2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jan 25, 2021  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Expectations

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Academic Performance


The normal progress rate toward graduation requires 12-16 semester credits and 24-32 grade points each semester. To be in good scholastic standing you must meet the following Minimum Grade Point Average Standard: Freshman - 2.00; Sophomore - 2.00; Junior - 2.00; Senior - 2.00. To graduate, a student must have a CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) and IGPA (Institutional Grade Point Average) of 2.00 or above. (See Resident Requirements under General Degree Requirements).

The following grade point averages are calculated each academic term (Fall, Spring, Summer):

  • Institutional GPA - based on credits earned at a specific Regental university. Utilized to determine if degree requirements have been met and to determine Honors Designation at Graduation.
  • System Term GPA - based on credits earned at any of the six Regental universities within a given academic term (Fall, Spring, Summer). Utilized to determine minimum progression status.
  • Transfer GPA - based on credits earned and officially transferred from an accredited college or university outside the Regental system. When a letter grade that normally calculates into the grade point average exists for a non-academic course (e.g., credit earned via examination), it will be included in the transfer GPA.
  • Cumulative GPA - based on all credits earned by the student (transfer credit plus system credit). Utilized to determine minimum progression status and to determine if degree requirements have been met.

Minimum Progression Standards

Class Credit Hour Range GPA Standard
Freshman 0-31.99 2.0
Sophomore 32-63.99 2.0
Junior 64-95.99 2.0
Senior 96+ 2.0

Minimum progression standards and related actions are based on the student’s cumulative grade point average and system term grade point average.

  1. A student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better is considered to be in good academic standing.
  2. If a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 in any academic term (i.e. fall, spring, summer), the student is placed on academic probation the following term.
  3. While on academic probation, the student must earn a system term grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  4. When a student on academic probation achieves a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better, the student is returned to good academic standing.
  5. A student on academic probation who fails to maintain a system term grade point average of 2.0 or better is placed on academic suspension for a minimum period of two academic terms.
  6. Students on academic suspension will not be allowed to register for any coursework at any Regental university except when an appeal has been approved by the Regental university from which the student is pursuing a degree. An approved appeal granted by one Regental university will be honored by all Regental universities. (Also refer to policy 2:3.3.G Probation/Suspension of Students.)
  7. Only Academic Suspension will be entered on the student’s transcript. Academic probation will be noted in the internal academic record only.

Progression and graduation are contingent upon satisfactory performance on the Proficiency Examination.

Academic Honesty


South Dakota State University has taken a strong and clear stand regarding academic dishonesty. The consequence of academic dishonesty ranges from disciplinary probation to expulsion. The full policies are found in Chapter 1 of the Student Code (01:10:25:01 - 1:10:25:04) within the Student Policy Manual. A student charged with academic dishonesty who wishes to appeal that charge may follow the Appeals Procedure outlined in Chapter 2 of the Student Policy Manual (Academic Appeals and Classroom Standards) or contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs Office, SAD 230, 605-688-4173.



SDSU is obligated to encourage its primary constituents, the students, to meet their responsibilities to themselves, their families, classmates, instructors and the taxpayers and donors who support higher education in South Dakota. For these reasons, the following policy as related to attendance is outlined.

Policy: Teaching and learning is a reciprocal process involving faculty and students. Faculty members have an obligation of holding classes on a regular basis and students have an expectation to attend and participate in classes on a regular basis. Faculty members determine the specific attendance policy for courses under their direct supervision and instruction. Attendance procedures must be stated in written form and distributed or posted electronically to students at the beginning of each course. If attendance is required and will impact grading, this expectation shall be included in the syllabus.

Absence due to personal reasons

Any exceptions to the faculty member’s written attendance policy due to verified medical reasons, death of a family members or significant other, or verified extenuating circumstances judged acceptable by the instructor or the Office of Academic Affairs, will be honored. If a student has an accident, falls ill, or suffers some other emergency over which he/she has no control, the student needs to gather whatever documentation is available (e.g., copies of repair or towing bills, accident reports or statements from health care provider) to show the instructor. Such exceptions must be communicated and negotiated between the student and faculty member prior to the absence whenever possible. Absences for vacations or breaks, personal interviews do not constitute a valid reason for absence.

Absence due to approved university-sponsored trips

Faculty and administration will honor officially approved absences where individuals are absent in the interest of officially representing the University. Appropriate sanctioned activities include:

  • Collegiate club sports and competitions;
  • Conferences and workshops recognized by the University not related to academics;
  • Commitments on behalf of the University (Students’ Association, Band, Choir, etc.);
  • Intercollegiate athletics; and
  • Professional activities recognized by the University related to academics (professional conference attendance, etc.)

Requests for excused absences must be submitted one week prior to the trip or event. Students must present the completed approved trip absence card to the faculty member prior to the trip or event to have an official excused absence. Faculty members are not required to honor incomplete or late cards.

Students with official “excused absences”

Students with excused absences will be given appropriate make up work or instructor-determined equivalent opportunities for obtaining grades as students who were in attendance. Students with official excused absences are not to be penalized in course progress or evaluation. However, should excused absences be excessive, the faculty member may recommend withdrawal from the course(s) or a grade of incomplete to the student.

Online Course attendance policy

Attendance policies do apply in the online classroom. Faculty members determine the specific attendance policy for courses under their direct supervision and instruction. Attendance procedures must be stated in written form and made available to students on the first day of the course. Common strategies for demonstrating “attendance” in an online course include login requirements per week, an identified number of discussion postings per week, consistent contact with peers and instructor, and/or other assignments as determined by the instructor. Also, students are expected to login to their class on the first day of the semester.

Mediation on absence

Arrangements should be negotiated with faculty members. If this is not possible, the students should go first to the department head, and if necessary, next to the dean. The student may contact the Office of Academic Affairs if conflict can not be resolved at these levels.

Class Definition

  1. Sophomore status requires 32 semester credit hours.
  2. Junior status requires 64 semester credit hours.
  3. Senior status requires 96 semester credit hours.



Electives are offered so students may develop special talents or interests. The choice of subjects is left to the student, provided the selections made are consistent with the academic standards of the University. Electives used to meet the general education core degree requirements must be chosen from the approved list.

The dean of the college (or designee) in which the degree is sought must approve registration in an elective if the course is to be counted toward the degree.

Rate of Progress


Each student is advised by a member of the faculty or staff. Classes consistent with your plan of study and properly adjusted as to the amount of work are arranged by the adviser and subject to approval by the dean.

The normal rate of progress for a student classified as an undergraduate is 16 credits each semester. To be a full-time student, all students classified as undergraduates must carry 12 semester credits; all students classified as master’s-level must carry a minimum of 9 semester credits for Fall/Spring semester and 4 or 6 semester credits for Summer Term; all students classified as doctoral level must carry a minimum of 7 credits for Fall/Spring semesters and 4 or 6 semester credits for Summer Term. Undergraduates will not be permitted to register in 19 or more semester credits the first term. Registration in 19 or more semester credits in subsequent terms is permitted only when the previous semester’s work shows high achievement.

All overloads of 19 or more credit hours must be approved by the dean or designee of the student’s college. Factors to consider when requesting a credit overload include: grade point average, total credits attempted and completed, specific courses, and time to graduation.