Purge #1 each quarter.

Late Registration (also known as the “no-grade” Drop/Add period) is allowed during the first three regular class days. A Late Registration fee is assessed during this period. Students who have registered may also add or drop classes (adjust schedules) during these three days.

Students who are selected for participation in forensics, band, choir, chorus, orchestra, and private music lessons after the final day to add a class may still be allowed to add the activity by obtaining their dean’s written permission. Such course additions will be considered only during the first four weeks of the quarter.

Department heads or appointed faculty members advise during the weeks immediately preceding the scheduled early registration period; however, the student should be well acquainted with his/her particular curriculum, as well as any special advising and registration requirements of his/her department or college.

Students are responsible for taking the courses required in their curriculum as they are offered and are responsible for completing any prerequisites that are required.

Class Attendance

Students and Faculty will use Louisiana Tech University Policy 2206 - Class Attendance. This policy applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Student Responsibilities

Upon registration, students accept the responsibility to attend regularly and punctually all classes in which they are enrolled. Failure to do so may jeopardize a student’s scholastic standing and may lead to suspension from the College or University. As University policy, a course instructor may recommend to the student’s academic dean that a freshman or sophomore student be withdrawn from the rolls of the class if the student amasses excessive unexcused absences (more than 10% of total class time).

The student is responsible for making arrangements satisfactory to the instructor regarding absences including prior notification of planned absences, providing documentation if needed, and making up of examinations and work as required. For other emergency absences, the student shall submit excuses for class absences to the appropriate instructor within three class days following the student’s return to his/her respective class. For classes which meet once a week, the excuse shall be presented no later than one calendar week following the student’s return. The Registrar’s Office does not issue excuses.

Faculty Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the individual instructor to establish a specific policy regarding class attendance. Faculty members are required to state in writing to the students their expectations in regard to class attendance at the beginning of the term (no later than the close of the drop and add period). Each instructor shall keep a permanent attendance record for each class. These records will be used to verify attendance to the Office of Financial Aid as required. The records are subject to inspection by appropriate College or University officials. As University policy, a course instructor may recommend to the student’s academic Dean that a freshman or sophomore student be withdrawn from the rolls of the class if the student receives excessive unexcused absences (more than 10% of total class time).

In accordance with the instructor’s written policy, the course instructor will determine the validity of a student’s reason(s) for absences and will assist those students who have valid reasons. Examples of valid reasons for consideration of absences include:

  1. Illness
  2. Serious family emergencies
  3. Special curricular requirements such as judging trips or field trips
  4. Court-imposed legal obligations such as subpoenas or jury duty
  5. Military obligations
  6. Serious weather conditions
  7. Religious observances (Faculty are to assist students whose religious beliefs require their absence from class in order to exercise those beliefs so that they are not penalized.)

Official University Excuses

Official University Excuses must be presented to the faculty member by the student prior to the absences and will be accepted as excused absences.

Group activities which conflict with scheduled classes may be sponsored (1) by the academic department and approved by the academic dean using the “Official University Excuse Form” found at http://www.latech.edu/latechnet/documents/academic-affairs.shtml or (2) through the university athletic absence process. The sponsor will provide a copy of the documentation to the student(s) for presentation to respective instructor(s). Official University Excuses may be approved only in the following circumstances:

  • A trip by a group of students in fulfillment of class or departmental requirements and the University controls time, route, and mode of travel.
  • Travel by an individual or non-class group for the purpose of representing the University and the University controls the time, route, and mode of travel (athletics and athletic support groups as examples).
  • Authorized special duties at the University: (examples, ROTC students required participation, band members required participation in on-campus events).

University Excuse Appeals Process

If a student believes he/she has been treated unreasonably because of participation in a University authorized activity, he/she can appeal using the following sequence of appeal to (1) individual faculty member, (2) departmental chairperson and (3) the appropriate college dean (college offering the course). The decision of the dean is considered final. The sponsor of the activity will assist the student with the appeal and provide evidence of proper documentation and faculty notification of the class absence(s) in question.

Dropping a Course

To drop a course a student must have the consent (signature) of his/her academic advisor or department head on the proper Drop/Add form and the form must be processed through the Registrar’s Office. The “W” grade is assigned when a student drops an individual class after the final date for late registration (third class day) has passed and before the end of the first eight weeks of a quarter. After that published date, dropped courses are assigned an “F” grade. The deadline for dropping a class with a “W” grade is published in the University Academic Calendar found on the University website http://www.latech.edu/registrar/calendar.shtml.

A student may be administratively dropped from a class, or more than one class, or from the rolls of the University, if his/her academic dean considers such action to be in the best interest of the class or the University. In such a case, the dean will decide whether the student will be assigned a “W” or “F” grade.

Resigning From the University

To resign from Louisiana Tech University, a student obtains a resignation card from the Registrar’s Office, obtains the applicable signatures listed in the instructions on the card, and then returns the card to the Registrar’s Office for final processing. The TECH I.D. card should be turned in to the Tech Express Office, located in the Student Center. A resignation is not official until the required card is processed in the Registrar’s Office. When a student resigns before the close of Late Registration, the permanent record will reflect only that he/she registered and resigned. When a student resigns during the first eight weeks of the quarter, the grade of “W” will be assigned. A grade of “F” for each class will be recorded for any student who leaves without following resignation procedures. A student living in the dormitories or housing who leaves without proper resignation will forfeit the unused portion of any payment or deposit made to the University.

Appeal Process for Course Drop/Resignation after the End of the Eighth Week

Approval of an appeal for dropping a course or resigning after Friday of the Eighth Week of the Quarter may be granted by the student’s academic dean only for a documented reason which prohibited accomplishing the process before the quarterly deadline and/or the completion of the course(s).

The student will initiate the appeal request in writing with their academic dean. After review, and with the dean’s written approval, a grade of “W” (or resignation with “W” grades) will be assigned. Examples of cases eligible for appeal are illness or injury to student (with medical documentation), death in student’s immediate family, military duty (with a copy of official mobilization/deployment orders), or a natural disaster. Extraordinary cases do not include dissatisfaction with an anticipated grade, a belated decision to change a major, ignorance of or failure to follow University policy and procedure.

If a student believes there is a discrepancy in the resignation date entered, the student will initiate a written appeal with their academic dean. This written appeal must contain a written account of what discrepancies may exist and provide documentation to support the date change appeal. The academic dean will review the entire written appeal, and review any school-based documentation. School-based documentation includes: student registration audit trail, status notifications sent to the student from financial aid, comptroller, or registrar, and any other variables of relevance to the written appeal (e.g. medical or legal). The academic dean will make the final determination and will notify the student in writing, with a copy of the decision provided to the registrar for any archive and actions or changes.

Repeating a Course

All attempts at a repeated course will be computed into the cumulative grade point average. For courses that cannot be repeated for credit, only the last attempt is computed into the total hours earned. Students who earn an “F” in a course must repeat the course with a passing grade in order to earn credit. (See Graduation Requirements  and Academic Standards  for an explanation of the method by which quality points are used in determining averages for graduation and for probation and suspension.) The last attempt of a repeated course is considered as the final grade.

Auditing a Course

To audit a course, the applicant must be eligible for admission to the University in one of the stated admission categories for undergraduate or graduate students. Permission to audit a physical education activity class must be obtained from the Kinesiology Department Head. A student auditing one or more classes must follow the regular registration procedure and notify the University Registrar’s office of their intent to “audit” the course prior to the end of the drop/add period (first three days of class).

Students auditing courses will be charged the same amount of tuition and fees as students taking the course for credit. Hours taken for audit are not factored into a student’s full time load, are not used to verify full-time enrollment, are not calculated into the GPA (quarterly or cumulative), and are not eligible for use in President’s or Dean’s List determinations.

The auditing student is not required to do the work of a regular student; however, a reasonable amount of class attendance is expected if the audited course is to appear on the student’s permanent record. An audit may not be changed to credit, or vice versa, after registration closes (end of late registration).

Changing a Major

To change an academic major, the student should follow this procedure:

Changing a Major - BOSS Instructions:

Undergraduate Students may change majors, minors or concentrations by following the instructions below.  Changes made anytime after the ninth class day of the quarter will be effective the following quarter unless otherwise specified by the gaining Academic Dean. All you have to do is:

  1. Login to the Louisiana Tech Central Authentication Service (CAS) by clicking here: LOUISIANA TECH CAS LOGIN
  2. Select Start a Program Change Request
  3. Once the Program Change Request is completed, select Preview & Submit
  4. If no errors, select Proceed to Sign
  5. Enter student name and select I Verify
  6. Once the form has received the appropriate signatures, it will be sent to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

As a note, you can click on “Check Forms Status” and you can see how far along a form is in the process.

NOTE: Graduate Students seeking to change their admitted graduate program must apply to the Graduate School for admission to the new graduate program

Change of Address/Phone Number

Students are responsible for keeping the University informed of address, telephone number, and personal e-mail changes as soon as they occur. Current students can make these changes online via his/her Student BOSS account or by loading and updating Emergency Notification System (ENS) information. See the ENS information contained on the University website at http://www.latech.edu/administration/ens.php.

The University will consider all correspondence mailed to a student at the address currently on file to have been received unless it is returned to the sender.

Veteran’s Certification

Louisiana Tech University provides Veteran’s liaison service with Veterans Affairs (VA) for students eligible to receive VA educational benefits. Those VA students attending classes taught at the main campus in Ruston are certified by the Veteran’s School Certifying Official (VA SCO) located in the Office of the University Registrar, Keeny Hall Room 207. VA students attending courses taught at TECH - Barksdale AFB are certified by the Veteran’s School Certifying Official (VA SCO) located in the TECH - Barksdale AFB Office, located in the Education Services Building on Barksdale AFB, Bossier City, LA.

Students who are eligible to receive Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 benefits are exempt from the purge due to non-payment of courses.  Once certifcation of beneftis is complete, the VA funds will apply to the account.  If any remaining balance exists, the student will be responsible for it at that time. 

Credit by Examination and Other Non-University Sources

Louisiana Tech University believes that students possessing knowledge equivalent to that attained in a specific course should be advanced to the next course level so that a continuous educational challenge is provided. There is no requirement as to where and how the knowledge was acquired. Certain policies and procedures have been adopted by the University in fulfillment of this philosophy. All attempts are transcribed, and unsuccessful attempts are not counted against the student. Application of credits toward a degree is determined by the student’s curriculum. Credit by all types of examinations collectively may not exceed 60 semester hours.

The University provides for credit through the Advanced Placement Program, various Credit by Examination programs, credit for military experience, and credit through the DANTES program.

A student will not be allowed to receive credit by examination or from other non-University sources if he/she has previously registered for the course. In each case, students should check with their curriculum advisor, department head, or dean to ensure the credit will be acceptable as a substitute for the course in their curriculum.  You may only attempt a placement or credit exam once; if you do not pass the first time, you will not be allowed to repeat the exam.

Advanced Placement (AP) Program Credit

The University recognizes college-level courses taken in secondary schools under the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) program. Students who have completed these tests should have their scores sent to the Admissions Office. Students may earn up to 30 semester credit hours through the AP program. Go to the following web site for credits you may earn: https://www.latech.edu/admissions/testing-and-advanced-placement/.

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Subject Examinations

A student may gain college credit in a number of subjects by achieving the recommended score for credit at Louisiana Tech. The CLEP is administered nationally by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Applications for CLEP subject exams may be obtained from any test center participating in the program. The exams are given on main campus by appointment, Monday - Friday, in the Testing and Disability Services Office located in Wyly Tower Room 318. Scores are reported by ETS through its transcript service. Students should check with their academic dean or department head to ensure credit earned from the CLEP exam will be an acceptable substitute in their degree curriculum. A student will not be allowed to receive credit based upon the CLEP subject exam if he/she is currently or has previously registered for the course. Credit by CLEP exams is limited to 30 semester hours. A list of available examinations can be found on the College Board’s website: www.collegeboard.com.  More information regarding CLEP exams can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website https://www.latech.edu/admissions/testing-and-advanced-placement/.

Louisiana Tech Credit Examinations

Credit examinations are administered in some subject areas for the benefit of the student who believes he/she has already attained the level of knowledge required in the course(s). The procedure for registering for credit by examination is as follows:

Students may register for credit by examination in any approved course, but only during regular registration periods. You may only attempt a placement or credit exam once; if you do not pass the first time, you will not be allowed to repeat the exam.  No exam can be given to a student who has not properly registered for the exam. Permission to take a credit exam in a given course is denied to students who previously attempted the course for credit, earned credit in a higher sequence course, or did not receive approval from the department head responsible for the course.

Each credit by exam has a section number of E01 and will be entered on the student’s registration form or added during the “add period.” Regular University tuition/fees will apply for billing purposes.

The student’s registration record will reflect the credit by exam course(s) for which the student registered; these courses will not, however, be added into the total semester hour load of the student for determining “fulltime” status, but will be counted for the purpose of determining fees.

Exams are administered according to the times listed in the Schedule of Classes or times assigned by the department head. Exams are normally scheduled during the first three class days of a quarter.

Successful completion of an exam will be recorded on the permanent academic record as “credit exam” with a grade of “S” (Satisfactory). Grades of “S” are not used to compute the grade point average. The grade of “NC” (No Credit) is loaded if the student does not take or does not pass the credit examination. The “NC” denotes no credit earned and is not used in the GPA calculations.

Credits earned through this type of exam are limited to 30 semester hours on a student’s degree plan.

Mathematics Credit by Exam

Credit for MATH 101  is granted for each student with a Math ACT score greater than or equal to 26 or a Math SAT score greater than or equal to 590 if the Math ACT/SAT score was earned within the previous five years.

Credit for MATH 101  or MATH 112  is granted to each student who is eligible for and successfully completes the Credit Exam for the course. See the Placement in Mathematics and Statistics section of this Catalog for eligibility requirements for each exam.

Credit Based on Military Experience

Honorably discharged members of the U.S. Armed Forces may be allowed credit for physical education upon presentation of a copy of their discharge, DD 214, to the Veteran’s Liaison Counselor, located in the Registrar’s Office.

Additional credit may be granted for course work completed in service schools where equivalence in terms of college courses has been recommended for college credit in the Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experience in the Armed Services, published by the American Council on Education. Official military service documents must be transmitted electronically to the Office of the University Registrar for an evaluation of these experiences. For veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, the Joint Services Transcript (JST) is the instrument of choice. Veterans of the Air Force will use the Air University’s Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript. Students should check with their curriculum advisor, department head, or dean to ensure the credit will be acceptable as a substitute for the course in their curriculum.

Credit through DANTES

Louisiana Tech University is a participating institution with the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) program. Credits earned are recognized by the University in accordance with the recommendations of the curriculum in which the student enrolls and must not duplicate other college credits earned.

A student will not be allowed to receive DANTES credit if he/she is currently enrolled in or has previously registered for the course. Students should check with their curriculum advisor, department head, or dean to ensure the credit will be acceptable as a substitute for the course in their curriculum.

Campus-Wide Identification (CWID) Number

Louisiana Tech University uses a Campus-Wide Identification (CWID) number as the primary means of identifying students. Although the student’s social security number is still a required element of University student academic and financial information, it is not used as the primary means to positively identify students in the Student Information System. Access to the student’s social security number is restricted to a very limited number of financial aid, comptroller, registrar, and student affairs administrators.

All student products, to include their Student ID Card (Tech Express Card) use the CWID. This 8-digit number is provided to the student at official notification of admission and remains with them permanently. The CWID is a non-sequential, machine generated number that does not mimic numbering sequences from the student’s social security number.

While the CWID is designed to provide additional protection for students against identity theft, the CWID itself should be afforded the same type of protection as the social security number.

Bulldog Online Student System (BOSS)

BOSS provides each student with a unique account that allows the student to access their academic records and demographics in the Student Information System via the web. Each student is provided with a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) known as a BOSS PIN that, when used in conjunction with their student identification number (CWID), provides private access to items such as transcripts, grades, web registration, web tuition/fee payment, and numerous demographic and student service menu items. Some of the demographic categories allow for changes to be made online, such as updates to emergency contact information for the Emergency Notification System (ENS).

New undergraduate and graduate students receive their CWID and BOSS PIN immediately following admission to Louisiana Tech University. This notification takes the form of an e-mail to the e-mail account they load on their application, and also on the letter of acceptance received from Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions as appropriate. Undergraduate students will receive a printed reminder of their CWID and BOSS PIN and their TECH e-mail USERID while attending Orientation.

If the student does not attend Orientation, is a new graduate student, or an online only program student, they will also receive their CWID and BOSS PIN immediately following admission to Louisiana Tech University via e-mail and a letter of acceptance from the appropriate admissions office. These new students should follow the instructions found on their notifications that will direct them to appropriate TECH web site areas for obtaining support in setting up their account.

For their own privacy and protection, students should not give out their TECH USERID, password, Campus Wide Identification (CWID) - student identification number, or BOSS PIN to anyone.

The University will only e-mail reminders of the BOSS PIN to the student’s TECH e-mail account. The University will not e-mail these elements to commercial ISP accounts without first receiving a signed written release authorizing the University to e-mail or FAX the PIN to an account/number of the student’s specification. If a student “pops” their e-mail from their TECH account to a commercial ISP account, the student assumes personal responsibility for the protection of their private information.

The University strongly suggests that students change their BOSS PIN (BOSS menu option “Change PIN”) to an alpha/numeric sequence only they know (and can readily remember).

TECH E-mail

Louisiana Tech University provides each enrolled student with a TECH e-mail account. TECH faculty and administrators use this e-mail account as one of the primary means for communicating with the student body, other faculty, and other staff. Faculty members and administrators use this account to transmit private information to a student through the University’s information security mechanisms; information that will not be transmitted through commercial ISP accounts for security reasons.

Students are encouraged to activate and use their TECH e-mail account as soon as possible after registration and tuition/fee payment and to check their e-mail account daily. USERID and password information is available at http://helpdesk.latech.edu/ or at the University Computing Center (Basement, Wyly Tower of Learning).