Jun 26, 2019  
2017-2018 Catalog 
    
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Enrollment and Graduation



Registrar’s Office
James E. Short Center
710 S Atlantic
Dillon MT 59725-3598
(406) 683-7371

The Office of the Registrar & Institutional Research provides enrollment and student records services for the UMW community. In addition, the department serves as a major provider of current and historical institutional data that is used by various constituencies to determine effectiveness of University operations and to assist with organizational planning and advancement.

In fulfilling its mission, the department helps to further the institutional strategic plan by continuously striving for excellence, improving responsiveness to the needs of campus and community constituents, enhancing Montana Western’s ability to assess student success, and assuring institutional accountability.

Registration

To participate in UMW’s learning/instructional activities, receive university credit for classes completed, and earn grades, eligible individuals must officially enroll in classes and pay all required expenses at the start of a term/semester and within deadlines outlined in the UMW Academic Calendar. Current students will find registration information on the University’s website. Registration-related information is normally given to new students upon notification of acceptance for admission to Montana Western.

Montana Western operates on a semester calendar. Students are expected to register prior to the start of a term for all classes they plan to take that term. Exceptions (late adds) may be approved but only in instances where students verify that extenuating circumstances prevented them from registering for all classes before the start of the term. Students are expected to register for all classes before the semester begins.

A student’s registration is not complete until all fees are paid or until fee payment arrangements have been made; deadlines apply.

Who May Register

  • Current students in “good” academic standing;
  • Students new to UMW who have satisfactorily completed the UMW admissions procedure;
  • Former/previous students who have been officially readmitted; and
  • Part-time, evening, weekend, and off-campus students who have completed the appropriate Application/Registration forms and who are otherwise eligible to register.

Registration procedures vary slightly depending upon:

  • The term of enrollment;
  • Status as a current or new student;
  • Whether registration is for day, evening, weekend, on-campus, off-campus, or internet classes;
  • The number of classes/credits attempted; and
  • Whether the prospective enrollee is pursuing completion of a degree or formal program of study at UMW.

DAWGS Online Enrollment System

“DAWGS” Online Student Enrollment Information System provides students electronic access to their UMW records and enrollment status. Students are encouraged to check their personal information on DAWGS regularly to assure accuracy. Information available to students via DAWGS includes:

  • Final grades for a term or block.
  • Transcript information.
  • Mailing and billing address information.
  • Student e-mail address(es) on file.
  • Emergency contacts on file.
  • View “holds” (if any).
  • Enrollment verification self-service.
  • Registration and class schedule change information (students can add or drop classes via DAWGS prior to the start of a term).
  • Current student class schedule details.
  • Account/billing information.
  • Access to course descriptions.
  • Current and future term course offerings.

Students access DAWGS account information by following the instructions below.

  1. Select “Login To DAWGS”.
  2. Enter Password, User ID (Student ID number) and PIN (initially the student’s birth date in “mmddyy” format; example: if DOB is June 7, 1972, PIN is 060772). The system will prompt first-time DAWGS users to change their PIN for security purposes and require them to enter an “alternate security access” question & answer in case they forget their new PIN number.
  3. Select Menu items as needed.
  4. Exit the system and close the browser to prevent unauthorized third-party access to confidential account information in DAWGS.

UMW does all it can to secure its computer network and systems from unauthorized access. However, the protection of the systems can be compromised if people do not protect their ID and password. In an environment where transactions are processed, it is imperative that the integrity of the data is protected by ensuring that IDs and passwords are secure. This is the responsibility of all users of the system. Identity theft is a serious crime and should be reported to appropriate on-and off-campus authorities: Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/, or the UMW Dean of Students or Director of Information Technology Services (ITS).

Specific instructions for using the registration and add/drop features in DAWGS on the Registration Information pages of the UMW website. Contact the Registrar’s Office with questions or problems.

Registration Procedures

Current Students

  1. Contact an advisor or the Advising Office to discuss academic goals, to develop a class schedule for the coming term, and to pick up term-specific alternate personal identification number (alternate PIN).
  2. Access DAWGS to select classes or submit a completed, advisor-approved registration form to the Registrar’s Office.
  3. Pay (or make arrangements to pay) all enrollment-related expenses and finalize the registration at Business Services.

Registration must be completed at the beginning of the appropriate term. Class schedules of non-paying registrants will be canceled; however, this does not automatically eliminate all charges. Refer to the Academic Calendar  regarding important enrollment-related dates and deadlines.

Students New to Montana Western

All first-time enrollees at UMW who plan to earn a degree or complete a program must complete the admissions application procedure and be formally accepted for admission prior to attempting to enroll.

  1. Contact an advisor or the Advising Office to discuss education goals, develop a class schedule for the coming term, and obtain assigned term-specific alternate PIN.
  2. Access DAWGS to select classes, or submit a completed, advisor-approved registration form to the Registrar’s Office.
  3. Pay (or make arrangements to pay) all enrollment-related expenses and finalize the registration at Business Services.

Registration must be completed at the beginning of the appropriate term. Class schedules of non-paying registrants will be canceled; however, this does not automatically eliminate all charges. Refer to the Academic Calendar  regarding deadlines. All new students are strongly encouraged to attend Orientation sessions scheduled at the beginning of a term. Contact Admissions for Orientation information, (406) 683-7331.

Part-Time Evening, Weekend, and Off-Campus Students

All part-time, evening, weekend, and off-campus students should complete the admissions application procedure and be formally accepted for admission prior to attempting to enroll.

  1. Contact an advisor or the School of Outreach to discuss enrollment, goals, registration, and fee payment options.
  2. Submit a completed, advisor-approved registration form to the School of Outreach or the Registrar’s Office, or access the online registration feature via DAWGS.
  3. Pay (or make arrangements to pay) all enrollment-related expenses and finalize the registration at Business Services.

Registration must be completed at the beginning of the appropriate term. Class schedules of non-paying registrants will be canceled; however, this does not automatically eliminate all charges.

Refer to the Academic Calendar  regarding deadlines, etc. All new students are strongly encouraged to attend Orientation sessions scheduled at the start of a new term. Contact Admissions for Orientation information, (406) 683-7331.

Individuals desiring temporary enrollment only (plan to complete only one or two classes) should contact Admissions for instructions on admission procedures.

Summer Session Students

All Summer Session students seeking a degree, major, minor, licensure, or registering for more than six credits must complete the admissions application procedure and be formally accepted for admission prior to attempting to enroll.

  1. Contact an advisor or the School of Outreach to discuss enrollment, goals, registration, and fee payment options.
  2. Submit a completed, advisor-approved registration form to the School of Outreach or the Registrar’s Office.
  3. Pay (or make arrangements to pay) all enrollment-related expenses and finalize the registration at Business Services.

Registration must be completed at the beginning of the appropriate session. Class schedules of non-paying registrants will be canceled; however, this does not automatically eliminate all charges. Refer to the Academic Calendar  regarding deadlines. All Summer enrollees are strongly encouraged to ask questions regarding enrollment policies before the start of classes.

Late Registration Students or Students Who Re-Register (Following Cancellation)

Individuals who enroll after the start of classes for a term will be charged late fees. These students will be limited to enrolling in classes that have not yet started. No enrollments will be accepted after the published deadline to add for a term or session. An individual “block” is not considered a “term”. Procedures for registering after the start of a term are outlined below.

  1. Contact an advisor to discuss academic goals and to develop a class schedule for the coming term.
  2. Submit a completed, advisor-approved Registration form to the Registrar’s Office; all course instructors must approve late enrollment.
  3. Pay (or make arrangements to pay) all enrollment-related expenses (including late fees) at Business Services immediately after submitting the Registration form to the Registrar’s Office, and finalize the registration at Business Services.

Course Schedule Changes

Add Courses, Drop Courses, & Withdraw from the University

Course schedule changes must be completed in a timely fashion and according to procedures outlined below. Check records carefully before and after taking action to ensure that intended changes are officially recorded. Student course schedule changes are grouped into three different categories depending upon when the change takes place:

  • Before classes begin.
  • After classes begin but before the published deadline.
  • After the deadline for such action.

Add Courses, Drop Courses, or Cancel Registration Before the Semester/Term Begins

Adding or dropping courses, or withdrawing/canceling one’s enrollment can be done by any of these methods:

  1. Access DAWGS and make the needed changes.
  2. Submit a completed Student Class Schedule Change form (available at the Registrar’s Office or online) to the Registrar’s Office.
  3. Submit a written notification to the Registrar’s Office, including a date, student ID number or Social Security Number, any other pertinent information, and the student’s signature.

Students attempting to add a closed or restricted class must complete a Student Class Schedule Change form or an Add/Drop/Withdrawal form, obtain written approval of the course instructor, and return the completed form to the Registrar’s Office on/by the published deadline for such action.

Add Courses, Drop Courses, or Withdraw After the Semester/Term Begins

Once a term begins, all student class schedule changes, including withdrawal from UMW, begin and end at the Registrar’s Office.

  1. Complete an Add/Drop/Withdrawal form. Incomplete forms will not be accepted.
  2. Obtain the necessary approvals and signatures.
  3. Return the completed form to the Registrar’s Office before the published deadline (see Academic Calendar ). Save all enrollment-related paperwork for future reference.
  4. Pay all expenses related to the action taken.

Add, Drop, or Withdraw After Published Deadline (Note: One-Year Deadline)

Students must petition for late add, drop, or withdrawal. Approval of requests occurring after the published deadlines will be decided by the UMW Enrollment & Attendance Committee. To initiate this process:

  1. Complete a Policy Waiver Request form and an Add/Drop/ Withdrawal form.
  2. Obtain the necessary signatures and approvals.
  3. Obtain documentation to verify the existence of extenuating circumstances that might have prevented timely action (e.g., illness, family emergency, non-attendance, registration errors, etc.). Only in verifiable and pertinent cases of emergency or extenuating circumstances are post-deadline schedule changes permitted. Reasons for late submission must be fully explained and justification well documented.
  4. Return completed forms and documentation to the Registrar’s Office within one year of the end of the term in which affected course enrollment occurred.
  5. Pay all expenses related to the action taken.

Typically, retroactive grade changes, dropped courses, or withdrawals do not reverse the academic suspension status that is recorded on the transcript, unless there was an error or grading mistake.

Dropping Courses and Record of Enrollment

Courses are not recorded on a student’s transcript if an official cancellation or course drop occurs on or before the deadline to drop with no record on transcripts. A “W” (Withdrawal) will be recorded in the grade section of a student’s academic transcript for drops or withdrawals that occur after this deadline.

The “No Record on Transcripts” policy/deadline will be extended in instances where there is an exchange of class:

  • the schedule change is completed within the deadline to add for the applicable block.
  • there is an even exchange - add and drop - of courses and credits (the affected student’s credit load does not change).
  • the add and drop are recorded on the same form and they are for the same block.
  • both schedule changes (add and drop) are approved by all necessary officials - course instructors, student’s advisor.
  • the exchange is appropriate to the student’s program of study.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will be recorded on the student’s transcript if the exchange does not satisfy all of these conditions.

Auditing Classes (AU)

With the consent of the instructor, students may enroll in classes on a no-credit “Audit” basis. Audit students pay the same fees as students enrolled for credit. Individuals who are auditing a class are not expected to complete coursework assignments or take course exams for that class. Audit course credits may not be used to satisfy degree or program requirements, nor do the credits count as part of the load for financial aid or athletic eligibility purposes. It is the responsibility of the person enrolling for classes to advise the Registrar’s Office before the start of a term of his/her intent to audit a course.

Changing to Audit (Au) Status

To change to audit status, students should follow the Add/Drop procedures outlined in this section. In addition to recording the appropriate course information, a student should write the word “Audit” in the applicable “CR” (credits) section of the Add/Drop/Withdrawal form or the Student Schedule Change form. Course instructor approval is required to change enrollment status. Students with questions about changing to/from audit status should contact the Registrar’s Office. Note that there is a mid-term/block deadline for changing to audit status (see Academic Calendar ).

Late Fees - Schedule Changes

Late fees are charged for class schedule changes as follows:

  • Blocks 1 and 5: after the appropriate deadline to add or drop.
  • All other classes: beginning Monday of the 4th week of the semester.

Registration Policies

Refunds and Payments Following Class Schedule Changes

All payments and refunds associated with class schedule changes are handled through Business Services. The amount refunded is based on the date a drop or withdrawal is processed and the remaining credit load after processing the changes. For information about refunds, see Tuition & Fees  section of this Catalog or contact Business Services, (406) 683-7101.

Maximum Credit Load Policy

Average credit load during a regular semester for full-time students is 16 semester credits, 32 credits per year, or a total of 120 or 128 credits for a four-year curriculum. To be classified as “full time” a student must maintain active enrollment in at least 12 semester credits of college-level, degree-applicable coursework that requires attendance and/or class participation for all 16 weeks of the semester. Students attempting 12 or more credits. Students enrolled in fewer than 12 credits are considered “part-time” students. See UMW Policy 203.1 Enrollment & Attendance .

Full-time and part-time definitions vary among financial aid funding agencies; consequently, students should not make assumptions regarding definitions for full- or part-time status. Students seeking financial aid funding for time-shortened classes should contact the Financial Aid Office regarding specific student credit load definitions and enroll accordingly.

Students must petition the Academic Admissions & Standards Committee to enroll in more than the maximum credit load for a semester or term. Course/Credit Overload Petition forms are available at the Registrar’s Office and online. Petitions must be submitted at least one week prior to the start of the term in which the student wishes to attempt the overload, and approval must take place before the deadline to add classes for the term or semester. Incomplete petitions or petitions with inaccurate information will not be processed. No Course/Credit Overload Petition forms for an overload will be accepted for consideration after the deadline to add courses for a semester or term.

Maximum Credit Load: Fall or Spring Semester

Students must petition to enroll in more than 18 semester credits; students with a GPA over 3.00 may register for up to 20 credits during a regular semester without petitioning. No more than five block course credits may be attempted in any single block. Students on Academic Probation must petition to register for more than 16 credits during a regular semester.

Early Admission students are normally limited to a maximum of four semester credits during sessions; however, maximum credit load for Early Admission students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Maximum Credit Load: Summer Session

Students must petition to enroll in more than 14 credits during Summer Session. Students with a 3.00 GPA may attempt 15 credits without petitioning. Students on Academic Probation are limited to attempting 12 credits. Eligible students must petition to attempt more than 5 semester credits during any of the Summer Session blocks.

Early Admission students are limited to a maximum of four semester credits during any time-shortened session or combination of sessions.

Academic Probation and Suspension

  1. Academic Probation: Students whose UMW GPA is below a 2.00, and first-term (new) transfer students whose transfer GPA is below 2.00, are placed on Academic Probation status (see GPA definition).
  2. Continued Academic Probation: Students whose UMW GPA is below a 2.00 and who were on Academic Probation the previous term of attendance, including Summer Session, but who show improvement in their academic performance by earning a 2.00+ term GPA during the next and all subsequent terms of enrollment, are placed on Continued Academic Probation status. Students will remain on Continued Academic Probation status until their UMW Cumulative GPA meets the minimum satisfactory level of 2.00 or higher (see GPA definition).
  3. Academic Suspension: Students whose UMW GPA is below a 2.00 and who, after attending one or more terms, including Summer Session, on probationary status, fail to earn a minimum 2.00 GPA during the next term of enrollment or attendance are academically suspended (see GPA definition).

Transfer students admitted to UMW on probation (their GPA at any institution previously attended is below a 2.00, or their academic status as indicated on the official transfer transcript is “on probation” are required to earn a 2.00 GPA in their first term at UMW, including Summer Session, or face immediate academic suspension from UMW.

Upon acceptance for admission to UMW, the Admissions Office will notify transfer students of their academic status.

Academic Probation Policy

Students will be placed on Academic Probation or Continued Academic Probation at the end of any term, including Summer Session, if their UMW GPA drops below or remains below 2.00. Students placed on Academic Probation or Continued Academic Probation may enroll at UMW during the next term but are limited to registering for a maximum of 16 credits (any combination of non-block stringer and block classes) during a regular semester or four credits maximum during any Summer block (12 credits maximum). The Academic Admissions & Standards Committee retains the right to further restrict credit maximums if needed (see GPA definition).

Students on Academic Probation or Continued Academic Probation should contact their advisor, the Campus Counseling Center, the Advising Center, and any other UMW official or faculty member for guidance or assistance to improve the student’s academic performance. Contact the Dean of Students Office for services available to UMW students.

“Academic Probation” or “Continued Probation” notations are posted to a student’s permanent UMW academic record. Students who raise their UMW GPA to the minimum 2.00 will be removed from probationary status, and in most cases enrollment restrictions will be lifted.

Students placed on Academic Probation or Continued Academic Probation will be notified of their status in writing following the end of the term. Notification will explain enrollment limitations and conditions and advise students of consequences if they fail to improve their academic performance during future terms of enrollment.

Academic Suspension Policy

Students who started a term on Academic Probation or Continued Academic Probation status (their UMW GPA at the beginning of the term was below a 2.00) will be suspended from UMW at the end of that term, including Summer Session, if they fail to earn a 2.00 term GPA (see GPA definition).

A student who has been academically suspended from UMW may not enroll until officially reinstated or readmitted.

Students who are suspended a second or third time for academic reasons may not re-enroll at UMW for a minimum of one full calendar year. Reinstatement following suspension is not automatic; suspended students must petition for readmission to UMW.

Students may appeal academic suspension immediately upon notification of their status. The Academic Admissions & Standards Committee may approve appeals, but only in cases where unusual or extenuating circumstances exist. The burden of proving unusual or extenuating circumstances rests entirely with the student. An “Academic Suspension” notation is posted to a student’s permanent UMW academic record.

Students suspended for academic reasons will be informed of their status in writing by the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible following the end of the term. Any future term class schedules that exist in UMW’s computer system prior to the end of the term of the suspension will be canceled.

Written notification of academic suspension to the suspended student will explain available options.

Typically, retroactive grade changes, dropped courses, or withdrawals do not reverse the academic suspension status that is recorded on the transcript, unless there was an error or grading mistake.

Readmission Following Academic Suspension

Students who are suspended for academic reasons must apply for readmission to UMW. Students seeking readmission after sitting out the required suspension period must submit the following:

  • A properly completed Application for Readmission form.
  • A plan outlining how the suspended student will improve academic performance if readmitted, including a statement of the student’s education and career goals.
  • Any additional documents required by other UMW offices.

These documents must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office at least two weeks prior to the start of the term for which the suspended student is seeking readmission. The UMW Registrar reviews and rules on these requests.

Students seeking readmission to UMW prior to their eligible return date must submit the following to the Registrar’s Office:

  • A properly completed Application for Readmission form.
  • A detailed statement or letter describing the extenuating circumstances causing the student’s poor academic performance, including supporting documentation (e.g., statement or letter from physician if student claims a medical emergency, etc.).
  • A plan outlining how the suspended student will improve academic performance if readmitted, including a statement of the student’s education and career goals, which must be reviewed by the student’s faculty advisor, the Dean of Students, and the Campus Counseling Center.
  • Any additional documents required by other UMW offices.

The documents listed above must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office at least two weeks prior to the start of the term for which the suspended student is seeking readmission. Readmission applications are reviewed and acted on by the Academic Admissions & Standards Committee.

Appeals of Academic Suspension

Students begin the appeal process by submitting a letter of appeal and supporting documentation to the Academic Admissions & Standards Committee (via the Registrar’s Office). The next step in the appeals process is through the Provost.

Transferring from UMW to Another College or University

It is the student’s responsibility to determine and closely follow the admission and program course requirements at the college or university to which they plan to transfer. These requirements can normally be found in that institution’s catalog. Students planning to transfer from Montana Western should obtain a current catalog from the institution to which they plan to transfer. Students intending to transfer to another institution should work closely with their UMW faculty advisor and the intended transfer institution to ensure that the program of study being followed at Montana Western is suitable for transfer to the particular transfer institution. Students transferring to Montana University System institutions and who request Single Admissions File services will be charged the Single Admission File Fee. Contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.

Caution regarding the transfer of UMW course credits: not all course credits transfer to every college or university. However, for students transferring out who have researched other college requirements in advance, transfer of credits from UMW is normally a smooth process if the courses taken at Montana Western are similar or equivalent to courses that would normally be taken at the transfer institution. If at any time students encounter what they consider to be a problem with transfer of UMW credits/courses to another institution, they are encouraged to contact a UMW administrator, who will assist students in working out legitimate problems with regard to course transfer. Students should provide as much information as possible (names, offices, and telephone numbers) to aid in reconciling credit or course transfer difficulties. Individuals transferring from UMW to another unit of the Montana University System who wish to have their UMW transcript evaluated for the purpose of determining completion of the General Education program should contact the UMW Registrar’s Office.

Grades

The University of Montana Western utilizes a traditional letter grade system.

Grading System

The general quality of a student’s work is expressed in terms of a Grade Point Average (GPA). A student’s grade point average is calculated by dividing the total of all honor/grade points earned for all college-level, degree-applicable courses attempted (courses numbered 000-099 excluded) by the total semester credits of all college- level, degree-applicable courses attempted. For GPA calculation purposes, “courses attempted” includes those courses numbered 100-499 and for which a student earns grades “A” through “F”. Students accumulate honor points or grade points based upon the traditional grade earned in the following chart.

Note: The following grade symbols do not earn honor points and are not used in GPA calculation: W, R, I/INC, AU, P/F/NP, S, U, #, and NR. Grades for courses numbered 000-099 (#) are not included in GPA calculation and do not apply toward graduation.

Grade Grade Point Earned Per Credit
A Excellent 4.00
A-   3.70
B+   3.30
B Above Average 3.00
B-   2.70
C+   2.30
C Average 2.00
C-   1.70
D+   1.30
D Below Average 1.00
D-   .70
F Failure 0
FN Failure-Non Attendance 0

Grade reports and transcripts of students admitted to UMW before Summer 1999 show three different GPAs:

  • Institutional GPA (grade point average of courses attempted at UMW only);
  • Transfer GPA (grade point average of courses attempted at institutions other than UMW); and
  • Cumulative GPA (the average of all courses attempted at all colleges/universities, including UMW).

Since the summer of 1999, the UMW Registrar’s Office discontinued posting transfer coursework detail to UMW student academic records; only the UMW GPA is calculated on student records since that time.

Pass/Fail/No Pass (P/F/NP)

A student may elect to take a course on a Pass, Fail, or No Pass basis in lieu of a traditional letter grade. Pass/Fail/No Pass graded credits may not be counted for degree-required courses with the exception of Student Teaching, Senior Project/Thesis, Internships, and all nontraditional coursework (CLEP, AP, Military Training, Institutional Challenge, or Exams for Credit). Nontraditional coursework must be evaluated according to the UMW Course Equivalency List.

No more than ten credits of Pass graded elective- only coursework may be counted toward a baccalaureate degree, and no more than six credits of Pass graded elective-only coursework may be counted toward an associate degree.

A freshman or sophomore with a grade point average of 2.00 or better may take one Pass/Fail/No Pass graded course each semester. Juniors and Seniors may take more than one Pass/Fail/No Pass course per semester. Election of the Pass/Fail/No Pass grade option requires the consent of the instructor. Attempted courses that are graded Pass/Fail/No Pass are excluded from GPA calculation.

Many graduate and professional schools and some employers do not recognize Pass/Fail/No Pass graded courses. Although UMW encourages students to consider the potential value of learning without the pressures associated with traditional grades and to experiment with certain courses on a Pass/Fail/No Pass basis, students should be aware of the potential negative effects of selecting this grading option.

Incomplete Grades (I/INC)

All assignments for a class must normally be completed by the last day of the semester or a specific block, or an earlier date set by the instructor of record. Faculty may give Incomplete grades in situations where a student is unable to complete required coursework during the semester or block because of illness, personal emergency, or academic conditions beyond the control of the faculty or student. Faculty may not give an Incomplete to allow a student additional time to complete coursework that all other students in a class were required to complete during the published dates of a semester or term. Incomplete grades on a student’s academic record automatically prevent and will delay graduation until a future term.

Note: Students with Incomplete grades on their transcripts may jeopardize financial aid funding. For more information, contact Financial Aid, (406) 683-7511.

Conditions required for assigning an Incomplete are:

  • The student must notify the course instructor of the emergency situation before the end of the semester or block, or as soon as reasonably possible.
  • Three-fourths (3/4) or more of the required coursework must have been completed by the student before the end of the semester or block.
  • The course instructor should communicate requirements or conditions for course completion in writing. This documentation should include assignments and tests. The agreement should include a deadline for completion of all work. This deadline must be within one year of the date of the Incomplete unless an earlier deadline is established by the instructor. Deadlines beyond one year may be established by the instructor under extenuating circumstances.

Minimum Grades

Unless otherwise specified in this Catalog or formally communicated by the appropriate academic department, students must earn a minimum grade of C minus (“C-“) or higher to satisfy requirements for all General Education and program course requirements and program requirement prerequisite courses.

Final Grade Reports

Individual, and unofficial, block course grades are available via DAWGS within one week after the end of that block.

Official final grades are normally available to students within one week following the end of the term. Students can access final grades via the DAWGS website.

Transcripts of students who have outstanding debts or other restrictions at UMW will not be issued. Students with outstanding debts may review final grades at the Registrar’s Office during normal business hours.

Transcript Requests

Transcripts are issued only upon receipt of a written request from the student and will not be released until all “Holds” at UMW have been removed. Transcripts are usually available within five working days after receipt of the request. A $3.00 processing fee is charged for each transcript requested. Students who request overnight postal service, FAX copies, or rush services and other additional services will be charged additional fees/costs. Payment must be received before transcripts are released.

Students paying with credit cards must provide the credit card number, type of card/issuing bank, card expiration date, and the card holder’s name as it appears on the card. Written requests for transcript service should include the student’s full name and all other names used (maiden name, middle initial), Social Security Number, date and place of birth, and month and year of most recent attendance at UMW. Those requesting transcript service should include their own current address and phone number, the complete address of where the transcript should be sent, and any special services required (FAX, Fed-Ex, Rush, etc.).

Grade Changes

A change of grade may be made only in cases of instructor error, or in instances where fraud is determined. Grade change procedures are not to be used by faculty as a way of allowing certain students additional time to complete course assignments or to complete additional work once the term or block has ended.

A change of grade is not meant to substitute for an Incomplete when that grade cannot be justified. No grade may be changed after one full year from the date recorded unless approved by the instructor and the Provost. Students retain the right to appeal grades according to campus policy.

Typically, retroactive grade changes, dropped courses, or withdrawals do not reverse the academic suspension status that is recorded on the transcript, unless there was an error or grading mistake.

Repeating Courses (E/R)

Repeating a course is defined as re-enrolling in the same UMW course that a student previously attempted. Students may have either failed or passed the course and the purpose for repeating the course is to improve the grade. When a course is officially repeated, the most recent grade is used in the calculation of the Grade Point Average. The previous course and grade remain on the transcript but are excluded from GPA calculation. A repeated course is designated with an “E” or “R” on a student’s transcript.

Students who fail UMW courses are encouraged to repeat those courses at the earliest possible time as they may have better retention of the subject matter, it improves their GPA, and it reduces the possibility that curriculum changes could make it impossible to take the same course in the future.

Academic Standing for Registration

A student is generally considered to be in good academic standing if the UMW GPA is 2.00 (“C”) or higher and the student has not been placed on Academic Probation or Academic Suspension during the most recent term(s) of enrollment. A student in good standing is eligible to continue at or return to UMW.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation does not occur automatically upon program completion; students must apply for graduation. See Academic Calendar  for deadlines.

Catalog Governing Graduation

The effective dates of this catalog are July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Degree-seeking students should select, rigorously follow, and meet graduation requirements in the selected UMW Catalog. Students enrolling between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 are allowed to follow this Catalog provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • Student graduates within six years of initial enrollment (July 2023).
  • There has been continuous enrollment with no interruptions except Summer Session (Note: a student whose attendance is interrupted for two or more consecutive semesters must switch to a catalog less than six years old that was published after the student’s final readmission date).
  • Student has not changed majors or degrees.
  • Student has not elected to meet requirements listed in a more recent catalog.

Students may select an alternative catalog for graduation after initial enrollment at UMW provided:

  • Student obtains faculty advisor approval.
  • Catalog selected is no more than six years old at time of graduation.
  • There has been continuous enrollment with no interruptions except Summer Session.
  • Student has not changed majors or degrees.
  • Student is not attempting to select/use a catalog dated before a degree or program change.
  • Student is not attempting to select a catalog dated before the student’s enrollment date began.

While students must pick an “effective catalog” or a “catalog governing graduation” and complete all basic degree requirements listed in that catalog, UMW allows eligible students to select and complete requirements for a new/second major, minor, option, related area, or general education requirements from a second catalog (see alternative catalog limitations above) without having to meet all requirements in the second catalog. Students must complete all courses required for the new minor, second major, BA option, related area, or the general education program as outlined in the other catalog. Students must designate their “effective catalog” and the “other or second catalog” they are following on their graduation application and should provide this information to their advisors at an early date.

Declaration of Academic Field of Study

Students are strongly encouraged to determine the appropriate academic degree program(s) they will be pursuing as soon as possible in their academic careers. At the latest, students must declare academic fields of study upon reaching junior status (60 credits earned). Earlier declarations are required of some students, such as those receiving federal financial aid. Upper division students must report to the Registrar’s Office all degrees, majors, minors, option areas, and related areas toward which they are working. Students who wish to change their previously reported academic field of study must file a Change of Major/Minor/Option at the advising, signed by the student and the student’s faculty advisor.

Students who are undecided about their choice of major should initially concentrate on taking general education courses provided by UMW. Students should declare a major area of study with the Registrar’s Office no later than the third semester of attendance in order to complete degree requirements within the normal eight semesters (four years) of study and to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid.

Change of Major or Degree

Students who change majors or degree programs must notify the Advising Office by filing a completed Change of Major/Minor/Option form.

General Graduation Information

To graduate on one of the three UMW graduation dates, a degree candidate must submit a properly completed Application for Graduation or Program Completion form within the specified deadline and must have completed all degree requirements as certified by the University Registrar. All required courses must be satisfactorily completed and final grades filed with the Registrar’s Office. All applicable paperwork (completed Course Substitution/Waiver forms, official transfer transcripts) must be on file in the Registrar’s Office by the end of the graduation term. Candidates for graduation from UMW are responsible for ascertaining that all requirements for their intended degree program have been completed within the deadline.

Note that additional preparation, competencies, or remedial work may be specified by the department to correct any deficiencies for that academic field of study.

Minimum Grade Required to Complete Degree Requirements

(General Education, Degree Program Requirements, Program Prerequisites)

Effective Fall Semester 2005, the minimum acceptable grade required by the Montana University System (MUS) to meet general education and program-specific course requirements and program prerequisite course requirements for a degree is “C-“. The minimum grade required to meet free elective requirements is “D-” (unless the institution requires a higher minimum). Students who entered the Montana University System prior to Fall 2005 and have maintained continuous enrollment since beginning their studies in the MUS (exclusive of Summer Sessions) are not subject to this policy. First-time freshman and transfer students entering the MUS and former MUS students who “stopped out” and are now returning to the MUS system beginning Fall 2005 and thereafter are subject to this policy.

Note: Some UMW programs require minimum grades higher than “C-“. Students are responsible for ascertaining specific minimum grade requirements for courses required in their chosen programs by carefully reviewing University publications and notices sent by campus and department officials.

Minimum Grade Point Average

A minimum UMW GPA of 2.00 (“C” average) in all courses specified for a degree is required for graduation. Some degree programs may require a higher GPA. Also, GPA requirements within a degree for such things as individual majors, minors, options, or related areas might be higher.

Required Credits

Students must complete all requirements listed for a specific degree or degrees from an approved Catalog. The Bachelor of Arts degrees, Bachelor of Applied Science degree, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, Business Administration, Early Childhood Education, Environmental Interpretation, Environmental Science, Health & Human Performance, Mathematics, and Natural Horsemanship require a minimum of 120 semester credits. The Bachelor of Science degrees in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, K-12 Education, and BA and BS Double Major degrees with Secondary Education require a minimum of 128 credits. Associate degrees require a minimum of 60-70 semester credits.

Academic Residency Requirement: Bachelor’s Degree

To earn a bachelor’s degree from UMW, a student must satisfactorily complete all courses required for the degree and must complete the equivalent of one academic year of full-time resident credit, minimum 30 semester credits. A minimum of 20 of the last 30 semester credits must be in residence. The last semester of work to satisfy requirements for any UMW degree must be completed in residence. A minimum of 12 semester credits earned and attendance for the full semester is necessary to establish academic residence. Fifteen semester credits of the student’s major, or option, and ten credits of a student’s minor or related area must be completed in residence.

Academic Residency Requirement: Second Bachelor’s Degree

Candidates for a second bachelor’s degree must successfully complete a minimum of 30 additional related credits above the minimum credits required for the first degree, and complete all requirements for the second degree. All additional credits for the second degree must be completed in residence. In a case where the first bachelor’s degree was earned at UMW, the last 15 credits for the second degree must be completed in residence. Written notice of intent to complete a second degree must be filed with the Registrar’s Office at least one semester before graduation. Students planning to earn a second degree must complete a separate Application for Graduation or Program Completion form for each degree.

Academic Residency Requirement: Associate Degree

To earn an associate degree at Montana Western, a student must complete a minimum of 16 credits while in residence at UMW. These 16 credits must be the last credits needed for the degree. A minimum of one semester of full-time study (12 credits or more) is required to establish residency. The credits required to meet residency requirements for an associate degree must also be courses that meet either general education requirements or are advisor-approved courses in the student’s chosen area of emphasis.

Academic Residency Requirement: Second Associate Degree

Candidates for a second associate degree must successfully complete all courses required for each associate degree or complete 16 additional credits beyond the 60 credits required for the first degree, whichever is greater. General education requirements used to satisfy requirements for the first associate degree may be used to satisfy general education requirements for the second degree with advisor and applicable academic department approval only. Students planning to earn a second degree must complete a separate Application for Graduation or Program Completion form for each degree.

Course Application to Degree Requirements: Single Course with Multiple Applications

Courses may be used to satisfy more than one degree requirement by approval of a student’s advisor and the Provost. Students pursuing completion of degree programs that include course overlaps must seek official approval for these overlap substitutions through their advisors (e.g., some of the courses required for a specific major or minor may also be required as part of a second major or minor, or as part of general education or professional education requirements). All other course substitutions or waivers must be approved and documented on Course Substitution/Waiver forms and must be on file in the Registrar’s Office prior to applying for graduation.

Nontraditional Credits Applied to a Degree

No more than 30 semester credits of nontraditional coursework (CLEP, AP, Military Training, Credit by Exam, correspondence courses, Directed Study, Independent Study, etc) may be counted toward any degree at UMW. Specifically, no more than 20 semester credits of correspondence study approved by the appropriate department may be counted toward the degree, and no more than three courses in Independent Study may be counted toward the degree.

Academic Standing for Graduation

Students applying for graduation must be in good academic standing at UMW and all other colleges/universities previously attended.

Variances from Degree-Specific and/or General Education Requirements

Variances from published degree-specific and general education requirements must be documented. Documentation must be submitted on a timely basis (before the end of the graduation term specified on the student’s Application for Graduation or Program Completion form). Examples of the most common variances include:

  • Substituting a non-specified course for a required course as published in the catalog (complete a Course Substitution/Waiverform). Refer toGeneral Information  section,Definitions, “Substitution (course)”.
  • Waiving a degree requirement based upon satisfactory completion of work done in a nontraditional setting (complete a Course Substitution/Waiver form). Refer to General Information  section, Definitions, “Waiver”.

Applying for Graduation

A student planning to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree from UMW must file for candidacy on an Application for Graduation or Program Completion form with the Registrar’s Office. Students planning to earn two or more degrees must complete an Application for Graduation or Program Completion form for each degree and pay all applicable fees.

Application for Graduation or Program Completion forms received after the final deadline will be accepted for the next applicable graduation date. See Academic Calendar  for deadlines.

Graduation Application Procedure

  1. Obtain an Application for Graduation or Program Completion form at the Registrar’s Office. Students seeking a BS degree in Education should apply for graduation when applying for student teaching.
  2. Obtain signatures from the following: Faculty Advisor, Financial Aid Office., and Business Services.
  3. Return completed Application for Graduation or Program Completion form to the Registrar’s Office on or before the published deadline. Complete all questions and obtain all necessary approvals. Applicants are responsible for meeting filing deadlines.
  4. Applicants for BS degrees in Education must present a completed Application for Student Teaching form when submitting completed graduation applications.
  5. Pay the $30 graduation fee (additional $15 fee if received after the graduation application deadlines).

Applications of students not meeting degree requirements by the end of the semester or term indicated on the Application for Graduation or Program Completion form will be placed in an inactive status until they send written notification of a new desired term for graduation and pay the $10 activation fee. The inactivated application will remain on file for a maximum of one year from the term of the original application, and can be reactivated by:

  1. Contacting the Registrar’s Office in writing and providing a new/ anticipated graduation date/term, and
  2. Paying the $10 graduation activation fee.

Individuals who fail to activate previously submitted graduation applications within the one-year period will have to re-apply for graduation (switch to the most recent Catalog, complete a new Application for Graduation or Program Completion form, and pay the $30 graduation application fee).

After an Application for Graduation or Program Completion form has been filed, the student must notify the Registrar’s Office of any changes to graduation status, such as semester of graduation, majors, minors, options, related areas, or change of name and address. Students may be required to reapply depending upon the change made and the timing of such notification. Students should notify the registrar’s office of any changes to their mailing address.

Application for Program Completion

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Montana Western or any regionally accredited institution who are attending UMW for the sole purpose of completing a program (second major, minor, option, or related area) and not earning a degree, must meet the following requirements before being certified as having completed the selected program:

  • Satisfy academic residency requirements.
  • Successfully complete all prerequisite and required courses for the program.
  • Meet all grade point average requirements of the appropriate program.
  • Submit a completed Application for Graduation or Program Completion form to the Registrar’s Office and pay appropriate fees by the published deadline.

Classification/Types of Students

Classification of Students

  • Freshman–a degree-pursuing student who is entitled to unconditional admission and who has earned fewer than 30 semester credits.
  • Sophomore–a fully admitted, degree-pursuing student who has earned 30 to 59 semester credits.
  • Junior–a fully admitted, degree-pursuing student who has earned 60 to 89 semester credits.
  • Senior–a fully admitted, degree-pursuing student who has earned 90 or more semester credits.
  • Post-baccalaureate–a fully admitted student holding a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or an approved foreign university.
  • Provisionally admitted student–a student who does not meet all of the standard admissions requirements.
  • Transient student–a student over 19 years of age with no previous academic record on file at the UMW Registrar’s Office and who has not met all requirements for admission and who may or may not be degree-pursuing.

Residency Classification

The Montana University System classifies all students and applicants for admission as either in-state or out-of-state for college/university fee payment purposes. The basic rules for making this classification are found in Board of Regents Policy available at the Registrar’s Office. Determination of student residency is based on information provided on the MUS Residency Questionnaire and supporting documentation supplied by the petitioner. With certain exceptions, in order to be eligible for in-state status a person must be one of the following:

  • A lifelong resident of Montana.
  • Independent and complete a 12-month waiting period during which one must reside in the state and demonstrate a bonafide intent to become a Montana resident.
  • A recent graduate of a state-approved high school in Montana and have attended the entire senior year there.

It is presumed that an individual not eligible for in-state status under Board of Regents Policy who is registered for more than six semester credits at any post-secondary educational institution in the State of Montana is present in the State primarily for educational purposes, and such periods may not be applied to the 12-month waiting period referred to previously.

The 12-month waiting period does not begin until some act indicative of intent to establish residency is taken. Mere presence in Montana and enrollment at a unit of higher education will not serve to start the 12-month waiting period. Sufficient acts of intent include:

  • Registering to vote in Montana.
  • Obtaining a Montana driver’s license.
  • Licensing/registering a vehicle (owned by the applicant) in Montana.
  • Purchasing a home or primary residence in Montana.
  • Filing a resident Montana tax return on all earned income.

One act will start the waiting period; however, it is a preponderance of actions that indicates intent to become a resident.

If none of these indicators is available to the student, the student may file an Affidavit of Intent to Establish Residency form in order to begin the 12-month waiting period.

After the 12-month period has begun, the individual is expected to act in a manner consistent with Montana residency. Actions deemed in contradiction with the claim of Montana residency may result in classification as a non-resident for Montana University System fee payment purposes. Examples of such contradictory actions include:

  • Voting absentee in another state.
  • Receiving financial aid based on non-Montana residency such as a state scholarship or guaranteed student loan from another state or participation in an interstate exchange program [it is presumed that a student attending a unit of the Montana University System under the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), the National Student Exchange (NSE), and other exchange programs are deriving a financial benefit from another state based on non-Montana residency and therefore is not eligible for Montana residency while a student].
  • Leaving the state of Montana and being away for long periods of time (30 days or more) during the 12-month residency establishment period.

In-state status cannot generally be earned via marriage. Each individual must qualify for in-state status separately.

The initial residency classification may be appealed. Although students are permitted to petition for reclassification at any time, in order to be eligible for in-state status for fee purposes it is necessary to meet the requirements for such status before the first instructional day of the school semester for which the status is sought. Information regarding appeals of residency classification is contained in the Board of Regents Student Guide to Montana Residency Policy. This guide and the MUS Residency Questionnaire petition for in-state status are available online at http://mus.edu/prepare/college/Montana_Residency_Requirements.asp.

Types of Students

Continuing or Returning Student

A fully admitted student who completed the most recent term of enrollment at UMW in good academic standing and as such is eligible to enroll for classes during the next term. Spring Semester or Summer Session are considered the last regular semester for students returning for Fall Semester.

Current Student

A student who is officially enrolled and attending classes at UMW or one of its off-campus centers.

Dismissed/Suspended Student

A former or previous student who, due to poor academic performance or disciplinary reasons, is prohibited from enrollment at UMW. Dismissed or suspended students may petition for readmission by filing an Application for Readmission form at the Registrar’s Office.

Former/Previous Student

An individual who attended UMW at some time in the past and who:

  • Was not actively enrolled at UMW during the most recently completed regular semester; and
  • Was in good academic standing when last enrolled at UMW.

Former students who have not attended UMW for one year or more must file an Application for Readmission form with the Registrar’s Office before resuming their studies at UMW.

Full Time Student

For financial aid or athletic eligibility purposes, a student officially registered for a minimum of 12 semester credits of courses that require a minimum of 16 weeks of class attendance or participation during a regular semester.

Honor Student

A student who, upon completing degree requirements, has maintained at least a 3.33 UMW GPA and has completed at least 30 semester credits of resident college-level coursework applicable to an undergraduate degree. Minimum institutional GPA required for “Honors”, “High Honors”, and “Highest Honors” are:

3.33-3.64 cum laude
3.65-3.84 magna cum laude
3.85-4.00 summa cum laude

Eligibility for UMW honors designation is determined after all final grades for all courses attempted up to the date the degree is conferred are posted to the graduate’s academic record.

  • Rush Jordan Cup: awarded annually to the male senior ranked first in his graduating class.
  • Zella K. Flores Cup: awarded annually to the female senior ranked first in her graduating class.

International (Foreign) Student

A student who is a citizen of a country other than the United States.

Non-Resident Student

A student who is classified as an out-of-state resident for MUS fee payment purposes.

Part-Time Student

A student registered for less than 12-credits during a regular semester. Financial aid is pro-rated for part-time students. Part-time students are not eligible for intercollegiate athletics.

Probationary Student

A student who is having academic difficulty and who has been conditionally allowed to return to UMW to improve his/her academic standing.

Resident Student

A student who is classified as a Montana resident for MUS fee payment purposes.

Transfer Student

A student who is fully admitted to UMW that attended another college or university and completed or attempted 12 or more credits of college-level, degree-applicable coursework in residence at that institution.