Jul 15, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 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 coursework 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 mission of academic advising at Oakland University is to empower students as they identify, pursue, and achieve goals that prepare them to lead and serve in local and world communities. This is a continuous process of discovery, clarification, and evaluation, whereby Professional Academic Advisers partner with students to identify possibilities, assess alternatives, and weigh the consequences of decisions.

Students first meet a Professional Academic Adviser at orientation and are encouraged to seek individual advising as early in their programs as possible and meet with their Professional Academic Adviser at least once a year thereafter. Students may locate their Professional Academic Advisers by consulting the list of school and departmental advising offices displayed on the Advising website. Faculty advisers are also available in many majors. In general, appointments are scheduled in advance once students contact their respective advising office. Walk-in advising is also available at certain times throughout the academic year.


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

Undergraduate students may register for up to 18 credits without permission.  To register for more than 18 credits, the student should submit the Permission to Exceed Maximum Credits form to their academic adviser.  Students must have completed 12 or more credits at Oakland University and have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.60 to make a request.  College guest students or post-baccalaureate students can submit directly to the Office of the Registrar.

Credits Permission/Routing
0-18 No permission required
19-21 Academic Adviser, then routed to the Office of the Registrar for processing.
22+ Academic Adviser, then routed to Office of the Registrar for second approval.  Student will be emailed if the request has been approved or denied.






For purposes of awarding academic credit for courses and programs at Oakland University, a credit hour shall be consistent with federal guidelines and is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. The OU-established equivalency reasonably approximates and is not less than:

  1. One credit hour consists of 50 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction (synchronous or asynchronous) and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in #1 above of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, field work, clinical work, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Regardless of their duration, courses contain the same total number of credit hours as if they were scheduled for at least a 15-week semester.

Title IV Courses - Duration cannot exceed full 15-week


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 1140 -FRH 1150 ) 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 1100 , HST 1200 ) indicate related courses that may be taken in any order. However, departmental or program requirements may sometimes govern the order.

  3. Course numbers 0000-0499 are designated for skill development courses specially designed to aid incoming students with significant deficiencies in their academic background in preparing for courses numbered 1000 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 0500-0999 are for courses specially designed to enrich academic skills. No more than 16 credits in courses numbered 0500-0999 may count toward graduation requirements. Courses numbered 1000-2999 are introductory undergraduate courses primarily for freshmen and sophomores.

  4. Courses numbered 3000-4999 are designed for juniors and seniors. Courses numbered 5000 and above are primarily for graduate students. Qualified undergraduates may enroll in a class numbered 5000-5999 provided they have obtained an override from the department chair and the course instructor. Only graduate students are eligible to elect courses numbered 6000 and above. Consult the Financial Aid Office for the implications.

  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. Co-requisite 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 co-requisites 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 toward a degree program. Students seeking second degrees are limited to 16 credits of non-classroom experience. Students may apply non-classroom experience (course competency, Advanced Placement, IB and/or CLEP credits) to satisfy General Education Requirements .

Adjusting courses (drop and add)

Courses may be dropped with full refund through the 10th weekday of classes in second week of a full semester and the 5th weekday 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 an F grade on the student’s record. Courses of other lengths have specific refund and withdrawal dates which are available online.

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. 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 Undergraduate Admissions.
  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. Check with Student Financial Services for ramifications. The limit is three attempts at any individual course, including the initial attempt, and excluding drops or withdrawals. The repeat course must be taken on the same grading basis (alpha 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). Students may choose one catalog for their degree requirements, and may choose a different catalog for any minors or concentrations.

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 the General Education Requirements , 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. Approvals: Degree candidates must have all petitions approved and all transcripts for coursework applicable to the degree submitted by the end of the second week of intended graduation. Failure to do so may result in removal from the graduation list.
  5. Residence requirement: Students must successfully complete a minimum of 32 credits at Oakland University. Oakland University limits residency requirements for active-duty service members, including Reservists and National Guardsmen on active-duty, to no more than 25% of the undergraduate degree program.
  6. Grade-point average: Students must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 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 3000 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 Requirements  program.

Writing requirements

Students must satisfy the university General Education requirement in the Writing Foundations area by completing WRT 1060   and any required prerequisites (WRT 1020 - Basic Writing   and/or WRT 1050 - 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 1060 , transfer of course credit, or AP scores of four or five provide credit towards an OU degree, and towards General Education credit requirements):

  1. By Oakland University coursework: Complete WRT 1060  (and any required prerequisites including WRT 1020  and/or WRT 1050 ) with a grade of C 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 four or five will be exempt from WRT 1050   and WRT 1060 ;
    • 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 1020 - Basic Writing , WRT 1050 - Composition I  or WRT 1060 - 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 1060  (minimum three semester credits). Students who have completed such courses with grades of C 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 1060 . The exemption portfolio, if successful, exempts students from WRT 1050  and WRT 1060 ; students must complete four 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 the Department of Writing and Rhetoric.

  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 1050  and WRT 1060  (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:

 ; a score four or five on the AP English Language and Composition examination will be exempt from    and  .

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 or SAT 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 3000 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

Global Engagement Office

Rosemary Max, Executive Director


English proficiency is needed for students to be successful when completing an academic degree in the United States.  All international applicants, other visa holders, permanent residents, and applicants whose native language* is not English, must be proficient in English as a requirement to enroll in courses for credit at Oakland University.  Such applicants will be required to demonstrate English proficiency by meeting one of the following conditions listed below.

Some programs at Oakland University may require a higher level of proficiency than listed. 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.  Please visit the ESL Institute website and Undergraduate Admissions for additional information.               

Full Admission

One of the following constitutes proof:

1. TOEFL  79 minimum on internet-based TOEFL
2. MELAB  77 minimum
3. IELTS  6.5 minimum
4. PTE Academic  53 minimum
5. Duolingo English Test 100 minimum
6. 24 transferable credits, excluding ESL coursework, from a U.S. community college or baccalaureate institution.
7. A degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
8. One year of study and a diploma from a U.S. high school.
9. Completion of all coursework to earn a high school diploma at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction was English.
10. Completion of three level 7 courses with a minimum of a B- in the ESL Institute at Oakland University.
11. Completion of ESL Level 112 Intensive program.

The following criteria only apply to students who do not hold and are not seeking an F or a J visa to study at Oakland University.     

  1. Applicant has worked full-time in the United States for at least three years in an English speaking environment. Evidence must be provided such as a letter of support from human resources to confirm employment.
  2. Applicant has worked full-time for at least three years in an English speaking environment outside of the United States.  Evidence must be provided such as a letter of support from human resources that confirms English as the primary language of written and oral communication. 
  3. A letter of support or comment from the ESL Institute at Oakland University based on an interview and completion of the ESL placement test.

Admission with ESL coursework

Applicants, who are eligible for admission AND provide evidence of the following scores, will be permitted to enroll in the Global Achievement Pathway Program (GAPP) which permits students to simultaneously enroll in the ESL course sequence, as determined by the ESL Institute, and academic program courses.  Enrollment in GAPP will be for one or two semesters. Students must register for ESL courses as part of their coursework starting in their first semester of registration. The ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Institute is not negotiable.  Students not making satisfactory progress in the ESL course sequence or academic program are subject to dismissal from their program. 

Global Achievement Pathway Program for One Semester (GAPP - 1)

One of the following constitutes proof:
1. TOEFL 69-78 on internet-based TOEFL with a minimum section score of 16
2. MELAB 73-76
3. IELTS 6.0 with a minimum section score of 5.5
4. PTE Academic 48-52
5. Duolingo English Test 95

Students must register for ESL courses as part of their coursework starting in their first semester of registration. ESL placement is done by the English as a Second Language Institute (ESL Institute) using the ESL Online Placement Test and other assessment tools. During students’ ESL instruction sequence, students’ English Proficiency will be evaluated to determine whether adequate progress is being made and if additional ESL coursework is necessary to achieve English Proficiency. The ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Institute is not negotiable.

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

Global Achievement Pathway Program for Two Semesters (GAPP - 2)

One of the following constitutes proof:

1. TOEFL 62-68 on internet-based TOEFL
2. IELTS 6.0
3. PTE Academic 44-47
4. Duolingo English Test 90

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 Institute (ESL Institute) using the ESL Online Placement Test and other assessment tools. During the students’ ESL instruction sequence, students’ English Proficiency will be evaluated to determine whether adequate progress is being made and if additional ESL coursework is necessary to achieve English Proficiency. The ESL instruction sequence designed by the ESL Institute 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 Institute to discuss any language difficulties they may have while attending Oakland University.

Transfer Student Information

Transfer practices for students from regionally accredited community colleges and four-year institutions

Oakland University’s baccalaureate programs are designed to accommodate students from community colleges and four-year institutions. For most Michigan 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 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 English as a Second Language 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 at least a grade of C- 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 the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (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 master’s 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. The application for free elective credits can be obtained from Veteran’s Support Services. Oakland University may accept transfer coursework 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 submit the General Education Transfer Course Review Form.

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, O’Dowd Hall, Room 328 (248) 370-2889, 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. Some exceptions to this policy include specific Articulation Agreements. In cases where students have completed more than one-half of the number of credits at a community college or a combination of community colleges, OU will apply the credits that best fit the student’s specific baccalaureate program.  Additional credit may be transferred from regionally accredited four-year institutions. At least 32 credits must be earned at Oakland University.

Principles concerning the MTA and MACRAO agreements

Oakland University participates in the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) and Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) Articulation Agreement. Both agreements allow students to satisfy the university’s general education requirements at a Michigan 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. Students who have satisfied the MTA or MACRAO agreement must also either transfer in a course that is acceptable for the knowledge application (KA) requirement or take an approved KA course at OU after transferring. Under the MTA and MACRAO agreements, students from participating Michigan public community colleges must present for review a transcript bearing the “MTA Satisfied” or “MACRAO Agreement Satisfied” designation.

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 three 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 College of Arts & Sciences College Exploratory Requirement  that must be met in addition to General Education Requirements .

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits

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

Physical Education Credits

No more than six credits in approved physical education courses will transfer to Oakland University.

Grading System

1.The basic undergraduate grading system at Oakland University is:

Grade Honor Points
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
F 0.0

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.

3. The meanings of other alpha grades are as follows:

  • 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).
  • 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 F for undergraduate students. A student who wishes to receive an Incomplete (I) grade in a course must contact their instructor by the day of the scheduled final examination. If an instructor agrees to an Incomplete, they will enter an I as the grade and set a schedule to finish the term’s work. 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.
  • 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 an F.
  • The S (Satisfactory) grade implies a grade of C 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 an alpha graded course on an S/U basis.
  • The U (Unsatisfactory) grade is given in selected courses approved for S/U grading and implies a non-passing grade of a C- or less. It also denotes unsatisfactory work in an alpha graded course elected by a student on an S/U basis.
  • R is a temporary grade assigned by the registrar in the absence of a grade from the instructor.
  • 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. All grades appear on student transcripts. However, only alpha grades are used to determine the grade point average, which is rounded 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 eight credits of coursework 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 exploratory 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 eight 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 (160 North Foundation Hall). Instructors will assign an alpha grade to all enrolled students who selected this option A grade of C or higher will be given an S and alpha grades of C- or less will be given 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 order their official transcripts online through the National Student Clearinghouse.

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 Security Policies, Crime Statistics and Crime Log

Information regarding public safety at Oakland University is provided in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The Security and Fire Safety Report includes crime statistics for the previous three years concerning certain crimes reported to have occurred on the University’s campuses; in or on non-campus buildings, and property owned or controlled by Oakland University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The Security and Fire Safety Report also includes information about police and public safety resources, reporting crimes, coordination between law enforcement agencies, fire and medical emergencies, crime prevention, victim support services, the law and OU policies, campus facilities, residence hall security, timely warning and emergency notification policy statements, and the OU Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. Additional information regarding emergency action plans is available online and OU’s sexual misconduct policy can be found online as well. A crime log can be found online at the Oakland University Police Department. To obtain a paper copy of the Security Report or the crime log, contact the Oakland University Police Department at (248) 370-3331 or by emailing info@oupolice.com.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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 website 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 100 O’Dowd Hall. Upon receipt of the completed and signed form, 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) 370-3890.

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.

Any questions, grievances, complaints or other related problems may be addressed to the Dean of Students. A full statement of students’ rights is available in the Office of the Dean of Students, Oakland Center Suite 150, 312 Meadowbrook Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4454, (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

Protection of Human Participants in Research

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 (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research 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 online protocol management system, IRBNet.

All students conducting research must have a faculty adviser/sponsor. The student and faculty adviser/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 research and the review process, visit the Oakland University IRB website at Regulatory Compliance. The website includes links to information on mandatory training requirements in human subjects research that is offered by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and on the Oakland University Guidelines for Research Involving Human Subjects.

For more information, visit the IRB page under Regulatory Compliance or contact Dr. Judette Haddad at (248) 370-4898 or haddad@oakland.edu.

Protection of animal subjects

All research, teaching and testing at Oakland University 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 application. Applications must be submitted online through the Research Application Manager 3.0. Access to RAM 3.0 is found under Regulatory Compliance. Principal Investigators on IACUC applications must be OU faculty members. Training in working with animals in biomedical research is offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), and animal “Research Hazards Awareness Training” is required through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. For more information visit Regulatory Compliance at Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), or contact Janet Schofding at (248) 370-4440 or schofdin@oakland.edu.


All research, teaching and testing at Oakland University involving recombinant DNA, tissues of human/primate origin, infectious agents and/or cultured cell lines, and biologically-derived toxins must be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) before the work can be conducted. Approval is obtained through submission of an Institutional Biosafety Committee Application. Applications must be submitted online through the Research Application Manager (RAM) 3.0. For more information, visit the Biosafety page under Regulatory Compliance or contact Domenic Luongo, Biosafety Officer at (248) 370-4314 or luongo@oakland.edu.

Radiation safety

Radioactive material (including X-ray generating machines) 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. All others must work under the supervision of a full-time faculty member and complete mandatory radiation safety training. For more information, visit the website or contact Domenic Luongo, Radiation Safety Officer, at (248) 370-4314 or luongo@oakand.edu.

Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

All research involving the derivation and/or use of human pluripotent stem cells (HPSCs) requires review and approval by the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Oversight (HPSCRO) Committee prior to initiation.  HPSCRO Committee guidelines, procedures and applications can be found on the HPSCRO Committee webpage under Regulatory Compliance. Contact Rebecca Sandborg, Director of Regulatory Support at (248) 370-2708 or sandborg@oakland.edu for more information.

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. Human subjects research applications must be submitted through IRBNet. All required forms and applications are located in the Forms and Template library in IRBNet. IRBNet “Researcher Training” webpage that provides instructional videos and step-by-step training is available at IRBNet RESOURCES. The login information to access the IRBNet training page is:  Username: oakland and password: training. IACUC and IBC Applications are available through the Research Application Manager (RAM) 3.0 which is accessed online.  Researchers, who are accessing the site for the first time, must create an account. HPSCRO Committee applications are available on the HPSCRO webpage under Regulatory Compliance and can be submitted to the Director of Regulatory Support at sandborg@oakland.edu.  Only OU faculty can submit IACUC, IBC, and RSC applications. Students may be allowed to work on approved projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Other Academic Policies


Semester honors

At the end of each fall, winter, and summer 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. Commendation is awarded to undergraduates with term GPAs of 3.00 to 3.59, and academic honors is awarded to undergraduates with term GPAs of 3.60 to 4.00. Both commendation and academic honors will be recorded on students’ academic transcripts. Students who receive an I (incomplete) and/or P (progress) grade in a semester are not eligible for semester honors. Students who are ineligible for semester honors because they receive I (incomplete) and/or P (progress) grades will be retroactively awarded semester honors if they meet the credit and GPA requirements once their I (incomplete) and/or P (progress) grades have been resolved.

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 in 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, and have not resolved that grade by the end of winter semester, are not eligible for the Dean’s list at that time. Students who are ineligible for Dean’s list because they have unresolved I (incomplete) and/or P (progress) grades at the end of the winter semester will be retroactively awarded Dean’s list at the end of the subsequent winter semester, if they resolve all I (incomplete) and/or P (progress) grades by that time, and if they meet the credit and GPA requirements for 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.

Program, departmental and school honors

Program, 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. Program, 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 32 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. Academic integrity means representing oneself and one’s work honestly. Misrepresentation is cheating since it means the student is claiming credit for ideas or work not actually his or her own and is thereby seeking a grade that is not actually earned. All academic misconduct allegations are forwarded to the Dean of Students Office and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct.

Examples of Academic Dishonesty:

  1. Cheating on assignments and examinations. This includes, but is not limited to, the following when not authorized by the instructor: the use of any assistance or materials such as books and/or notes, acquiring exams or any other academic materials, the use of any other sources in writing drafts, papers, preparing reports, solving problems, works completed for a past or concurrent course, completing homework or carrying out other assignments. No student shall copy from someone else’s work or help someone else copy work or substitute another’s work as one’s own. No student shall engage in any behavior specifically prohibited by an instructor in the course syllabus or class discussion.
  2. Plagiarizing the work of others. Plagiarism is using someone else’s work or ideas without giving that person credit. By doing this, a student is, in effect, claiming credit for someone else’s thinking. This can occur in drafts, papers and oral presentations. Whether the student has read or heard the information used, the student 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 a student rephrases, condenses or selects 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 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 assignments. This is unauthorized interaction with anyone in the fulfillment of academic requirements and applies to in-class or take-home coursework. Individual (unaided) work on exams, lab reports, homework, computer assignments and documentation of sources is expected unless the instructor specifically states in the syllabus or verbally that it is not necessary. Collaboration can also include calculating homework problems with another person, having another help to rewrite a paper, sharing information/sources with others and checking coursework with others.
  6. Resubmission of original work. When an instructor assigns coursework, the instructor intends that work to be completed for his/her course only. Work students may have completed for a course taken in the past, or may be completing for a concurrent course, must not be submitted in both courses unless they receive permission to do so from both faculty members.

Faculty Standards
Faculty members 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 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 misconduct before the Academic Conduct Committee.
Student Standards
Students are expected to abide by 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 (including group 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. If a student believes that practices by a faculty member are conducive to cheating, he or she may convey this information to the faculty member, to the chairperson of the department, or to any member of the Academic Conduct Committee (either directly or through the Dean of Students Office).

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 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 Student Success, 157 North Foundation Hall.

Principles and practices

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

  1. A 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 are dismissed for the First time can appeal the dismissal if they  believe there are valid reasons to have the dismissal deferred and can refer to The Appeal Process. Students who have been dismissed for a second time are not eligible to appeal.  Questions may be directed to Dr. Krista Malley in the Office of Student Success.

  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. Please contact Dr. Krista Malley in the Office of Student Success.

  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 an alpha 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 grades A through F 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 alpha grade received is used. The “honor points” for each course are computed by multiplying the honor points of the 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 grades A through F by the total number of credits attempted in courses receiving alpha grades at Oakland University.

The appeal process

Students  who are dismissed for the First time can appeal the dismissal if they believe there are valid reasons to have the dismissal deferred. 

To appeal, students would need to complete the online Academic Dismissal Appeal Request form within seven calendar days of being dismissed for the first time. This form is found at the University Technology Services site. 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 phone and mail. Students whose appeals are approved by the Committee are required to participate in the Dismissal Option Status Program. This means the student must continue to earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 or higher every semester until their cumulative GPA places them back into good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of  2.0 or higher.

If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on dismissal option status, and the dismissal is deferred. You may also contact Dr. Krista Malley in the Office of Student Success.

Dismissal option status

Dismissal Option Status (DOS) is granted to students whose dismissal appeals are approved or to students who are readmitted following a previous dismissal for unsatisfactory academic progress. DOS offers students the opportunity to continue their education on a semester-by-semester basis as long as specific requirements are met. All students on DOS must have a minimum semester GPA 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 semester 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 Dr. Krista Malley in the Office of Student Success.

Readmission update to:

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. 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. The Academic Standing and Honors Committee will review the Academic records of students applying for readmission a second or subsequent time.

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 Student Success in 157 North Foundation Hall.


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 15-week courses (fifth week of seven-week courses). If students stop attending classes but do not follow the withdrawal procedure, they may receive an F grade. Undergraduates who plan to return to the university after a two-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 312 Oakland Center, Suite 150, 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 students should contact the following:

Between student and university employee:  Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 150 Oakland Center, (248) 370-3496 

Between students only: Dean of Students Office, 150 Oakland Center, (248) 370-3352

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.