Forms & Policies

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For additional academic policies see Academic Regulations and Student Rights, Responsibilities & the Fine Print in the university catalog.

Academic Standing

Academic Standing

Good Academic Standing

Students are considered in good academic standing if their Humboldt State cumulative grade point average (GPA) and overall GPA are:

2.0 or above (undergraduate students)

3.0 or above (graduate students)

Academic Probation & Disqualification

An undergraduate seeking a bachelor’s degree, a post-baccalaureate student seeking a second bachelor’s degree, or an unclassified post-baccalaureate student will be placed on academic probation if either the overall grade point average or the cumulative GPA at Humboldt falls below 2.0 (C grade average).

If a student is on academic probation and the Humboldt State cumulative GPA is below the following levels, the student will be academically disqualified:

• Freshmen (<30 units) below 1.50

• Sophomores (30 to 59.9 units) below 1.70

• Juniors (60 to 89.9 units) below 1.85

• Seniors (≥90 units), post-baccalaureate students seeking a second bachelor’s degree below 1.95

• Unclassified post-baccalaureate graduates below 1.95

• Graduate students, including those who are classified or conditionally classified, and credential seeking students will be placed on academic probation if their Humboldt State cumulative grade point average falls below a 3.0 (B grade average). A graduate coordinator may also notify a student of academic probation or disqualification for failure to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the degree. Graduate students may be placed on probation and/or disqualified for failure to make adequate progress in the program, as defined by the requirements and policies of individual programs, by recommendation of the program faculty and graduate coordinator, and action of the graduate dean. While on academic probation, if a graduate student or a credential student’s cumulative GPA at Humboldt State is below a 3.0 for a second consecutive term, the student will be academically disqualified.

Disqualified students will not be allowed to register unless they are formally reinstated and/or readmitted to the university. A disqualified student may be excluded from attending Humboldt State University for up to one year or more. Regularly enrolled students who are academically disqualified from HSU are not eligible to enroll in coursework through Extended Education. The student must demonstrate that she/he can maintain the minimum GPA at Humboldt. Regularly enrolled students who are academically disqualified from HSU are not eligible to enroll in Open University through Extended Education for one academic year. For information regarding the petition process for reinstatement, please contact the Office of the Registrar, SBS 133, 707-826-4101.

Financial aid and veterans educational benefits have satisfactory academic progress criteria that can affect aid eligibility. Baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate level veterans and eligible dependent students will be placed on veteran’s academic probation if their cumulative grade point average at Humboldt State falls below a 2.00. Veterans and eligible dependents are permitted a maximum of two semesters on probation before their benefits will be terminated due to unsatisfactory academic progress. Contact the Veterans Certification Officer, LIB 58, 707-826-6272 for information regarding veterans educational benefit criteria.

Financial Aid satisfactory academic progress

Veterans satisfactory academic progress

Administrative-Academic Probation & Disqualification (need content)

Attendance (Regulations)

Humboldt State University expects attendance at every class meeting. If you are absent from a class or lab session within the first week of instruction, you may be dropped for non-attendance by the instructor no later than the end of the second week of instruction. If you want to be reenrolled in a course from which you have been dropped, contact the instructor for approval (permission number) and reenroll in the course prior to the semester add/drop deadline. (Faculty Initiated Drop for Non-Attendance Policy 27-15/16-APC)

Avoid an WU or F. Not all instructors will drop students on the basis of non-attendance. You are responsible for ensuring the correct courses are on your schedule prior to the add/drop deadline. A course not properly dropped receives a “WU” (withdrawal unauthorized), which counts as an “F” for GPA purposes.

Credit Limitations

Credit Limitations

Extension & Correspondence

No more than 24 semester units of extension or correspondence courses will count toward a bachelor’s degree. Note: These may not count toward the residency requirement.

Open University

No more than 24 semester units of Open University / Special Session courses will count toward a bachelor’s degree. No more than nine units of Open University / Special Session courses can apply toward a master’s degree (courses must be listed on the candidate’s approved master’s program).

Transfer Credit

No more than 70 semester units earned at an accredited community college may transfer to Humboldt State University. (California Code of Regulations, Title 5).

Athletics & Intramural Credit

No more than six units earned in intercollegiate athletics may count toward graduation requirements. No more than two units of intramural courses may count toward graduation.

Credit/No Credit

No more than 24 semester units of credit/no credit (mandatory and/or optional) mode courses taken at Humboldt State University will be counted toward the bachelor's degree. Courses used to fulfill major requirements may not be taken on an optional credit/no credit basis. Check with your academic advisor for more information. Students may take only one optional CR/NC course per semester at Humboldt State. See Grades & Academic Standing to learn more about grade modes.

Graduate Students, refer to Graduate Credit below.

Catalog Rights (Continuous Enrollment)

Catalog Rights (Continuous Enrollment)

Catalog rights are based on when and where a student begins college and how long they have been “continuously enrolled.”

Students who have been enrolled either at a California Community College or a CSU campus for at least one semester or two quarters of consecutive calendar years are considered to be “in continuous attendance.”

  • A student in continuous attendance may choose to meet the requirements for graduation specified in the Humboldt State University catalog which was/is in effect:

  • When the student first enrolled in any CSU or California community college,

  • When the student first enrolled at Hum­boldt, or

  • When the student graduates.

NOTE: Students changing their major or minor may be required to complete the major or minor requirements in effect at the time of the change.

Change Your Major

Change Your Major

Freshmen, Sophomores or Juniors

Visit Change Your Major


Students are not permitted to change majors after they have earned 90 units,unless the new major can be completed in less than 140 total units. Students changing majors after having earned 90 units are required to complete a new major contract before completing additional units beyond 90. Students who choose to change majors and cannot complete the required courses in less than 140 units may submit a request for an exception to the department chair and dean.

Second Major (Double Major)

Students may earn a bachelor’s degree with two majors by completing the requirements for both programs. Although both majors appear on the permanent record, the student receives one degree.

Declare a minor

Students are generally prohibited from earning a major and minor from the same degree program. Exceptions can be made in combinations in which: 1) at least 9 units required for the minor are not already required for the major. In cases where there are “options” within the minor or major, a student must take options such that at least 9 units for the minor are not counted towards the major, and 2) the major and minor must be distinctly different programs.

Educational Leave / Leave of Absence

Educational Leave / Leave of Absence

A student may request a leave of absence or educational leave from the university in order to pursue other educationally related activities or to clarify his/her educational goals. Undergraduate students must submit a request to go on leave to the Office of the Registrar, SBS 133. Graduate students should contact the Office of Academic Programs & Undergraduate/Graduate Studies, SH 217A, for information.

Leave Eligibility

You must attend at least one term prior to requesting a leave of absence. A leave of absence maintains continuing student status. This allows a student to maintain catalog rights and eligibility to enroll for the term immediately after the expiration of the leave without reapplying to the university.

Leave Limits

While on leave, a student is not considered enrolled and is not eligible for any services from the university. The student will be apprised via their preferred email address of registration information and deadlines for the term he/she is to return to Humboldt State.

A leave of absence may be requested for one or two terms, but may be extended for two additional terms (for a maximum of four terms) under special circumstances. For more information, or to obtain an educational leave request form, contact the Office of the Registrar.

Final Evaluations Week

Final Evaluations Week

Final evaluations may be traditional exams, presentations, portfolio sharing, performances, critiques, oral examination, field trips or other evaluative activities. Students shall be informed of the nature of the final evaluation at the beginning of the semester.

Finals week is part of the instructional period for a course. All courses shall have a final evaluation during finals week, with the following exceptions:

  • Laboratory or activity only courses may have their final evaluations during the class’s regular meeting time during the last week of class.

  • Courses that are non-traditionally scheduled (weekend workshops, theatre productions that last only six weeks, etc.).

Classes with both lecture/discussion and laboratory/activity components shall have:

  • final evaluations for the lecture or discussion portion of the class during finals week, and

  • final evaluations for the lab/activity portion (if applicable) during the last week of classes. This type of evaluation shall not substitute for the final class evaluation. Students should not be expected to complete these types of finals outside of the normally designated times for the class.

In-class final evaluation activities must occur during the final evaluation time designated for the course (not the week before).

Out-of class final evaluation activities such as take-home examinations, final papers must be due no earlier than the designated final evaluation time slot for the course (students may voluntarily submit their work earlier).

The final evaluation date and time designated for a course as published in the Registration Guide may not be changed except in special circumstances, which must be approved in writing by the department chair and dean.

The course syllabus shall include the date and time of the final evaluation for the class. Any student who finds it impossible (for serious and compelling reasons) to participate on the date, time, or place scheduled must make arrangements in advance with the instructor.

Graduate Credit

Graduate Credit

No grade below a B- is to be counted as a passing grade for meeting requirements for the master's degree. In fact, some programs require students to repeat work for which they received a grade below a B. Check with your program's graduate coordinator for more information.

Graduate students can choose optional credit/no credit (CR/NC) only for courses not required by their approved program. No more than one-third of master’s degree courses may be taken CR/NC.

Graduate Credit - Earned as Undergraduate

Undergraduate students may petition to earn graduate credit under the following circumstances:

Course must be taken in the final semester of the student’s senior year;

no more than six units remain to complete requirements for the bachelor’s degree;

cumulative GPA is 2.5 or higher;

courses must be upper division or graduate level.

The course is not counting toward undergraduate degree requirements;

application for graduation (degree check) is on file with the Registrar;

no more than nine units taken as an undergraduate may be applied to the master’s degree;

If you are interested in applying credit earned during the final semester of your senior year to a master’s degree complete a “Petition for Graduate Credit” (To be Earned in Final Semester of Senior Year) form available in the Office of Academic Programs & Undergraduate/Graduate Studies, Siemens Hall 217A.

Minimum Grade Requirement (Master’s Degree)

A B- is the minimum passing grade for courses used to satisfy the requirements of a Master’s Degree at HSU. A higher grade standard than the campus minimum (B-) may be specified by a graduate degree program. Policy for A Minimum Passing Grade Requirement for Graduate Degrees #02-10/11-APC

Repeating Courses

Repeating Courses

Undergraduate Students

Repeating Courses with Grade Forgiveness

You may repeat courses only if you earned a grade lower than a C.

You may repeat up to 16 units with grade forgiveness (the new grade replaces the former grade in the calculation of GPA).  

You may repeat an individual course no more than two times. Each of these attempts counts toward the 16-unit maximum for repeats.

Grade forgiveness will not be allowed for a course for which the original grade was the result of a finding of academic dishonesty.

If you are interested in repeating a course with grade forgiveness, submit a petition of the student to the Office of the Registrar, SBS 133, if special circumstances are involved.

Course Repeats with Grades Averaged

You may repeat an additional 12 units of coursework with grade averaging (both the original and new grade are included in the calculation of GPA) for a maximum total of 28 units of course work. This limit applies only to units completed at Humboldt State University.

Exceptions: Courses set up by the department to be repeatable for which the automatic repeat process does not take place. For instance, ESM 111 is set up by the department to be repeatable 4 times. This means that a maximum of 5 attempts of this course will count toward the student’s grade point average.

If you are interested in repeating a course with grades averaged, submit a petition of the student to the Office of the Registrar, SBS 133, if special circumstances are involved.

Repeating a Humboldt State course that was previously taken at another college may require permission from the university department offering an equivalent course (if the equivalency has not been established by an articulation agreement). Additionally, the department chair must sign a Student Petition, if applicable, which is available from the Office of the Registrar. In order to override the Humboldt State automatic repeat policy, the student needs approval of the department chair on a Student Petition.

The grades of I, NC, RP, RD, and W are not considered as attempts for grade point average computation. Contact the Office of the Registrar, SBS 133, regarding courses taken prior to fall semester 1996. Please note: Some universities calculate all attempts of every course and ignore the undergraduate grade point average provided by Humboldt State for post-baccalaureate programs (e.g. graduate level programs, law school, and medical schools).

Students who are pursuing a second bachelor’s degree or who are unclassified post-baccalaureate students are eligible to use the undergraduate repeat policy. Students should submit a petition to the Office of the Registrar, SBS 133.

Graduate Students

Repeating Courses

Graduate students may repeat courses; however, all grades will appear on the permanent record and count in the grade point average. The units earned toward the degree count only once.

Note: A student may not take a course at Humboldt State, repeat it at another college, and then use the repeat policy to remove the Humboldt State course from the grade point average.

Withdrawing from Courses

Withdrawing from Courses

With the more-stringent requirements placed on course repeats and withdrawals for undergraduate students by Executive Order 1037, the faculty are strongly encouraged to provide students, when possible, with graded feedback in every course before the last date to drop without a “W” being added to the transcript. Because of unclear language about when during the semester students may withdraw from courses or the university for catastrophic reasons in the Executive Order, HSU has provide the following definitions as addendum to the policy:

  1. defines “catastrophic withdrawal,” 
  2. clarifies that students may request these types of withdrawals at any time after add/drop deadline, and 
  3. creates a new grade “WC” for these catastrophic withdrawals.

For non-catastrophic withdrawals, a definition of “serious and compelling” is added to ensure that the same standards will be applied by faculty and department chairs.

Also, a student’s eligibility for Financial Aid can be seriously affected by withdrawals. Faculty members are urged to remind students to consult the Financial Aid office before withdrawing from a class.

Definitions and policies for different types of withdrawals:

Drop: Disenrollment from a course before the add/drop deadline. Not recorded on the student's transcript.

Withdrawal (W): Disenrollment from a course after the first two weeks of classes but prior to the last 20% of instruction (the beginning of the 13th week of classes in the regular semester). Requires documentation of a "serious and compelling" reason for withdrawing, and must be approved by the faculty member teaching the course and the department chair. If granted, a grade of "W" appears on the student's transcript. EO 1037 limits undergraduate students to a total of 18 units with a grade of "W," effective Fall 2009.

"Serious and compelling" reason for withdrawal: Examples include psychological problems, loss of care for dependents, inappropriate behavior of someone else in the classroom, and serious reversal in the student's financial situation. Documentation must be provided. (Note: reasons such as doing poorly in a class, taking too many units, being too busy to do the work, not liking the class, not knowing how or when to drop are not considered to be “serious and compelling.”) In considering serious and compelling reasons, faculty and department chairs should give careful consideration to a student’s extenuating circumstances while also following this rigorous definition of “serious and compelling.”

Catastrophic Withdrawal (WC): Disenrollment from a course or from the campus after the first two weeks of classes due to catastrophic events clearly beyond a student's control, such as severe illness or injury, being called to military service, consequences of the death of a close family member. Formal documentation of the event must be provided, and requests must be approved by the faculty member teaching the course, the department chair, and the appropriate college Dean or designee. If granted, a grade of "WC" appears on the student's transcript. Catastrophic Withdrawals do not count toward the 18-unit limit for withdrawals. This is the only category of disenrollment permitted during the last 20% of instruction (the beginning of the 13th week of classes in the regular semester).

Disclosure of Student Information

We take your privacy seriously. Read more about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).