Jul 15, 2024  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

Student Responsibility

Students are expected to learn all general requirements of the university, as well as those of the program of their chosen field of study. Students are responsible for meeting all requirements and regulations for the degrees they seek.

Facilities and staffing limitations require that certain professional programs place limits on the number of students admitted to major standing. Where such limits exist, the principal admission criterion is academic performance in course work prerequisite to application for major standing. Additional information concerning application for major standing in programs with enrollment limits is contained in the individual program descriptions elsewhere in this catalog.

Academic Advising

The role and mission of faculty and professional academic advising at Oakland University is to advise students as they seek to develop academic, career and life goals and establish plans to accomplish these goals. This is a continuous process of discovery, clarification, and evaluation, whereby advisers assist students in identifying possibilities, assessing alternatives, and weighing the consequences of decisions.

Full-time professional academic advisers are available to students in each of the schools, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Bachelor of Integrative Studies office and the First Year Advising Center (formerly Advising Resource Center). Faculty advisers are also available in many majors. For assistance in understanding program admission requirements and enrollment limitations, as well as university and degree requirements, students should consult with professional advisers and/or faculty advisers. While students receive initial advising assistance in orientation, they are encouraged to seek individual assistance as early in their programs as possible and to see their advisers regularly thereafter. Most advisers see students for individual appointments arranged at their mutual convenience, except during busy early registration periods when only limited assistance can be provided. In some programs, students must file a written program plan. Advisers can help students complete such plans as well as verify that all degree requirements are being met in a timely fashion. Students may locate their advisers by consulting the list of school and departmental advising offices in the Advising Index at the front of this catalog and on the university’s website.


Oakland University is committed to the continuous improvement of its programs and services through an on-going process of self-assessment linked to action steps for improvement. Examples of common assessment activities include surveys, pre- and post-tests, course assignments, focus groups and interviews. Students can expect to participate in the assessment activities of various academic and student service units both as students and, later, as graduates of Oakland programs.

Assessment of student learning outcomes

Oakland University is committed to improving the quality of all of its degree programs. One way this is accomplished is by ongoing assessment of student learning outcomes. All degree programs have a set of unique goals and learning objectives they want students to achieve in their major programs. How well students are achieving the goals of their degree program goals is measured through assessment activities conducted throughout the academic year.

The results of assessment activities are used to improve programs and make curricular changes to maximize student learning outcomes. Assessment results inform departments of how well their current curriculum (courses, degree requirements, and other activities offered by the program) equips students to perform successfully within their major area. Assessment is also used to measure the ability of General Education courses and other experiences to provide a wide range of general knowledge and skills necessary for success in any career and throughout a lifetime. Ongoing assessment activities also allow programs to track and compare the quality of their programs from year-to-year and to measure the success of curricular changes designed to improve program quality. Assessment results are also used to identify program needs and to support requests for additional resources.

As a student, you can expect to participate in assessment activities from time to time as part of your degree program requirements. Some assessment activities might include: student surveys, examinations, evaluation of course papers and projects, entrance and exit interviews, and portfolios of students’ work throughout their major program. The activities are different for every degree program because each program has its own unique set of goals and learning objectives. They are designed to measure each program’s learning objectives in the best possible way.

Course and Credit System

The credit-hour value of each course (the number in parentheses following the course title) is specified in semester hours. One semester hour is equivalent to a total of 50 minutes of scheduled instruction each week plus the estimated time required in outside preparation. Most Oakland University courses are 4 credits. With their adviser’s permission, undergraduate students who have completed 12 or more credits at Oakland University may register for as many as 21 credits if their cumulative grade point average is at least 2.60. All other students may take more than 18 credits only with an approved Permission to Exceed Maximum Credit form. More than 21 credits also must have Registrar approval. College guest students must have the approval of the Registrar.

Class standing  

For university purposes, class standing is set at the following numbers of credit hours: students have freshman standing through completion of 27 credit hours, sophomore standing through completion of 55 credit hours, junior standing through completion of 90 credit hours, and senior standing when they have completed 91 credit hours or more.  

Regulations governing courses

  1. A course sequence joined by a hyphen (e.g., FRH 114 -FRH 115 ) must be taken in the order indicated. The first course in such a sequence is a prerequisite to the second.

  2. Course numbers separated by commas (e.g., HST 114 , HST 115 ) indicate related courses that may be taken in any order. However, departmental or program requirements may sometimes govern the order.

  3. Course numbers 000-049 are designated for skill development courses specially designed to aid incoming students with significant deficiencies in their academic background in preparing for courses numbered 100 and above. Credits earned in these courses cannot be used to satisfy minimal graduation requirements in any academic program. Grades earned in these courses, however, are included in students’ grade point averages. Course numbers 050-099 are for courses specially designed to enrich academic skills. No more than 16 credits in courses numbered 050-099 may count toward graduation requirements. Courses numbered 100-299 are introductory undergraduate courses primarily for freshmen and sophomores.

  4. Courses numbered 300-499 are designed for juniors and seniors. Courses numbered 500 and above are primarily for graduate students. Qualified undergraduates may enroll in a class numbered 500-599 provided they have obtained an override from the department chair and the course instructor. Only graduate students are eligible to elect courses numbered 600 and above.

  5. The university reserves the right to cancel any course in which there is insufficient registration.

  6. Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrollment in courses for which they are listed. Corequisite courses must be taken simultaneously. It is the student’s responsibility to complete all prerequisites prior to the start of a course with such requirements and to register for corequisites as indicated in the catalog. Departments may waive prerequisites in accordance with academic unit policy.

  7. Some courses are cross-listed among departments. In such cases, the course description is listed only in one department. The listing in the other department notes that the course is identical with the course in the primary department. When registering, students should select the listing under which they wish to receive degree credit.

Course competency

Students may receive credit toward graduation designated as competency credit (graded S/U) on their transcripts for Oakland University courses, subject to the following provisions:

  1. That they register for the course at registration with written permission of the departmental chairperson, dean or program director of the academic unit responsible for the course.
  2. That they pass an appropriate competency examination not more than six weeks after the term begins. Competency credit will not be permitted for a course when a student has received credit for more advanced courses in the same area.
  3. The repeat course rule applies to the repeating of competency examinations (see Repeating courses).
  4. That they pay the appropriate charges.

Students may apply up to 60 credits based on non-classroom experience (course competency, Advanced Placement, IB and/or CLEP credits) toward a degree program. Students seeking second degrees are limited to 16 credits of non-classroom experience. Students may not apply non-classroom experience (course competency, Advanced Placement, IB and/or CLEP credits) to satisfy General Education requirements for Writing Intensive in General Education or Writing Intensive in the Major.

Adjusting courses (drop and add)

Courses may be dropped with full refund through the second week of a full semester and the first week of a half semester. Courses may be dropped without academic penalty through the ninth week in a full semester and the fifth week of a half semester. A “W” grade denoting withdrawal is recorded for courses dropped after the second week in full semesters and after the first week in half semester. Failure to drop a course on or before the appropriate drop deadline will result in the recording of a 0.0 grade on the student’s record. Courses of other lengths have specific refund and withdrawal dates which are available at oakland.edu/registrar.

Auditing courses

A formal audit option is available for students who wish to participate in a course on a non-graded basis. With written permission of the instructor, students may register to audit a course during the late registration period for each semester or session. Forms for auditing classes are available online at oakland.edu/registar office forms. Audit registrations are governed by the following rules:

  1. Regular tuition applies to all courses.
  1. The registrar will assign the final mark of Z to all formal audits. If a student pays tuition for regular credit, he or she cannot switch to auditing the course.
  1. Changes of registration from credit to audit or from audit to credit will not be permitted once the late registration period has ended for a given semester (two weeks into the term).
  1. Students who wish to audit courses must have been admitted to the university by the Office of Admissions and Orientation.
  1. Students whose entire registration for a semester consists of formal audits must register during late registration.

Repeating courses

Students may repeat a course to improve the grade earned in a prior enrollment, but they must do so at Oakland University. The limit is three attempts at any individual course, excluding drops or withdrawals. The repeat course must be taken on the same grading basis (numeric or pass/fail) as the first attempt. Because some programs have more stringent limits, students should consult an adviser before registering to repeat a course. Students should be aware that the most recent grade will be the grade of record whether or not it is the highest grade earned.

Students whose programs allow courses to be repeated at other institutions will not receive transfer credit if Oakland University credit has been earned, nor will they improve their Oakland grade point average. Students must consult an adviser in the major program before registering to repeat a course elsewhere.

Oakland University transcripts will reflect grades earned in all Oakland courses. For repeated courses, the attempts excluded from the grade point average will be marked with an “E” and the grade of record will be marked with an “I” designating inclusion in the grade point average. Transfer students who successfully repeat a course at Oakland for which transfer credit has been awarded will lose the transfer credit. Credit is not given for more than one course covering specific content, which means that most courses can be taken only once. Certain courses, however, generally representing special topics or independent studies, are designed to vary from semester to semester. The Undergraduate Catalog states the applicable credit limit for such courses.

Degree Requirements

Undergraduate degree requirements are of two kinds: general degree requirements determined by the university to be binding on all baccalaureate programs and specific degree requirements established by the various academic units that offer degree programs. Students may choose to meet graduation requirements as presented in any catalog in effect since their matriculation at Oakland University, providing it is not more than six years old at the time of graduation. They also may follow separate catalogs for general and specific requirements, subject to the limitations described below.

An academic unit may require that students changing majors into its programs from another major or undecided status follow both major and college or school requirements (if applicable) from the catalog in effect at the time of change. (A change from pre-major to major standing in the same field does not constitute a change of major).

The catalog chosen for the student’s major will also be used to determine degree requirements for any minor or concentration the student may be pursuing unless a written plan of study has been approved by the department or school offering that program. Some academic units require that students file an approved plan of study for a concentration or minor in order to complete program requirements; those that do so stipulate this requirement in the appropriate section of this catalog. Forms for planning and approval of a minor or concentration are available from the advising offices. If the academic unit establishes no such requirement, students are still entitled to negotiate a minor or concentration in writing with the program coordinator. Written plans are particularly encouraged for those students using transfer courses to satisfy some portion of the program. A plan of study may be based on any catalog in effect at time of filing, but not one predating the student’s enrollment at Oakland University. Changes to an approved plan require prior written authorization from the concentration or minor coordinator.

Students may meet degree requirements by earning a passing grade in the course, by passing a competency examination or by receiving transfer credit from another institution. In certain circumstances, a requirement may be formally waived through a successful Petition of Exception.

All policies and procedures in this catalog reflect information as it was available on the publication date. Oakland University reserves the right to revise all announcements contained in this publication and at its discretion to make reasonable changes in requirements to improve or upgrade academic and non-academic programs.

Undergraduate degree requirements

Oakland University has established general undergraduate degree requirements applicable to all candidates for all undergraduate degrees. In order to earn a baccalaureate at Oakland University, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. General Education: All students must complete 40 credits of general education, including at least one course (three or more credits) from the list of approved courses offered in each of the following 10 knowledge areas: Writing, Formal Reasoning, Arts, Foreign Language and Culture, Global Perspective, Literature, Natural Science and Technology, Social Science, Western Civilization, and Knowledge Applications. Note that courses in these knowledge areas may not double count with each other. Additional general education requirements include U.S. Diversity, Writing Intensive in General Education, Writing Intensive in the Major, and a Capstone, all of which may be met by double counting approved general education courses. It is possible for a course to be triple counted if, in addition to meeting the requirements for Explorations, Knowledge Applications or Capstone, it also meets the requirements for U.S. Diversity and Writing Intensive in General Education or Writing Intensive in the major. (See course listings below.) Students transferring credit to the university should consult the transfer student information section. The policy stipulated above is considered a minimum credit requirement that academic units may increase for their own students. Students pursuing degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences should refer to the College exploratory requirements section for additional requirements. Students in the School of Engineering and Computer Science should see that section for specific requirements.

  2. Specific requirements: Students must select a major or primary field of study and also for some programs, as described in relevant sections of this catalog; they must be admitted to the major by the academic unit offering the program. Students must fulfill all specific undergraduate degree requirements appropriate to their chosen majors as stipulated by the various colleges, schools or other academic units empowered to present candidates for the undergraduate degree(s) over which they have authority. Specializations are groups of related courses within certain major fields; they are options in some major programs; for some other programs, students must select a specialization as part of the major. Concentrations which are groupings of interrelated courses with an interdisciplinary focus, are optional in most programs but required in some. Minors, secondary fields or subject areas of study, are optional. The completion of a Minor/Concentration Authorization form is recommended. Forms for planning and approval of a minor or concentration are available in the advising offices.

  3. Application requirement: Degree candidates should select Apply to Graduate under Students Records in SAIL to submit an Undergraduate Application for Degree prior to the published  deadline for the semester of expected graduation.             

  4. ApprovalsDegree candidates must have all petitions approved and all transcripts for coursework applicable to the degree submitted by the end of the second week of classes of intended graduation. Failure to do so will result in automatic removal from the graduation list.

  5. Residence requirement: Students must successfully complete a minimum of 32 credits at Oakland University. They must also complete at Oakland University the last 8 (4 for Bachelor of Integrative Studies designation) credits needed to fulfill the requirements for a baccalaureate. Oakland University limits academic residency to no more than twenty-five percent of the degree requirements for all undergraduate degrees for active-duty service members. Academic residency can be completed at any time while active-duty service members are enrolled. Reservists and National Guardsmen on active-duty are covered in the same manner.

  6. Grade point average: Students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 in courses taken at Oakland University. In certain programs, additional GPA requirements must be met.

  7. Upper-level credit requirement: Students must have successfully completed at least 32 credits in courses at the 300 level or above. Students transferring credits to Oakland University should consult the Transfer student information section.

General education

Click here to view the General Education  program.

Writing requirements

Students must satisfy the university General Education requirement in the Writing Foundations area by completing WRT 160  and any required prerequisites (WRT 102 - Basic Writing  and/or WRT 150 - Composition I ) or through one of the alternatives below. Outside of the Writing Foundations area, two additional writing intensive courses (one in the General Education program and one in the student’s major) must also be completed.

Writing foundations

Students may fulfill Writing Foundations requirement in any one of the following four ways (NOTE: Only completion of WRT 160 , transfer of course credit, or AP scores or 4 or 5 provide credit towards an OU degree, and towards General Education credit requirements):

  1. By Oakland University course work: Complete WRT 160  (and any required prerequisites including WRT 102  and/or WRT 150 ) with a grade of 2.0 or better in each course. [Note: Some majors require a higher grade. Please consult with your adviser.] See below for an overview of the placement system.

  2. By exemption from all or part of the required coursework. Exemption may be granted to students as follows:

    • Students who submit an AP English Language and Composition examination score of 4 or 5 will be exempt from WRT 150  and WRT 160 ;
    • Students who write and submit a Placement Packet to the Chair of Writing and Rhetoric (see Writing and Rhetoric Placement System portion of the catalog for further information) may be placed in WRT 102 - Basic Writing , WRT 150 - Composition I  or WRT 160 - Composition II . No credit is awarded based on the Placement Packet.
  1. By transfer: Transfer a college level English composition course that meets the learning outcomes of the Foundations Writing area and is equivalent to WRT 160  (minimum 3 semester credits). Students who have completed such courses with grades of 2.0 or better may submit their transcripts to the Registrar for evaluation.

  2. By exemption portfolio: The deadline for submission of an exemption portfolio is the end of the student’s fourth semester at Oakland University (excluding summer semester). Students may submit an exemption portfolio to demonstrate that they have developed the skills to meet the learning outcomes of General Education Foundations Writing at the level of WRT 160 . The exemption portfolio, if successful, exempts students from WRT 150  and WRT 160 ; students must complete four (4) additional credits in General Education courses. The exemption portfolio process requires the submission of a collection of the student’s original graded papers from college courses for evaluation by the Writing and Rhetoric department faculty in accordance with the following instructions:

Exemption portfolio requirements

  1. Identification cover page including certification that the portfolio includes the student’s own work (cover sheet and directions available from the Writing and Rhetoric department office, 378 O’Dowd Hall, 248-370-2746 or online at oakland.edu/ wrt/ files/ transferportfolio.doc).

  2. Letter (suggested limit: one page) addressed to the Writing and Rhetoric Department Chair describing the student’s writing experience and development. The letter should explain the kinds of writing the student has done and how the enclosed work demonstrates mastery of the skills developed in WRT 150  and WRT 160  (see catalog course descriptions).

  3. The graded originals of three single-author papers written by the student for college classes (at Oakland University or other accredited institutions). One of these papers must demonstrate that the student can design, conduct and report on a research project using and documenting outside sources in a standard system such as MLA, APA or another clearly identified system without plagiarism. For the research writing, students should include photocopies or printouts of at least three cited pages from the sources used for the paper.

  4. The Exemption Portfolio may only be submitted once.

Rhetoric placement system

The main mechanism used to place students in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at Oakland University is the ACT English score, as follows: 

Additionally, students who submit an AP English Language and Composition examination score of 3 will be exempt from

 ; a score 4 or 5 on the AP English Language and Composition examination will be exempt from    and  . No credit is awarded for AP Exams.

Students with questions about placement in first year writing should consult the Department of Writing and Rhetoric, 378 O’Dowd Hall, 248-370-2746, prior to the beginning of the semester in which they plan to enroll in first year writing. Students are responsible for knowing registration deadlines and understanding the implications of schedule changes for their financial aid. The department is not responsible for a student’s loss of financial aid due to schedule changes.

Placement by ACT score or department override does not provide any course credit, regardless of where students are placed.

Additional Undergraduate Degrees and Majors

Under certain conditions, a student may earn either an additional baccalaureate or a single baccalaureate degree with multiple majors.

For students who have not yet received any baccalaureate degree

In order to pursue two or more Oakland University baccalaureates simultaneously, students must:

  1. Meet all specified requirements for each degree program.

  2. Complete at least 32 credits at Oakland University beyond those required for the degree requiring the most credits. Of these, at least 16 credits must be at the 300 level or above.

These degrees must either have separate designations (for example, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) or be earned in separate academic divisions (for example, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Computer Science). Students who meet the requirements for more than one major program but who do not meet the above conditions may receive a single degree with more than one major recorded on their transcripts.

For students already holding a baccalaureate degree

Students already holding a baccalaureate who wish to earn an additional baccalaureate from Oakland University must:

  1. Receive written approval from the college or school concerned (and, where appropriate, from the department) as part of the admission process to the new program.

  2. Complete at least 32 additional credits at Oakland University.

  3. Meet all specific requirements for the new degree as stipulated by the college, school or other academic unit in which the student is a candidate.

  4. Second-degree students from regionally accredited institutions are exempt from Oakland University’s general education requirements. This does not apply to students educated outside the U.S.

In the case of students holding a baccalaureate from Oakland University, the new degree must have a separate designation or be awarded by a different academic division, as described above. Alternately, students may enroll as post-baccalaureate students and have completion of an additional major recorded on the transcript. Such students must meet all requirements for the additional major.

Students already holding a baccalaureate degree may earn teacher certification in elementary education by being admitted to this program at Oakland University with second undergraduate degree status. For a description of the program, see the Department of Teacher Development and Educational Studies, School of Education and Human Services. Students holding baccalaureate degrees with acceptable majors may earn teacher certification in secondary education by being admitted to this program at Oakland University with second degree status. For a description of this program, refer to Secondary Education, School of Education and Human Services.

Petition of Exception

Any student may request a waiver or modification of specific degree requirements outlined in this catalog. The request should be made on a Petition of Exception form available from the appropriate advising office. Petitions requesting modification of the normal requirements of a major should be directed to the chairperson of the major department, while those addressing university-wide undergraduate degree requirements should be returned to the adviser for referral to the appropriate body. The student, the registrar and the student’s academic adviser will receive copies of the petition showing the action taken. Petitions of Exception relating to graduation requirements must be filed no later than the second week of the semester of intended graduation.

English Proficiency Policy

International applicants, other visa holders, permanent residents, and exchange students whose native language* is not English must provide proof of English proficiency.


One of the following constitutes proof:



550 minimum on paper-based TOEFL



213 minimum on computer-based TOEFL



79 minimum on internet-based TOEFL



77 minimum


24 transferable credits, excluding ESL course work, from a U.S. community college or baccalaureate institution


A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university


One year of study and a diploma from a U.S. high school



Some programs at Oakland University may require a higher level of proficiency than listed above. Applicants should examine the program description for their field of study for information about additional English proficiency requirements and furnish proof as part of the admission process (oakland.edu/futurestudents).

Admission with ESL course work

One of the following constitutes proof:



520-549 on paper-based TOEFL



192-212 on computer-based TOEFL



69-78 on internet-based TOEFL







Students must register for ESL courses as part of their course work starting in their first semester of registration. ESL placement is done by the English as a Second Language Center (ESL Center) using the Institutional TOEFL and other assessment tools. Upon completion of the individualized ESL instruction sequence, students’ English Proficiency will be evaluated using the Institutional TOEFL to determine whether additional ESL coursework is necessary to achieve English Proficiency. The individualized ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Center is not negotiable.

Satisfactory completion of the individualized ESL instruction sequence is expected within one year, but ESL coursework is required until minimum proficiency is demonstrated.

Admission to intensive English program

Prospective students who do not have adequate English Proficiency for admission or admission with ESL coursework to the university can be admitted to the Intensive English Program. ESL placement is done by the English as a Second Language Center (ESL Center) using the Institutional TOEFL and other assessment tools. Upon completion of the individualized ESL instruction sequence, students’ English Proficiency will be evaluated using the Institutional TOEFL to determine whether additional ESL coursework is necessary to achieve English Proficiency. The Individualized ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Center is not negotiable.

Upon completion of the Intensive English Program, students may (re)apply for admission to Oakland University; applicants are evaluated using the admission criteria described above.

* A native language is a language that is acquired naturally during childhood and is usually spoken at home, as opposed to a language that is learned later in life, for example as a part of a person’s formal education. Students whose native language is not English are encouraged to visit the English as a Second Language Center to discuss any language difficulties they may have while attending Oakland University.

Transfer Student Information

Transfer admission

Students who wish to transfer to Oakland University should consult with the “Admissions” section under “General Information.”

While some students may be admitted based on unofficial documents, this does not remove the obligation to provide official transcripts. Students who fail to provide official transcripts will be prevented from registering in subsequent semesters until all transcripts have been received.

Students whose prior academic experience includes course work completed outside the United States or Canada must also provide an evaluation of course work from a credentials evaluation service. For additional information, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Transfer practices

When students enter Oakland University, the Academic Records Office evaluates all course work previously completed with a 2.0 or equivalent grade at regionally accredited post-secondary institutions. Transferred courses may be used to satisfy credit and major requirements. Courses necessary to complete degree requirements are offered by the university, and it is anticipated that transfer students who have been admitted will complete subsequent program requirements at Oakland University. Credits are granted for courses taken at other regionally accredited post-secondary institutions in accordance with the transfer policies of this university and with the principles described below. Transfer credit will not be granted for course work completed at another institution during any period when the student was suspended from Oakland University for academic misconduct.

Your GPA does NOT transfer from any two-year or four-year college or university. Only credits will transfer. Your GPA is based only on grades earned at Oakland. Some programs may use the grades from other schools in their particular internal admission criteria. Note: If you do poorly in an Oakland course, you should NOT retake that course somewhere else. If you retake it at any other institution, it will not replace the Oakland grade. That class will affect your GPA permanently on the transcript for Oakland University. Do your retakes here for maximum benefit.

Transfer practices for community college students

Oakland University’s baccalaureate programs are designed to accommodate students from Michigan community colleges. For most local community colleges, the university has prepared course equivalency guides that indicate courses fulfilling specific Oakland University requirements. Transfer students from community colleges are eligible for the same financial aid programs and other services available to students who enter Oakland University directly from high school.

Transfer practices for students from four-year institutions

Oakland University also accepts students from regionally accredited four-year institutions. Transfer credits are accepted in accordance with the transfer policies of this university and in accordance with the principles described below. Some exceptions to this policy include certain physical education courses and religion courses offered by religiously affiliated post-secondary institutions.

Transfer practices for students from non-regionally accredited institutions

If a prospective student from a non-regionally accredited institution meets OU admissions requirements, they will be admitted to Oakland University. The student’s credits from prior non-regionally accredited colleges and universities will be accepted according to the following policy:

Oakland University may accept for transfer those credits for which a grade of 2.0 (on a four-point scale) or higher was earned from institutions with candidacy status from a regional accrediting agency or from other accredited institutions provided that: 1) the institution grants a baccalaureate or associate degree; 2) the institution is a recognized member of CHEA; 3) the courses presented for transfer are shown to have equivalency or are determined to be of traditional academic nature and are acceptable to an Oakland University department; and 4) the institution’s courses are taught by faculty with a masters degree or above.

Students who have questions should contact their academic adviser or the Office of the Registrar.

Transfer practices for veterans

Undergraduate students who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States are granted, upon application, four hours of undesignated free elective credits. Oakland University may accept transfer course work completed in the Armed Forces of the United States and in programs of the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) subject to the following conditions: 1) the content of the courses must be comparable to those for which Oakland University normally grants transfer credit; 2) granting of credit for particular courses must be recommended by the American Council on Education;  3) the credits are acceptable to the appropriate academic department at Oakland University. Students who have questions should contact their academic adviser or the Office of the Registrar.  

Transfer credit evaluation

Preliminary evaluations of transfer credits are mailed to students shortly after admission has been approved. Information is updated as equivalency information is received. Students can review their transcripts on SAIL to see the most updated information. Official evaluations are completed during the first semester of attendance. If students have questions concerning courses at other institutions that may meet Oakland University’s general education requirements, they should consult their academic adviser or the Academic Records Office, 102 O’Dowd Hall, (248) 370-3452.

Individual academic units may impose particular limitations on transfer credit. Students are advised to read appropriate sections of this catalog to learn the policies of schools in which they may be degree candidates.

Once transfer credits have been granted at Oakland University, a subsequent change of program or major may result in a change in the number of transfer credits accepted.

Study at a foreign university

Oakland University students who enroll directly in foreign universities may, upon their return, request academic credit. Such students must provide documentation of the content and scope of the work completed as well as official evaluations of academic performance. Students who anticipate requesting credit for foreign study should contact the Office of International Education, 160 North Foundation Hall (248) 370-2254, in advance of enrolling in a foreign university.

Transfer principles

Community college transfer credit limit (generally 62 credits)

Students may transfer applicable community college credits at any time during their course of study; however, such credits are limited to no more than one-half the minimum credits required for completion of a specific baccalaureate program. Additional credit may be transferred from regionally accredited four-year institutions. At least 32 credits must be earned at Oakland University.

Upon a student’s initial entry to the university (or upon readmission after a lapse of six years or more), courses taken at a two-year institution may be accepted to satisfy requirements even though the rule limiting community college credit transfers to one-half of the total may prevent the acceptance of any credits from such courses. A continuing student at Oakland University who has reached this credit limit may not apply toward the baccalaureate degree any more courses or credits from a two-year institution.

Principles concerning the MACRAO agreement

Oakland University participates in the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) Articulation Agreement. The Agreement allows transfer students to satisfy the university’s general education requirements at the community college except as noted below.

After transferring to Oakland University, students must complete a writing intensive course in the major and a capstone course. MACRAO transfer students must also either transfer in a course that is acceptable for the knowledge application requirement or take the course at OU after transferring. Transfer students are exempt from the writing intensive in general education requirement. Under the MACRAO agreement, transfer students from participating Michigan public community colleges must present for review a transcript bearing the “MACRAO Agreement Satisfied” stamp.

General education requirements for transfer students

Transfer students may fulfill the general education requirements with courses from their former institution that have been approved for this purpose by Oakland University. In such cases, a 3 semester-hour transfer course may serve as the required course in a particular knowledge area, but students must still present a total of 40 general education credits, and all 10 knowledge areas must be represented for graduation. Transfer students must complete the writing intensive in the major course and the capstone course at Oakland University. However, transfer students are exempt from the writing intensive in general education requirement.

Arts and Sciences exploratory requirements for transfer students 

Transfer students pursuing any major in the College of Arts and Sciences should refer to the Policies and Procedures section in the College portion of the catalog for exploratory requirements that must be met in addition to general education requirements.

College-level examination program (CLEP) credits

Transfer students who wish to apply CLEP credits towards degree work at Oakland University should consult the College-level Examination Program (CLEP) section of the catalog.

Grading System

  1. The basic undergraduate grading system at Oakland University is a 32-point system of numerical grades, with passing grades ranging from 1.0 through 4.0, by tenths, and a no credit grade of 0.0. Non-numerical grades are W, I, P, S, U, R and Z. All courses are graded numerically unless otherwise noted.

  2. The first two weeks of a full semester (one week in summer I and II and variable for other parts of term) are a no record period for dropping and adding courses. (“No-record” means that there will be no transcript notation showing enrollment in the course.) See Important Dates at oakland.edu/important_dates.

  3. The meanings of non-numeric grades are as follows:

    1. W (Withdrawn) grade is assigned by the registrar if a student withdraws officially from a course between the end of the no-record period and the ninth week of 14-week courses (the fifth week of seven-week courses, and variable for other parts of term).
    2. The I (Incomplete) grade is temporary and may be given only by student request and instructor consent and only after the cut-off date for use of the W grade. It is used in the case of severe hardship beyond the control of a student that prevents completion of course requirements. Student work to remove an I grade for credit courses and faculty submission of the grade must be completed within one year from the faculty grade submission deadline for the appropriate semester. I grades after the one year deadline shall be changed to a grade of 0.0 for undergraduate students. A student who wishes to receive an Incomplete (I) grade in a course must present a Student Request for Incomplete Grade form to the instructor by the day of the scheduled final examination. This form, which indicates the instructor’s willingness or unwillingness to grant the I and the schedule he or she sets for completing the term’s work, is available in department offices. The rules described above do not apply to degree candidates. Graduating students requesting Incomplete grades in the final semester should contact the degree auditor immediately.
    3. The P (Progress) grade is temporary and may be given only in a course that, by design, cannot be completed in one semester or session. Prior approval must be obtained from the dean of the appropriate school or college to assign P grades in a particular course. The P grade is only given for course work that is satisfactory in every respect. P grades must be removed within two calendar years from the date of assignment. If this is not done, the P will be changed to a 0.0.
    4. The S (Satisfactory) grade implies a grade of 2.0 or better in certain selected courses in which S/U grading is used exclusively; such courses must be approved by the appropriate committee on instruction. Under circumstances presented below, students may elect as an option to take a numerically graded course on an S/U basis.
    5. The U (Unsatisfactory) grade is given in selected courses approved for S/U grading and implies a non-passing grade of less than 2.0. It also denotes unsatisfactory work in a numerically graded course elected by a student on an S/U basis.
    6. R is a temporary grade assigned by the registrar in the absence of a grade from the instructor.
    7. Z is assigned upon registration for an audited course. The student’s declaration of intention to audit and instructor permission are both required, and it is understood that no credit for the course is intended to be earned that term.
  4. If none of the above apply, the course is considered to have been successfully completed when the instructor assigns a numerical grade from 1.0 to 4.0. The University Senate has approved publication of the following conversion for external purposes:

3.6-4.0 — A
3.0-3.5 — B
2.0-2.9 — C
1.0-1.9 — D
     0.0 — no credit

  1. All grades appear on student transcripts. However, only numerical grades are used to determine the grade point average, which is truncated at two decimal places.

S/U grading option

Undergraduates who have completed at least 28 credit hours toward graduation may elect to take up to 8 credits of course work at Oakland University on an S/U grading basis, assuming that all prerequisites have been completed and subject to the following conditions:

  1. These credits may be counted only as elective credits. They may not be used to satisfy general education requirements (including college or school distribution requirements), the student’s major or minor course requirements or prerequisites, or any courses designated ‘‘No S/U’’.

  2. Any courses that are designated S/U in the catalog will not count toward the limit of 8 S/U grading option credits per student. Courses where the S/U grading system is used to grade all students in the course can be used to satisfy any applicable academic requirement.

  3. The student must elect the S/U option by the end of the late registration period by filing the appropriate form with the Registration Office (100 O’Dowd Hall). Instructors will not be informed on their enrollment lists as to who are the S/U students, if any. They will simply assign numeric grades (0.0 to 4.0) to all enrolled students. For students who have elected the S/U option, the Registrar’s Office will then convert numeric grades from 2.0 to 4.0 to an S and numeric grades from 0.0 to 1.9 to a U. An S or a U will appear on the student’s official grade report and transcript.

  4. Neither the S nor the U grade will be included in the student’s grade point average.

  5. If a course is repeated, it must be repeated on the same grading basis as the first attempt.

Appeal of grade

Final Course Grade – Formal Grade Appeal Procedure

The evaluation of academic work is the prerogative of the instructor and the rules for determining final course grades should be established by the instructor and given to the students in a course syllabus at the beginning of the semester. All final course grades assigned by instructors are considered final, except Incomplete (I) and Progress (P) grades.

The assignment of final course grades requires an appeal procedure to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of faculty and students are properly recognized and protected. The grade appeal procedure is not to be used to review the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of the student’s work.

The Office of the Registrar is authorized to change a final course grade provided the reason for the change is to correct a clerical or procedural error. It is the responsibility of the student who appeals a final course grade to demonstrate clerical error, prejudice or capriciousness in the assignment of the grade; otherwise, the judgment of the instructor is final.

A student who believes grounds exist for an appeal of a final course grade must complete the appeal process within the semester time limits specified in the table below AND within the time limits specified in the various steps below. These time limits represent the maximum time limit for a student to appeal a final course grade. In the event that a program publishes more stringent time limits, the program time limits will take precedence over the time limits in this document. Once the appeal process is initiated, the burden of proof is on the student. Written verification of each step below is critical.

No changes to a final course grade will be approved on the basis of course improvement or re-examination.

Final Course Grade posted on SAIL

Maximum Time Limit to Complete
Final Course Grade Appeal

Fall Semester

End of subsequent Winter semester

Winter Semester

End of subsequent Fall semester

Summer Semester

End of subsequent Fall semester

Informal Conference with Instructor
Step 1 – Student Contacts the Course Instructor

Student responsibility

Students who have questions about final grades for the semester are required to contact the instructor who issued the final course grade by email or in writing to request a review of the grade. Step 1, an informal conference with the instructor, must be initiated no later than 10 work days after final grades are posted on SAIL to determine if an error has been made.

If the instructor is on leave, on sabbatical, or is not currently on the faculty during the time range stipulated in Step 1, the student should contact the chair of the academic department that offered the course.

Instructor responsibility

The instructor must respond to the student within 10 work days of being contacted by the student and explain to the student how the grade was determined. If an error was made in calculating the grade, the instructor submits a Grade Change Request to the Office of Registrar modifying the final grade.

If a resolution with the instructor is not reached (Step 1), the student can initiate a Formal Grade Appeal Review (Step 2). The grade appeal procedure is not to be used to review the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of the student’s work. The burden of proof, however, rests with the student to demonstrate that the grade decision was made on the basis of any of the following conditions:

  1. The student believes that the grade received conflicts with the grading policy on the syllabus;

  2. The student believes that there is an error in calculation with the grade;

  3. The student believes that the grade was given arbitrarily, or with capriciousness or prejudice.

Formal Grade Appeal Review
Step 2 – Chair of the Academic Department

Student responsibility

Step 1 review MUST be concluded before the student can initiate the Formal Grade Appeal Review

The request for a Formal Grade Appeal Review of a final course grade must be submitted to the chair of the academic department that offered the course no later than 10 days after contact with the instructor.
The student must identify one of the three reasons permissible for the grade appeal review, and submit the Grade Appeal form, along with the following documentation:

  1. A thorough explanation of the reason identified for this review, including any relevant written materials – letters, memos, emails, or notes;

  2. A brief outline of the outcome of the grade review contact/meeting with the instructor;

  3. A copy of the course syllabus outlining assignments, tests, and examinations, along with their respective weights to the final grade calculation; and

  4. A demonstration of the error in calculation by which the final grade was determined.

Since the written appeal will be the basis for the Grade Appeal Review, the student should ensure that it is clear, complete, and inclusive of all documentation the student wishes to have considered in the appeal process. It is the student’s responsibility to present written evidence that the instructor made an error or acted arbitrarily or capriciously in assigning the grade.

Chair responsibility

Step 1 review MUST be concluded before the student can initiate the Formal Grade Appeal Review

The chair of the academic department will discuss the Formal Grade Appeal with the instructor. In departments that have a committee charged with the responsibility of hearing student grade appeals, the chair may refer the matter to the committee. The role of the chair is to ensure procedural process, it is not to re-grade the work completed by the student for the course.

If the instructor is also the chair of the academic department, the dean of the school (or the dean’s designee) will discuss the Formal Grade Appeal with the instructor.

The chair of the academic department and the instructor of the course must review the Formal Grade Appeal before the Official Withdrawal date in the semester subsequent to the semester the final grade was posted in SAIL.

Fall Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL

Official withdrawal date in subsequent Winter semester.



Winter Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL

Official withdrawal date in subsequent Fall semester.



Summer Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL

Official withdrawal date in subsequent Fall semester.



At the conclusion of this review, a written and dated decision must be provided to the student. If the student does not receive a response from the chair by the Official Withdrawal date, the student may advance his or her written grade appeal to the next level.

Step 3 – Dean of the School that Offered the Course

Student responsibility

Students who do not believe their final course grade concerns were resolved in review with the chair of the academic department (or academic department committee) may advance their written grade appeal to the dean of the school (or the dean’s designee) that offered the course.

The request for a Formal Grade Appeal of a final course grade must be submitted to the dean of the school that offered the course no later than 10 days after the written decision of the chair of the academic department.

Dean responsibility

The dean may utilize any resources available to resolve the grade appeal before the end of the semester class date. When appropriate, the dean shall convene a committee to review the case. Within the structure provided by the dean, the committee shall design its own rules of operation and select a chair other than a faculty representative from the department concerned.

If feasible, the committee should meet with the student and the instructor together in an attempt to resolve the difference. The committee shall consider all aspects of the case before making its recommendation. The committee shall make a written report with recommendations and provide copies to the dean. The dean shall make a final decision after full consideration of the committee’s recommendation.

The dean must provide a written, dated decision to the student, instructor and chair of the academic department before the end of the semester class date. The decision of the school dean is final and ends the grade appeal process for the student; there is no higher level of appeal.


Fall Semester Final Grade posted in SAIL

End of class date in subsequent Winter semester.


Winter Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL

End of class date in subsequent Fall semester.


Summer Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL

End of class date in subsequent Fall semester.


Academic Records

Transcripts may be requested online through SAIL. Former students who don’t know their log-in credentials may complete a transcript request form at oakland.edu/transcripts, in-person at Registrar Services, or by writing to: Transcript Request, Office of the Registrar, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4490. Requests should include the name under which the student attended, the student’s Oakland University student number, the date the student last attended, date of degree (if applicable) and the address to which the transcript is to be sent.

Transcripts will not be issued for students who have delinquent indebtedness to the university or who are delinquent in repaying a National Direct Student Loan (NDSL), a Perkins Loan or Nursing Student Loan (NSL).

Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act

Oakland University shall comply with the applicable requirements of the “Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act,” beginning in 2002, which states that every sex offender must register under “Megan’s Law” and provide information of his/her enrollment or employment by a college or university. Members of the campus community can access the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry database maintained by the Michigan State Police. Users can search the database using name, city, zip code, or county. The database can be accessed on the State of Michigan website at mipsor.state.mi.us or by visiting the OUPD website at police.oakland.edu. Questions or further information regarding the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act may be obtained by contacting the Vice President for Student Affairs, (248) 370-4200, or the Chief of Police, (248) 370-3000. In accordance with the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,” nothing may be construed to prohibit Oakland University from disclosing information provided to the university concerning registered sex offenders. Finally, it is required that the Secretary of Education take appropriate steps to notify Oakland University that disclosure of this information is permitted.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 pertain to confidential student educational records. This legislation allows students the right to view upon request their own confidential educational records and defines the use of these records by others. The dean of students is the university compliance officer for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Students who do not want directory information to appear on the Oakland University web site can restrict release of such data by doing the following:

  • Login to Sail

  • Click on Login to Secure Area

  • Complete the User Login

  • Select Personal Information

  • Select Directory Profile

  • De-select the Display in Directory option for items you wish to not appear in the web directory.

Students who do not want directory information released in any other form must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. Forms for this purpose are available in 101A O’Dowd Hall. Upon receipt of the completed form or a letter, directory information will be withheld until the student requests in writing that it be released. Requests for privacy may also be faxed to the Registrar at (248) 370-3461.

The university considers student theses and dissertations to be public statements of research findings. Therefore, students who submit such work in fulfillment of degree requirements shall be deemed to have consented to disclosure of the work.

A full statement of students’ rights is available in the Office of the Dean of Students, 144 Oakland Center, (248) 370-3352. Any questions, grievances, complaints or other related problems may be addressed to the Dean of Students, 144 Oakland Center, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4401, (248) 370-3352 and/or filed with the U.S. Department of Education.

University Approval for Research Activities Involving Human and Animal Subjects, Biosafety, and Radiation Safety

Protection of human subjects

All research projects involving the participation of human subjects, use of identifiable private information, or use of materials of human origin must be submitted for review by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) before the research can be conducted. This requirement includes all research, from low-risk investigations such as surveying people on the street about their favorite television shows to high-risk studies like clinical trials of experimental medical treatments. Applications are submitted online through the Research Application Manager 2.0 (see “Online Application for Conducting Research” section).

All students conducting research must have a faculty sponsor. The student and faculty sponsor are jointly responsible for contacting the IRB and for keeping abreast of the approval process as it pertains to their study.

For more information about human subjects review, access to the Oakland University Guidelines for Research Involving Human Subjects, and mandatory CITI training, visit Regulatory Compliance at oakland.edu/research, contact Dr. Judette Haddad at (248) 370-4898, haddad@oakland.edu.

Protection of animal subjects

Research using vertebrate animals must have the approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and be conducted according to federal regulations and university guidelines. Approval is obtained through submission of an Animal Care and Use applications. Applications must be submitted online through the Research Application Manager 3.0 (see “Online Application for Conducting Research” section). For more information visit Regulatory Compliance at oakland.edu/research or contact Janet Schofding at (248) 370-4440 or schofdin@oakland.edu. 


All research, teaching and testing at Oakland University involving recombinant DNA, infectious agents and/or cultured cell lines must be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) before the work can be conducted. Approval is obtained through submission of biosafety research applications. Applications must be submitted online through the Research Application Manager 3.0 (see “Online Application for Conducting Research” section). For more information visit Regulatory Compliance at oakland.edu/research or contact Dr. Judette Haddad at (248) 370-4898 or haddad@oakland.edu.

Radiation safety

Radioactive material (including machinery producing ionizing radiation) can only be used by authorized Oakland University permit holders or under the supervision of a permit holder. User permits are issued by the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) only to full-time OU faculty members or principal investigators. All others must work under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. To access the Radiation Safety Tutorial, visit Regulatory Compliance at oakland.edu/research. For more information, visit oakland.edu/labsafety or contact Dominic Luongo, Radiation Safety Officer at (248) 370-4314 or luongo@oakand.edu.

Online application for conducting research

To access the compliance committee applications referred to above, researchers should visit the Regulatory Compliance link on the Research web page at oakland.edu/research. Research Application Manager (RAM) 2.0 (IRB Application) is accessed at oakland.edu/research. Researchers who are accessing the site for the first time, should access the Step-by-Step Instructions at oakland.edu/research/appmanager/stepbystep.cfm to create an account. Depending on the elements involved and the scope of the project, students will gain access to the relevant applications required to conduct the study. RAM 3.0 (IACUC and IBC Applications) is accessed at oakland.edu/research/gcsram/login.cfm.

Other Academic Policies


Academic honors

At the end of each fall and winter semester, undergraduates who have earned a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher in at least 12 credit hours of numerically graded university work and who have received no 0.0 grades will be recognized for academic achievement. These credits must be earned within the time constraints of the normal semester. Notices of commendation will be sent to undergraduates with GPAs of 3.00 to 3.59. Notices of academic honors will be sent to undergraduates with GPAs of 3.60 to 4.00. Both commendation and academic honors will be recorded on students’ academic transcripts.

Dean’s list

At the end of each winter semester, students who achieve academic honors (3.60 to 4.00) in at least 12 numerically graded credits for consecutive fall/winter semesters will be placed on the Dean’s List.  Students who receive an I (incomplete) and/or P (progress) grade in either fall or winter semesters are not eligible for the dean’s list. Inclusion on the Dean’s List for an academic year will be recorded on students’ academic transcripts. Names of Dean’s List students, except those who have requested privacy, will be published on an official list to be posted on campus. Students will also receive letters from the appropriate dean.

Departmental and school honors

Departmental or school honors may be awarded to selected students when their degrees are conferred. Criteria for earning these honors are described in the appropriate section of the Undergraduate Catalog. Departmental and school honors are recorded on students’ transcripts.

University honors

The three levels of university honors, cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude, may be awarded with the conferral of a student’s earned baccalaureate with the following cumulative grade point average: 3.60-3.74, cum laude; 3.75-3.89, magna cum laude; and 3.90-4.00, summa cum laude. The awarding of a degree with university honors will be based only on Oakland University credits, and the student must earn at least 62 credits at Oakland University to be eligible for such honors.

Academic conduct policy

All members of the academic community at Oakland University are expected to practice and uphold standards of academic integrity and honesty. Academic integrity means representing oneself and one’s work honestly. Misrepresentation is cheating since it means students are claiming credit for ideas or work not actually theirs and are thereby seeking a grade that is not actually earned. Following are some examples of academic dishonesty:

  1. Cheating on examinations. This includes using materials such as books and/or notes when not authorized by the instructor, copying from someone else’s paper, helping someone else copy work, substituting another’s work as one’s own, theft of exam copies, or other forms of misconduct on exams.

  2. Plagiarizing the work of others. Plagiarism is using someone else’s work or ideas without giving that person credit; by doing this students are, in effect, claiming credit for someone else’s thinking. Whether students have read or heard the information used, they must document the source of information. When dealing with written sources, a clear distinction should be made between quotations (which reproduce information from the source word-for-word within quotation marks) and paraphrases (which digest the source of information and produce it in the student’s own words). Both direct quotations and paraphrases must be documented. Even if students rephrase, condense or select from another person’s work, the ideas are still the other person’s, and failure to give credit constitutes misrepresentation of the student’s actual work and plagiarism of another’s ideas. Buying a paper or using information from the World Wide Web or Internet without attribution and handing it in as one’s own work is plagiarism.

  3. Cheating on lab reports by falsifying data or submitting data not based on the student’s own work.

  4. Falsifying records or providing misinformation regarding one’s credentials.

  5. Unauthorized collaboration on computer assignments and unauthorized access to and use of computer programs, including modifying computer files created by others and representing that work as one’s own.

Unless they specifically indicate otherwise, instructors expect individual, unaided work on homework assignments, exams, lab reports and computer exercises, and documentation of sources when used. If instructors assign a special project other than or in addition to exams, such as a research paper, or original essay or a book review, they intend that work to be completed for that course only. Students must not submit work completed for a course taken in the past or for a concurrent course unless they have explicit permission to do so from both faculty members.

Instructors are expected to maintain the following standards in the context of academic conduct:

  1. To inform and instruct students about the procedures and standards of research and documentation required to complete work in a particular course or in the context of a particular discipline;

  2. To take practical steps to prevent and detect cheating;

  3. To report suspected academic misconduct to the Assistant Dean of Students (144 Oakland Center) for consideration by the Academic Conduct Committee of the University Senate;

  4. To present evidence of plagiarism, cheating on exams or lab reports, falsification of records or other forms of academic conduct before the Academic Conduct Committee.

Students are expected to maintain the following standards in the context of academic conduct:

  1. To be aware of and practice the standards of honest scholarship;

  2. To follow faculty instructions regarding exams and assignments to avoid inadvertent misrepresentation of work;

  3. To be certain that special rules regarding documentation of term papers, examination procedures, use of computer-based information and programs, etc., are clearly understood;

  4. To avoid the appearance of cheating.

If students believe that practices by the instructor are conducive to cheating, they may convey this message to the instructor, to the chairperson of the department, or to any member of the student/faculty Academic Conduct Committee (either directly or through the Office of the Dean of Students).

If academic misconduct is determined by the Academic Conduct Committee, the committee assesses penalties ranging from disciplinary reprimand to probation, suspension or expulsion (dismissal) from the university. Additionally, withdraw grades may be changed to the appropriate numerical grade. All confidential conduct records are maintained in the Office of the Dean of the Students.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

General information

To stay in good academic standing, students must not allow their cumulative grade point averages (GPA) to drop below 2.00. Some schools and departments establish more selective criteria for satisfactory academic performance within their majors. Students should consult the section of the catalog on their major for specific information.

Undergraduates who fail to make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree will be placed on probation in accordance with a university policy that stipulates that students must complete for credit most of the courses for which they register and must do so with a reasonable degree of academic proficiency. Students on probation who fail to meet the minimal standard of progress established by the University Senate will be dismissed from the university.

Undergraduates who are dismissed for unsatisfactory academic progress do not retain the privileges of students in good standing. If dismissed students wish to be readmitted to Oakland University after the compulsory separation period prescribed by the Academic Standing and Honors Committee, they must apply for readmission through the Undergraduate Admissions, 101 North Foundation Hall. (If, in the dismissal notice, a student has been informed that readmission will not be considered, the student may not utilize this procedure.) Questions about Oakland University’s probation and dismissal policies should be directed to the Office of the Registrar, 100 O’Dowd Hall, (248) 370-3470.

Principles and practices

The University Senate’s Academic Standing and Honors Committee with administrative support from the Office of the Registrar is responsible for the Academic Probation and Dismissal policy. The policy is based on the following principles and practices:

  1. The major share of students’ educational expense is provided by the state of Michigan, and it is the responsibility of the university to see that these funds are properly used. If students fail to make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, dismissal action must be taken by the Academic Standing and Honors Committee.

  2. Students are encouraged to make responsible decisions concerning their educational progress. Students who are apparently not benefiting sufficiently from the educational opportunities available at the university are advised to consider other alternatives.

  3. Some students new to the university (including transfer students) need a period of adjustment; therefore, no students will be dismissed at the end of their first semester/ session at the university. Furthermore, students will not be dismissed without having been placed on probation in the previously enrolled semester/session.

  4. Students must have a 2.00 GPA upon graduation. Students with fewer than 81 credits toward graduation and a GPA below 2.00 are normally allowed to continue their studies on probation if it is reasonable to expect that they can sufficiently raise their cumulative GPA. (See Probation and dismissal policy below.)

  5. Students who receive notice of their dismissal after a term are advised to appeal the dismissal if they believe they have valid reasons to have the dismissal deferred. The Academic Standing and Honors Committee of the Faculty Senate will review appeals submitted within the seven-calendar day deadline and students will be notified regarding the decision of the committee by mail. Students whose appeals are approved by the Committee are required to participate in the Dismissal Option Status Program.

  6. Students on probation for two consecutive semesters are not eligible for VA (Veterans’) benefits.

Probation and dismissal policy

The following Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy applies to all undergraduate and second degree students.

  1. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above or without an established cumulative GPA are considered to be in good academic standing. (See item 4 below).

  2. Students in good academic standing will be placed on probation at the end of a semester/session when their cumulative GPA is below 2.00. They will be allowed to remain at Oakland University on probationary status for at least one semester/session.

  3. At the end of a probationary semester/session, students will be:

    1. returned to good academic standing if their cumulative GPA is 2.00 or higher;
    2. continued on probation if they have fewer than 24 GPA credit hours even if their semester GPA is below 2.00; or
    3. continued on probation if their semester GPA is 2.00 or higher, even if they do not meet the minimum requirements on the chart below;or
    4. dismissed from the university if their semester GPA is below 2.00, they have 24 or more GPA credit hours, and their cumulative GPA is below the minimum GPA according to the chart below. For example, if at the end of a probationary semester/session, a student has attempted 26 credits, has a semester GPA below 2.00, and a cumulative GPA of 1.50, the student will be dismissed from Oakland University.

    Oakland University

    Minimum Required

    GPA Hours

    Cumulative GPA













  4. In order to establish a cumulative GPA, a student must receive a numerical grade in at least one course at Oakland University, and in the computation of the cumulative GPA, only those courses at Oakland University for which a student has received numerical grades are used. If a course has been repeated, the assigned credits for the course are only counted once in the total number of credits attempted and only the most recent numerical grade received is used. The “honor points” for each course are computed by multiplying the numerical grade received by the number of credits assigned to the course.

The cumulative GPA is determined by dividing the sum of the honor points for all courses receiving numerical grades by the total number of credits attempted in courses receiving numerical grades at Oakland University.

The appeal process

Students dismissed after a probationary term may appeal the dismissal if they feel there are valid reasons to do so. To appeal, students must complete an official Dismissal Appeal Form and submit it to the Academic Standing and Honors Committee within seven calendar days of the issuance of the dismissal notice. The forms are obtained via the Office of Registrar website at oakland.edu/registrar. If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on dismissal option status, and the dismissal is deferred.

Dismissal option status

Dismissal option status is granted to students whose dismissal appeals are approved or to students who are readmitted following a previous dismissal for unsatisfactory academic progress. Dismissal option status offers students the opportunity to continue their education on a term-by-term basis as long as specific requirements are met. All students on dismissal option status must meet a term GPA minimum of 2.00 in each enrolled semester/session until good academic standing is resumed. (Good academic standing is achieved when the cumulative GPA is 2.00 or above.) Failure to earn a minimum term GPA of 2.00 results in reactivation of the dismissal, an action that may not be appealed by the student involved. The Dismissal Option Status program is administered by the Office of the Registrar, 100 O’Dowd Hall, (248) 370-3470.

Academic forgiveness

Academic Forgiveness changes the academic standing of students who are on academic probation or dismissal option status (DOS). To petition for Academic Forgiveness, students must meet the following conditions: absent from the university for six or more years; not in good academic standing prior to their absence; and not permanently dismissed from the university.

Students who meet these requirements may petition the Academic Standing and Honors Committee for Academic Forgiveness. The petition must include a letter from the student stating why they are seeking academic forgiveness and supporting documentation. If the petition is granted, the student is considered exempt from the probation outreach and dismissal option status programs. Petitions must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar, 100 O’Dowd Hall.


Readmission is required for all students in the following categories:

  1. Any student whose attendance has been interrupted for a period of six or more years and/or;
  2. Any student who has been academically dismissed from the university for insufficient academic progress at the end of their previously enrolled semester/session. Students applying for readmission may submit a Readmission Application prior to the start of registration.

Applications can be accessed from the Undergraduate Admissions website (oakland.edu/readmission) and must be sent to: Oakland University, Undergraduate Admissions, 101 North Foundation Hall, Rochester, MI 48309-4401. Students should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 101 North Foundation Hall, (248) 370-3360, by the deadlines listed below prior to the start of the semester in which the student expects to enroll:

Fall semester- July 1
Winter semester – November 1
Summer semester – March 1

If readmitted students fail to enroll for the semester or session for which their readmission is granted, that readmission is considered void. If students wish to enroll for the semester or session immediately following the term for which readmission was granted, they may do so with a written request to update their readmission application addressed to Undergraduate Admissions. However, if such students wish to enroll for a term later than one semester or session following the term for which they were readmitted, they must complete another readmission application and submit it by the deadlines. Readmission to the university is not automatic for students dismissed because of poor academic performance. The number of times a student will be readmitted is limited. An application for a first readmission by a student who has been dismissed for insufficient academic progress is reviewed by the university’s Readmission Committee. Decisions about readmission are made on a case-by-case basis involving review of the student’s file. A student dismissed for academic performance who is readmitted but fails to progress academically, resulting in a second academic dismissal, may not apply for readmission to the university for a period of three years. The Academic Standing and Honors Committee will review the Academic records of students applying for readmission a second time. If a student is dismissed for academic reasons a third time, the student may not be readmitted to Oakland University.


Students dropping all registered credits in a semester must follow the withdrawal procedure. When students withdraw from the university after the second week of classes (first week in the summer semester) and before the end of the official withdrawal period, W grades will be assigned in all uncompleted courses. Official withdrawal from the university is not permitted after the ninth week of 14-week courses (fifth week of seven-week courses). If students stop attending classes but do not follow the withdrawal procedure, they may receive grades of 0.0. Undergraduates who plan to return to the university after a six-year interruption should consult the readmission policy above.

Problem Resolution

Students may encounter problem situations during their course of study at Oakland University that require review by appropriate administrative or academic personnel. The university’s problem resolution procedure provides a fact-finding system for resolving problems between students and faculty or staff members when a review of the issues is not available through other established procedures. For some issues (e.g. discrimination, harassment), specific university procedures must be followed. The Dean of Students, located in 144 Oakland Center, is always available to advise students on the alternatives that are available to resolve a concern.

Each student, faculty member, administrator and staff member has an obligation to resolve problems fairly through discussion between the aggrieved student and the specific university person involved with the problem.

Academic Concerns

Each academic unit has developed its own internal procedure for resolving complaints about classroom situations and will provide a copy upon request. Generally, a student must first contact the instructor. If the problem is not resolved between the instructor and the student, the student then contacts the department chair. The department chair may then hear the facts of the case or refer it to an internal unit committee. If the problem is not resolved at this step, the student may then contact the dean of the college or school to continue the problem resolution process. In the case of graduate students, the school or college dean shall consult with the Director of Graduate Study. For cases involving grade disputes and classroom procedures but not involving discrimination, harassment or illegal behavior, the process stops at the dean level.

In any case involving an academic concern, the student should be aware of the responsibilities of the instructor and of the student.

An instructor’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The instructor should hold classes and examinations when and where officially scheduled.

  2. Each instructor should be available in his or her office for student consultation for a reasonable number of hours each week and make these hours known.

  3. The instructor should make known at the beginning of each course the objectives and nature of the course, dates of important events (e.g., tests, major assignments), and policies on grading, class attendance, tests, papers and class participation.

  4. The instructor should ensure that the content of the course he/she teaches is consistent with the course description in the university catalog.

  5. The instructor should adhere to university policies concerning students’ rights.

  6. The instructor should attend the meetings as required by the procedures of the unit concerning student grievances.

A student’s responsibilities include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  1. The student must know and adhere to the instructor’s policies concerning attendance, tests, papers and class participation.

  2. The student must direct academic complaints about a class through the channels explained above.

  3. Upon the request of his or her instructor, the student should consult with the instructor at a mutually convenient time.

  4. The student should attend the meetings as required by the unit grievance procedures.

In the above process, a student may discuss the problem with the instructor. However, it is beneficial for the student to write out the concerns and state the suggested resolution to the problem. The complaint should be supported with facts. If the problem is not resolved at the instructor level and advances to the department chair, students must document their concerns to assist the chair or the unit committee to understand the problem.

Non-Academic Concerns

From time to time, students may experience concerns with their employment situation or service on campus. In these situations, the student may wish to contact the dean of students to discuss problem resolution steps. Generally, the procedure will involve presenting the facts to the immediate supervisor of the specific university employee involved. The student should clearly state the nature and basis of the alleged offense, the name of the person(s) who committed the offense, the specifics of the incident(s) involved and the names of any known witnesses. In handling such complaints, discretion will be exercised but no guarantee of confidentiality may be given, since an investigation will necessarily involve discussions with other parties.

The immediate supervisor of the person against whom the complaint was lodged must respond to the complainant within 30 days after the complaint was filed (unless an extension for additional review or information gathering is authorized). If the complainant is dissatisfied a written appeal may be made to the next level of supervision. For nonacademic complaints, appeals stop at the vice presidential level.

Concerns about Illegal Discrimination or Harassment

University policy prohibits illegal discrimination. Discriminatory conduct or discriminatory harassment is behavior, including but not limited to sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, and any written behavior, including pictorial illustrations, graffiti or written material, that stigmatizes or victimizes an individual on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, marital status, familial status, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by federal and state law.


In cases involving alleged illegal discrimination or harassment by a university employee, the student should contact the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, 203 Wilson Hall, (248) 370-3496.

Time Limits for All Types of Concerns

In the interest of fairness to all parties, a complaint should be filed as soon as possible to assist in obtaining the facts related to the complaint. For this reason, a complaint generally will not be processed unless it is filed no later than sixty (60) days after the student became aware or should have become aware of the incident leading to the complaint. However, the University may waive the 60-day rule based upon the facts and circumstances of the complaint and after giving due consideration to the protection of the rights of both the complainant and the individual accused.