Skip to main content
Scenes from Faculty Senate

University Manual

Chapter 8 - Regulations for Students

Part I - Regulations for Students

Courses, Course Enrollment and Fees

8.30.10 Course Numbering System

001-099 Level. Prefreshman and special undergraduate. Characteristics: Undergraduate courses not applicable for degree credit. Post-Secondary or subfreshman remedial courses, Feinstein College of Continuing Education courses for no credit or for certificate credit only.

100-299 Level. Lower division undergraduate courses. Primarily for freshmen and sophomores and as electives for upperclass students. Characteristics: Little or no prior college level work required. May not be taken for graduate credit.

300-399 Level. Upper division undergraduate courses. Primarily for juniors and seniors majoring in field or advanced students in other disciplines. Characteristics: Some formal background or sophistication required but not to the extent that would ordinarily justify allowing graduate degree credit.

400-499* Level. Generally limited to juniors and seniors majoring in field. Open to other advanced undergraduates and to graduate students with permission. Characteristics: Extensive background required, may be taken for graduate credit. (Limitations may be stated by department if desired.)

500-599 Level. Graduate level courses. Bachelors degree usually prerequisite but qualified seniors and honors students admitted with permission. Characteristics: Comprise majority of course work between bachelors and masters degree. Number 599 reserved for masters thesis research and is graded on an S/U-only basis. (#09-10--21)

600-699 Level. Advanced graduate courses. No undergraduates admitted except honors students with approval of advisors and the department. Characteristics: Comprise majority of course work between masters and doctors degree but not limited to doctoral students. Number 699 reserved for doctoral thesis research and is graded on an S/U-only basis. (#09-10--21)

900-999 Level. Special types of graduate courses for which no program credit is allowed. Characteristics: Workshops, institutes, courses taken for certificate credit only, courses taken to remedy deficiencies, and temporary courses which have not been approved by the Graduate Council for graduate program credit.

* Courses numbered at the 400 level must have approval of both the Curricular Affairs Committee and the Graduate Council.

8.30.20 Simultaneous Courses. Departments may offer courses at the 400-level and 500-level taught simultaneously to both undergraduates and graduate students. In such a case students must register for the course under either its 400 number or its 500 number. For approval at two levels course proposals must demonstrate appropriate differences to the satisfaction of both the Curricular Affairs Committee and the Graduate Council. To be approved at both levels courses must differ substantially in requirements and expectations of students. Assignments, examinations, projects and analyses should require a greater depth of understanding, sophistication and skills for students registered under the 500 number than for those registered under the 400 number. #01-02--23

8.31.10 Basis for Credit. The basis of a credit shall normally be three hours work; for example, one credit for each lecture or recitation and two hours of preparation, or one credit for each two-hour laboratory and one hour of preparation, or one credit for each three-hour laboratory with no outside preparation, the student workload for an online class shall be equivalent to the in-class and out-of-class work in its face-to-face equivalent. Individual evaluation of courses offering practice in a professional major shall be made by the respective deans to determine non-lecture hour credits and will include at least an equivalent amount of work as required in the definitions cited above. #10-11--23

8.32.10 Course Credits. The normal maximum rate at which academic credit may be earned at the University of Rhode Island is three credits per two-week session or four credits per three-week session. This limit applies to individual courses and to combinations of courses that may be offered in a single session. Sponsors of any course or session which would exceed this limit must provide special justification for their proposal. For existing courses to be taught during unusual time frames during the academic year and for all new courses, this course justification shall be provided to the Curricular Affairs Committee and/or the Graduate Council. For existing courses to be taught during the summer, justification shall be provided to the Vice Provost for Urban Programs. #12-13--21

8.32.11 Students shall be advised that courses enabling them to earn up to four credits in three or fewer weeks are designed for persons who will be able to regard their studies as a full-time activity. #12-13--21

8.32.12 Lecture courses taught during short sessions (i.e., sessions shorter than half a semester) must include between 650 and 700 minutes of instruction time (exclusive of "breaks") for each academic credit which is offered. (A one-credit course taught in thirteen 50-minute sessions would equal 650 minutes; a course with fourteen sessions would equal 700 minutes.) Within these limits, the exact length of a short course is at the instructor's discretion. Appropriate justification for different contact times must be provided for courses using non-lecture formats. #04-05--29

8.32.13 In addition to classroom instruction time, students enrolled in short sessions must be allowed an appropriate amount of time outside of class for readings, research projects and for assimilation of lecture material. This requirement may be met in part by work done by students before or after the academic session. In the former case, the instructor might require that students read specified books or articles prior to the first class; in the latter case, the instructor might require thatstudents complete and submit a paper within a specified time period after the last class meeting.

8.33.10 Registration Procedures. No student shall begin a course unless officially registered for that course. A student's registration for a course is not official until the appropriate registration form is filed in the Office of the Enrollment Services. A grade may not be received for a course for which a student is not officially registered as of the last day of classes for a semester. If specified conditions of enrollment are not met, the Director of Enrollment Services may be requested to cancel a student's registration.

8.33.11 For fall and spring semesters, the open add period extends for 7 days. This will consist of the first seven calendar days of the semester. An additional 7 calendar-day late add period shall allow students the oppotunity to add courses via permission numbers granted at the discretion of the faculty member or other identified office.

8.33.12 The Director of Enrollment Services shall not register in the University College a student with more than seventy-five (75) credit hours and at least a 2.00 quality point average (QPA).

8.33.13 Students not attending courses in which they enrolled have the obligation to drop those courses before the drop deadline. Names of students who are absent from the first and second class meetings of a course and who do not notify the course instructor of their intention to attend future class meetings may be submitted by the course instructor and/or the department chairperson to the Office of Enrollment Services for deletion from the class roster. If the instructor does not exercise this option, the student remains enrolled in the course unless s/he drops it through regular procedures. #00-01-12

8.33.15 Early Course Registration. Potential eligibility for early course registration shall be extended to students participating in University-sanctioned events. The definition for excused absences (8.51.12) is used to determine potential eligibility for early course registration. #06-07--39

8.33.16 The faculty or staff head of a qualified group of students may petition in writing to his or her dean or director for early registration. It is the responsibility of the petitioner to demonstrate why these particular students, for a particular semester, should be allowed to register early. Petitions relating to registration for fall semesters must be submitted to deans/directors by February 1. Petitions relating to registration for spring semesters must be submitted to deans/directors by September 1. #06-07--39

8.33.17 If the dean or director agrees that early registration is appropriate, he/she shall forward that recommendation to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, who shall make the final determination and notify the faculty or staff head of the group in writing. The decision of the Vice Provost shall be final. #06-07--39

8.33.18 When early registration is deemed appropriate, the following process will be followed:

  • An advisement form for early registration will be provided for eligible students.
  • Students must meet with their academic advisor regarding course selection.
  • The academic advisor will sign the early registration form to verify advisement.
  • Students will return the early registration form to the faculty or staff head of their group of by the date given on the form.
  • The faculty or staff head of the group will forward a list of students eligible to register early, along with the signed forms, to the individual assigned to process the registration information. (#06-07--39)

8.33.19 Only authorized students will be able to access the registration system starting on the designated date, generally one day before the publicized first registration time. #06-07--39

8.33.20 Late Registration Fee. A late registration fee shall be charged unless excused by the Director of Enrollment Services.

8.33.30 Repeating Courses. Unless otherwise designated, no course may be repeated in which a grade of "C" or better has already been received except with the permission of the student's academic dean. The dean may require that the course be taken pass-fail. If such a course is repeated for credit, both grades are used in computing the QPA, and the credit requirement for graduation shall be increased by the number of credits repeated.

8.33.31 No limit shall be placed on the number of times a course may be repeated, but the credit requirement for graduation shall be increased by the number of credits repeated.

8.33.32 Students may exercise a Second Grade Option by repeating a course in which the student earned C-, D+, D, or F. Only courses that fall within the student's first 30 credits taken at the University may be selected for this option. Students must exercise this option no later than the next two semesters for which the student registers after completing thirty credits. Transfer students may exercise the Second Grade Option for courses taken during their initial semester at the University. This option must be exercised during the next two semesters for which they register after their initial semester. When a student exercises the Second Grade Option, only the grade earned when the course is repeated will be used in the calculation of a student's QPA and only the credits earned for the repeated course will apply toward the graduation requirements. All grades earned for a given course shall remain on a student's permanent academic record. Students who wish to take advantage of this Second Grade Option must obtain approval from their academic deans and submit the appropriate form to the Office of Enrollment Services prior to midterm of the semester in which the course is being repeated. The Second Grade Option may be used only once per course.

8.34.10 Dropping a Course. A course may be dropped by official procedures determined by the Office of Enrollment Services (e-campus) on or before the end of the third week of classes (Drop Period) with no mark on a student's transcript. Courses may be dropped through e-campus between the fourth and the end of the sixth week of classes (Withdrawal Period) and will be recognized on a student's transcript with a "W." After the end of the sixth week (Late Withdrawal Period), a student may drop a course only in exceptional circumstances and only with authorization of the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. Such drops will also be recognized on a student's transcript with a "W." If the student has not dropped a course by the end of the withdrawal period the instructor must submit a grade. All requests to drop courses after the end of the Late Withdrawal Period must be requested/approved by the student's academic dean by the last day of classes for the term in which the drop is sought. Only in exceptional circumstances and with significant supporting documentation will exceptions to this deadline be considered. Failure or low grades on assignments/exams or lack of attendance do not constitute exceptional circumstance. Fees will not be adjusted downward for courses dropped after the end of the "add" period (see 8.43.20 for adjustment of fees). #12-13--24

8.35.10 Auditing a Course. Auditors are persons who have permission to attend a course but are not taking the course for credit. Auditing is not permitted in non-credit courses. An auditor may be admitted to a class on a space-available basis with the consent of the instructor as indicated by the instructor's signature on an audit authorization form which must be filed in the Office of Enrollment Services before the end of the "add" period. The course instructor shall determine the extent to which an auditor may participate in class activities. An auditor's name shall not appear on official class rosters, on the grade report or on the permanent academic record.

8.36.10 Awarding Credit for Non-Classroom Activity. Undergraduate students are awarded University of Rhode Island credit and/or exemption from a specified requirement for work completed outside a University classroom as noted in 8.12.30-33 (advanced placement), 8.13.12-13 (transfer from another collegiate institution), 8.15.10-24 (CLEP), and 8.18.10 (military service). In addition, credit may be awarded as follows:

8.36.20 Credit by Examination. Academic departments may give proficiency examinations to requesting matriculating students, and to those nonmatriculating students who have been admitted to the University for a future term. Students need not be enrolled in the term in which the examinations are administered. Academic departments shall determine the frequency at which examinations will be offered.

8.36.21 Requests for credit by examination must be approved by the student's academic dean and the chairperson of the department asked to offer the examination. The fee must be paid to the Office of Enrollment Services before the examination is attempted.

8.36.22 To receive credit, an undergraduate student must pass the examination at the "C" (2.00) level, and a graduate student must pass the examination at the "B" (3.00) level. The examiner and the department chairperson must certify to the Office of Enrollment Services that the student has passed the examination at the appropriate level. No grade will be recorded on the student's permanent academic record.

8.36.23 Proficiency examinations may not be taken in courses for which a student is currently enrolled, for courses for which a failing grade was previously received, or when the proficiency examination has previously been failed. A proficiency examination cannot be used as an enrollment under the Second Grade Option. (See section 8.12.30).

8.36.30 Prior Learning Assessment. Matriculated students may receive credit for non-collegiate activities through which college-level learning took place. This shall be accomplished according to the procedures outlined in sections 8.36.31-37 below.

8.36.31 Prior learning assessment shall be administered through the Feinstein College of Continuing Education. The Feinstein College of Continuing Education shall offer a one-credit portfolio development course and shall arrange to have appropriate faculty members review and evaluate the resulting portfolios. Students seeking credit for prior learning experience shall be required to take the portfolio development course.

8.36.32 Prior to enrollment in the portfolio development course, students shall be advised on the basis of an interview as to the likelihood of earning credit for knowledge gained through their non-collegiate experiences.

8.36.33 The maximum number of credits which may usually be earned shall be fifteen. In exceptional situations, more credits may be earned, but under no circumstances shall students earn more than 30 credits. In the official description of credit for prior learning, as well as during the advising process, students shall be informed on national, state, and URI averages for credit earned for non-collegiate prior learning experiences.

8.36.34 The faculty member(s) selected to evaluate the portfolio shall recommend whether or not credit is to be given and the number of credits to be awarded. The appropriate department chairperson shall review the award and if s/he concurs, sign and return it to the Academic Programs Office at the Feinstein College of Continuing Education. The Feinstein College of Continuing Education will notify the Director of Enrollment Services. The faculty member(s) shall be compensated for the review.

8.36.35 Credit for knowledge gained for prior learning experiences shall be allocated as: a) equivalent to an existing course (e.g. WRT 101); b) comparable to a department offering (e.g. COM 2XX); or c) comparable to a university course not offered at the University of Rhode Island (e.g. Social Work, XXX XXX). Credits awarded by Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island for prior learning which are not equivalent to the University of Rhode Island courses shall be accepted as transfer credit.

8.36.36 Students shall be charged a fee for having their earned credits posted. The fee shall be paid at the time of notification of credits awarded. Students must submit their portfolios prior to the end of the semester immediately following the completion of the portfolio development course.

8.36.37 Each year, the Curricular Affairs Committee shall request from the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education a report on the types and number of credits earned through prior learning assessment and shall present this information to the Faculty Senate. (#01-02--22)

8.37.10 Pass-Fail Grading Option. With the exception of freshmen and students who are on probation, all matriculated undergraduate students at the University may participate in the Pass-Fail Grading Option as follows (8.37.11-17):

8.37.11 Courses that are stipulated in the student's curriculum as degree requirements shall not be taken for P/F credit. The pass-fail grading option shall pertain only to those courses that are considered as free, unattached electives by the college in which the student is enrolled. In addition, any course above the credits required for graduation may be taken as P/F. A college may, however, by a vote of its faculty, permit other courses to come under this option for students enrolled in that college. This vote must be confirmed by the Senate through the Curricular Affairs Committee and/or the Graduate Council.

8.37.12 Undergraduate students may elect up to three P/F courses per semester; students may elect two P/F courses during a calendar summer. Graduate students are limited to maximum of four credits in the masters program of study and eight credits toward the doctoral program (including those taken for the masters degree).

8.37.13 An undergraduate student choosing to take a course for P/F credit shall complete the special form designed for that purpose and shall return the completed form to the Office of Enrollment Services prior to the end of the add period of each semester. A student may not exercise this option after this time. Graduate students must obtain approval of the Dean of the Graduate School on a special form designed for that purpose.

8.37.14 A student may notify the Office of Enrollment Services by the end of the drop period that he or she has decided not to use the P/F grading option.

8.37.15 The instructor is not to be informed of the P/F status of the student. Such a student shall be graded by the instructor in the same manner as all other students and the Office of Enrollment Services shall convert all passing grades to "P."

8.37.16 A student completing satisfactorily a course under the regulations of this plan shall receive a "P" (pass). Unsatisfactory completion of a course shall result in the student receiving an "F" (failure).

8.37.17 A student receiving the "P" shall receive credit toward fulfillment of degree requirements, but the "P" shall not be used in calculating the student's quality point average.

8.38.10 Credits. Without written permission of the student's academic dean, the maximum number of credits for which a student may enroll in a semester is: undergraduates - 19 credits; graduate students - 15 credits; graduate assistants and graduate research assistants - 12 credits. These numbers include all courses taught at the University of Rhode Island.

8.38.11 Matriculating and nonmatriculating students may enroll as full-time or part-time students without prior approval. For purposes of fee assessment, undergraduate students registered for 12 credits, graduate students registered for 9 credits, graduate assistants and graduate research assistants registered for 6 credits will be considered full-time.

8.38.12 Graduate assistants and graduate research assistants are expected to enroll on a full-time basis and must register for at least six credits but no more than 12 credits except with the written permission of the dean.

8.38.13 Student course loads shall be limited to eight credits in the five- or six-week Summer Session and a maximum of four credits in a three-week Winter J-Term Session. The limit may be exceeded only if approved in the case of a matriculating University student by the student's academic dean or the Graduate Dean, if applicable and in the case of any other student by the Vice Provost for Urban Programs. #12-13--21

8.38.14 A matriculating University student who, with the approval of the student's academic dean, registers for courses during any term at other institutions shall have these course credits included in the student's cumulative record in the same manner as transfer credit. #12-13--21

8.39.10 Attendance Requirements. Course attendance policies are to be determined by the faculty member(s) responsible for teaching a course. Faculty should clearly inform students of these policies at the beginning of the semester. Notice that a course will require examinations at times other than regularly scheduled class times shall be given in the Schedule of Courses published by the Office of Enrollment Services (See 8.51.15).

8.39.11 Any deviation from announced attendance policy shall normally be a matter between the instructor(s) and the student(s). A student who will be or has been unable to fulfill an obligation should discuss with the instructor(s) the possibility of and the conditions for making up the missed work. Instructors shall make reasonable efforts to allow students to compensate for work missed due to serious verifiable reasons such as illness, participation in University sanctioned events, etc. (See 8.51.11-14).

8.39.12 No instructor shall be required to allow a student to make up work missed because of disciplinary action.

8.40.10 Employee Enrollment. Regular full-time employees of the University, and spouses and children of full-time employees, may enroll for courses at the University and will be assessed fees according to the appropriate provisions of the collective bargaining contracts and the Board of Governors' personnel policies. All employees, spouses, and dependent children must meet eligibility requirements for enrollment in the University's courses and programs.

8.40.11 If an employee, spouse, or dependent child is enrolled in a special summer workshop, the tuition shall be the difference between the regular fee per credit and the special workshop fee when the special workshop fee exceeds the regular per credit fee.

8.40.12 The benefits in 8.40.10-11 available to the immediate family of a faculty member in active service shall also be made available to the family of a faculty member on tenure and with at least seven years service who retires, is disabled or dies while in service.

8.41.10 Fees for Part-Time Students. Part-time students shall be charged a basic registration fee and tuition based on the number of credits for which the student registered, together with any special or associated fees.

8.42.10 Withdrawal. A student who wishes to withdraw from the University prior to the end of a semester or Summer Session term shall do so according to procedures outlined in that semester's Schedule of Courses. Students who withdraw from the University after the last day of classes but before a semester ends shall be graded in all courses for which they are officially registered.

8.42.11 If the withdrawal process is completed satisfactorily and the student has cleared all financial obligations to the University the date of withdrawal shall be noted on the student's permanent record. No grades for the current semester shall be recorded. The student may apply for readmission for any regular term subject to the conditions of 8.42.13.

8.42.12 If the student withdraws from the University after mid-semester, grades shall be recorded for any course which has an officially specified completion date prior to the date of withdrawal.

8.42.13 Undergraduate students who withdraw from the University after midsemester and who seek readmission to the University for the next semester shall be readmitted only upon approval of the Scholastic Standing Committee for the college or school in which registration is desired.

8.42.20 Leave of Absence. Undergraduate students who choose to leave the University for a period of one year or less while maintaining matriculating status may apply for leave of absence. The request shall be made to the dean of the college in which the student is registered. A leave of absence has the effect of extending time limitations such as those for completion of the degree or for the removal of an incomplete grade. A leave of absence shall not be granted during a semester because of unsatisfactory academic performance. Registration materials will be sent directly to the student from the Office of Enrollment Services for the term in which the student is scheduled to return. Students returning from leave of absence are not required to complete the regular readmission process.

8.43.10 Refunds. Refunds of payments made or credits against amount due to the University shall be made to students who officially withdraw from the University or who cancel their registration in all courses, according to the following schedule:

Period of Attendance in Which Withdrawal Occurs* Percentage of Refund**
First Two Week 80%
Third Week 60%
Fourth Week 40%
Fifth Week 20%
After Five Weeks No Refund

* Counted from the first day of registration and including weekends and holidays.

**Fees subject to refund are defined by the University Controller.

8.43.20 Adjustment of Fees. The last day for fee adjustment for students who reduce their credit load shall be at the end of the "add" period. For Feinstein College of Continuing Education students, the last day for fee adjustment shall be prior to the third class meeting or by the prescribed University deadline, whichever is later. Fees will be adjusted downward according to the number of credits of enrollment as of the last day adjustment is permitted.

8.44.10 A Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Course is a specific non-credit course for which continuing education units are granted. One CEU is identified as ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education, adult, or extension experience, under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction.

8.44.11 Each academic college, school, or division shall be authorized to offer and approve by committee its own CEU courses and determine its own instructors and fees.

8.44.12 Academic credit and CEUs shall not be available for the same course and CEU offerings shall not be listed in the academic year schedule of courses.

8.44.13 Academic course credit and CEUs shall not be noted on the same permanent record. No grades shall be recorded for CEUs. CEUs shall not be recorded in segments of less than 1.0 CEU and fractional CEUs above 1.0 units shall be in increments of 0.1.

8.44.14 The CEU course instructor or coordinator shall gain approval for an offering through an academic unit of the institution best qualified to insure the quality of the program content and to approve the resource personnel used. A CEU course shall meet the following criteria and other requirements of the academic unit: a) it is a non-credit activity planned in response to an assessment of educational need for a specific target population; b) there is a statement of educational objectives and rationale; c) content is sequential and organized; and d) there is evidence of preplanning including provision for evaluation of student performance and criteria for awarding CEUs.

8.44.15 The CEU course instructor or coordinator shall initiate appropriate advertisement for the course, register students, make arrangements for the collection of fees and maintain attendance records. The CEU course instructor or coordinator may obtain administrative assistance for these responsibilities through the Alan ShawnFeinstein College of Continuing Education.

8.45.10 Policy on Non-Credit Course Offerings. Public notice shall be given for all non-credit offerings to be conducted under the auspices of the University. Notification to the University community in the form of a brief public announcement shall be provided at least six months in advance of planned non-credit offerings. Such offerings would include, inter alia, non-credit seminars, meetings, short-courses, workshops or conferences. Notification shall be given according to the following steps:

a. The Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education (ASFCCE) shall serve as the coordinator for all non-credit offerings. Course organizers, including ASFCCE staff, shall notify ASFCCE of the proposed course at least six months in advance of the offering date(s).

b. Notification shall be in the form of a memorandum filed with ASFCCE which includes the following elements: course title, course topic(s), identification of course contact person, proposed course presenter(s), proposed date(s), time(s), location, and intended audience.

c. ASFCCE shall publish a formal, public notification for all proposed non-credit course offerings in a university-wide publication.

d. Interested persons shall first communicate their concerns and suggestions to the designated course contact person. If questions remain, they should be directed to the Vice Provost for Urban Programs who will assist in responding to issues raised.

e. ASFCCE shall receive comments and suggestions and work with the course organizers to insure that the proposed offering meets the terms of this policy and that course content and instructor's qualifications are consistent with continuing education standards.

Grant or contracted training, workshops, or similar activities are not to be a part of the review and notification procedure outlined above but ASFCCE should be informed as soon as possible. Exempted from this policy are staff development programs limited to University personnel.

8.46.10 Classes. The Schedule of Courses shall be made by designated scheduling officers, and no instructor may change the time or place of a scheduled course without approval of the Director of Enrollment Services or designee.

8.46.11 In accordance with program accessibility as mandated by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Scheduling Officer may require that any class be moved to an accessible location in the event that a physically disabled student requests the course. The Scheduling Officer shall consult with the faculty members involved prior to moving the class.

8.46.12 The standard class period shall normally be 50 minutes in length for the Monday, Wednesday, Friday sequence and 75 minutes in length for the Tuesday, Thursday sequence. Instructors must adhere to the time limit. Class periods for the Feinstein College of Continuing Education and Summer Session courses may vary from this standard, but must meet minimum standards as specified in 8.32.10-13.

8.46.13 Classes shall wait 10 minutes from the regularly scheduled time of opening for the instructor to appear. If by that time the instructor has not appeared or has not sent word requesting the class to wait, students may leave without incurring penalty for absence.



Sheila Black Grubman

Faculty Outstanding Award

2015 Notice and Criteria



University Libraries LibGuides