Academic Privileges and Opportunities
Academic credit may be earned by means of special examinations. The Credit by Examination (CBE) program is available to current Iowa State students as well as prospective and entering students. Students with college-level profi ciency in particular areas are encouraged to investigate credit by examination early in their college careers. For more information, see Index, Credit by Examination.
Students may choose to take a maximum of 9 semester credit hours on a Pass-Not Pass basis, meaning that only a P or NP will be recorded as their fi nal grade in the course. The purpose of P-NP grading is to encourage students to broaden their education by taking courses outside the usual program of study for their major and minor disciplines. The following policies apply:
1. Undergraduate students who have earned at least 40 semester credits and who are not on academic probation at the beginning of the semester are eligible. A special student must obtain approval from their academic adviser and college dean.
2. Only elective courses may be taken on a P-NP basis. In specifi c majors, some restrictions may apply, so students should consult with their academic adviser.
3. Except for restrictions on its own undergraduate majors, a department may not deny the availability of any of its course offerings on a P-NP basis.
4. Courses offered on a satisfactory-fail basis may not be taken P-NP.
5. Students should register for a P-NP course in the same manner and at the same time that they register for their other courses. Students should then change to P-NP by processing a schedule change form with their academic adviser's signature in the P-NP approval section of the form.
6. Students who elect to change back to a graded basis should process the change using the P-NP section of the schedule change form.
7. Changes to or from a P-NP basis must be made before the last day to drop (usually the Friday of week 10 of the term). If the change from P-NP to a graded basis is made after the fi rst 10 class days of a semester (fi rst five days of summer session), the course will count toward the total P-NP credits allowed.
8. Registration on a P-NP basis is not indicated on the instructor's class list. Students will receive a P if their grade is D minus or better and an NP if their grade was F.
9. Neither P (earned grade of D minus or better) nor NP (earned grade of F) is counted in calculating a student's grade point average (GPA).
10. Students who pass a course taken under the P-NP system may not repeat the course. When students have taken a course and received a grade, they may not repeat it for P-NP credit.
11. When students change their curriculum, any P credits that they have accumulated will be accepted by the new department if such credits are in courses normally accepted by the department.
12. Credits taken on a P-NP basis at another institution and transferred to Iowa State may be applied as electives in a student's degree program if the credits are otherwise acceptable in that program. The number of P-NP transfer credits that can be accepted depends on the number permitted by the institution from which the student is transferring. If a student transfers more than nine semester P-NP credits, no additional Iowa State P-NP credits can be applied to the student's degree program.
To audit a course means to enroll in the course without receiving credit for it. The instructor must approve all audits and students must register for audits by day 10 of the semester. Students are assessed fees as though they are taking the course for credit, but the course does not count in determining full-time student status. Changing a course from credit to audit requires dropping the course for credit and adding it as an audit on a schedule change request form. If this occurs after day 5 of the semester, the drop will count toward the total allowable ISU drops.
Requests to audit a course will be honored only if there is space available in the course after the four-week registration period has ended. Once enrolled in a course, auditors have the same rights and privileges as any student taking the course for credit. Their names appear on the class list with a notation that they are auditing. To change the status of an audited course to a graded course, students must process the schedule change request form by day 5 of the semester. Audited courses do not appear on the student's permanent record except by special request from the student and the student's adviser with evidence showing that the student was actively involved in the course. Audited courses do not apply toward V.A. benefits.
An agreement to audit a 500 or 600 level course must be negotiated between the student and the course instructor. An audited course counts for only one credit in the graduate student's allowable course load; however, fees will be assessed for the full number of credits for the course.
Most departments offer opportunities for independent study through a 490 course listing. Usually a minimum of 6 to 10 credits of coursework in the department is required before independent study is permitted. Students who are interested in this kind of experience in a particular department should check the catalog to determine the department's prerequisites to register for 490. 490H sections are reserved for students in the University Honors Program. Students should check with the department about procedures, in addition to meeting the prerequisites, for registering for 490. A written plan of study is prepared in advance with a faculty member who has agreed to supervise the student's work, to evaluate progress and the final product, and to assign a grade. Initiation of the plan of study should occur prior to the semester in which enrollment is desired. Both the student and the instructor should agree on the number of credits for which the student will enroll, the amount and kind of work he or she will do for that credit, and the system by which she or he will be graded (A-F or S/F). Students should not expect to register for or add 490 credit without an instructor's permission. Some colleges and/or departments have limits on the number of credits of 490 that may be applied toward graduation.