Jul 23, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies & University Requirements

Darrell Newton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
211 Somsen Hall (507.457.5010)

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs oversees all academic matters for the University, which include maintaining the curriculum and making it available to students, assuring the quality of instruction, administering the academic policies and requirements of the University, managing enrollment, and maintaining a stimulating learning environment.

Policy Changes: Administrative and committee actions may change policies that affect students at any time. Students are responsible for complying with changes as they are reported either in the student newspaper (the Winonan) or in announcements posted in the Warrior Hub (Maxwell Hall) or on the WSU website.

University Requirements

Students progress toward an associate (two-year) or a baccalaureate (four-year) degree by completing courses that satisfy the required General Education Program.

Students in baccalaureate programs must also satisfy the requirements of an academic major and may take required courses in a minor or related field. Students also commonly take elective courses for personal interest or enrichment that do not satisfy requirements in any of these three areas, but that can be applied toward the total number of credit hours required for graduation.

Note: Excessive accumulation of elective courses can delay graduation. Some academic choices lead unavoidably to that end. For example, a student who changes academic goals by transferring from another school or by changing majors may accumulate courses that can only be counted as electives. If a student changes from one curriculum to another within the University, the student must meet requirements of the newly chosen curriculum even though the total number of credits earned exceeds the total minimum for graduation.

Some courses may apply to both teacher licensure and a university requirement, or they may satisfy more than one university requirement simultaneously. Careful academic planning, with the help of an advisor (see the Academic Resources  section of this catalog), can take advantage of such overlaps to satisfy multiple goals within the time span required for an undergraduate degree.

Non-Degree Credit & Non-Credit/CEU

A small number of courses cannot be used to satisfy university requirements or applied toward graduation. These include:

  • Developmental courses (course numbers below the 100-level). Developmental courses such as ENG 099  and MATH 050  meet a student’s educational needs, but carry only non-degree credit that counts toward financial aid and athletic eligibility but does not count toward graduation requirements.
  • Audited courses (see below).
  • Vocational courses in excess of 16 credits (not available at WSU but sometimes taken at another school).
  • Courses taken for continuing education units (CEU/non-credit) (see Academic Resources ).
  • Courses in which the student has received a failing grade. (Some departments require a minimum grade in courses applied toward the major.)

Required for AA

Required for BA or BS

    Developmental Courses

40 Credits Minimum

(Please note that some courses may count for more than one goal area in the General Education Program.)

40 Credits Minimum

(Please note that some courses may count for more than one goal area in the General Education Program.)

General Education, including:

Core Goal Areas (Goals 1-6) - 35-36 credits
Theme Goal Areas (Goals 7-10) - 12 credits
Physical Development & Wellness - 2 credits

  12 Credits Intensive Requirements - 12 credits
  47 Credits Minimum Major
20 Credits 21 Credits Electives
60 Credits 120-128 Credits

Total Credits

General Education Program

See General Education Program (GEP)  section for full program requirements.

Major/Minor Requirements

In addition to General Education requirements, all students in baccalaureate degree programs must complete requirements for an academic major or specialization. The major provides the student with in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge in a particular area of study. Many majors or areas of specialization offer students alternative paths of study or options. Students are also encouraged to pursue their interests by taking elective courses related to their major. Some degree programs require the student to complete a minor.

To declare a major, minor, or licensure program, complete the following steps:

  1. Determine what major/minor program you wish to pursue. Check the program descriptions in this catalog to determine the major/minor program requirements. Because requirements may have changed since this catalog was printed, you are advised to consult with the Warrior Hub and the department offering the major or minor before making academic decisions.
  2. If the major/minor program you wish to pursue is not listed in the current catalog, consult with the appropriate academic department to determine program requirements.
  3. Complete the online Declaration of Major/Minor form. When students declare (or change) their major and/or minor program, they fall under the program requirements effective on the date declared or a future program.

Program requirements must be completed within seven years after declaring or changing a major and/or minor. If the seven-year limit expires before the student completes the program requirements, the student must then complete the program requirements currently in effect.

Graduation Requirements

Associate of Arts Degree - AA (Two-Year)

To be eligible for graduation, the student must be fully matriculated and satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  2. Complete at least 16 of the 60 credit hours at WSU.
  3. Complete the General Education requirements except for the Intensive Requirements.
  4. Earn a minimum WSU cumulative GPA of 2.00. Transfer students must also earn a minimum combined WSU and transfer cumulative GPA of 2.00.
  5. Be enrolled at WSU during the semester of graduation.
  6. Submit an online Application for Graduation after you have registered for classes in your final term (including internships, student teaching, etc.) See Registration & Academic Records  for detailed application, approval, and notification procedures.

Baccalaureate Degree (Four-Year)

To be eligible for graduation, a student must be fully matriculated and must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. (Note: A few majors require more than 120 credit hours. Please see the program descriptions for details.)
  2. Complete at least 30 credit hours in residence during the junior and senior years combined. Residence credit is credit for classes taught by WSU faculty as well as credit earned under the Minnesota State University Common Market Program; it does not include credit by examination.
  3. Complete at least 40 credit hours of 300- to 400-level coursework.
  4. Complete the General Education Program (GEP)  requirements.
  5. Earn a minimum WSU cumulative GPA of 2.00. Transfer students must also earn a minimum combined WSU and transfer cumulative GPA of 2.00. Some majors may require a higher WSU cumulative GPA and/or combined WSU and transfer cumulative GPA.
  6. Be enrolled at WSU during the semester of graduation.
  7. Bachelor of Science-Teaching (BT) candidates must complete the Professional Education Sequence, including student teaching. See Admission to the WSU Teacher Education Program .
  8. Complete, with a C average, either a broad major of 47 credit hours or more or a major of fewer than 47 credit hours combined with a minor or a second major. (With a broad major, a minor is not required.) Students should be aware of the following considerations related to the major requirements:
    • A student cannot have a minor or option that consists wholly of courses that are required in the major or option in which he/she is earning a degree.
    • Students can use a course to meet requirements in any major, minor, or option requiring the course. Credit earned in a course counts only once toward the minimum credit hours required for graduation.
    • If the major has more than one option, the minor requirement may not be fulfilled with a second option in that major. However, a student may take a major and a minor in the same department, unless the department prohibits that practice.
    • Certain departments require students to earn a C grade or better in each course within their major/minor or to earn a C grade or better in specific courses in their major/minor. Students should consult with the department offering the major or minor for any additional GPA requirements.
  9. Submit an online Application for Graduation after you have registered for classes in your final term (including internships, student teaching, etc.) No degree is awarded until all grades are finalized; I or IP grades cannot remain on the permanent record. See Registration & Academic Records  for more details about how to apply for graduation. 

Note: The student is solely responsible for making sure all academic requirements are met to complete the degree. 

Dual Majors

Students completing two or more majors will be awarded a single degree based upon the primary major. A student’s default primary major is the major with the greatest number of credits. Any additional majors will be listed on the student’s transcript under the degree to be awarded. If any of the majors fall under different degrees (for example, one major leads to a Bachelor of Arts and another leads to a Bachelor of Science), the student may choose either degree. (Students seeking additional or dual degrees should see the information below.) Students completing dual majors may use the second major as a minor if they are only receiving one degree.

Additional Majors/Minors

WSU graduates may return for an additional major/minor by completing all of the requirements for that major and/or minor. If a student completes another major/minor, the additional major/minor is recorded on the permanent record.

Dual Degrees

Students wishing to complete two degrees concurrently, (for example, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) must complete a minimum of an additional 30 credits above the required 120-128 credit hours. Students must complete all major requirements under both degrees, including separate minors if required.

Additional Degree

Students returning after graduating from WSU to earn an additional (different) bachelor degree at WSU must complete a minimum of 30 additional credits for the second degree. Students must complete all major requirements under the degree, including a minor if required. If a student completes another major but does not complete the additional 30 credits, the major is recorded on the permanent record, but the additional degree is not recorded nor is another diploma awarded. The student receives one diploma for each degree earned.

Teaching Degree Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Students

A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science graduate who holds a degree from WSU or another accredited institution may qualify for teacher licensure by complying with certain requirements, which are detailed in the Teacher Education Licensure Programs  section.

Alternatives for Earning Academic Credit

In addition to taking courses described in this catalog, students may make progress toward academic and career goals by:

  1. Participating in special learning activities described in the catalog section entitled, “Other Academic Resources ” (e.g., Cooperative Program with St. Mary’s University; Minnesota State University Common Market program; Adult & Continuing Education, Study Abroad Program).
  2. Exercising alternatives such as credit by examination, independent study, internships, which are described later in this section.

Credit by Examination

If students can satisfy the requirements of a particular course by a written or oral examination, they may be able to get credit by departmental examination without formally enrolling in the course. This policy allows students to receive credit if they have completed equivalent study at a non-accredited school or if they can present evidence of independent study and related work experience. Students cannot use this process to repeat a course to improve a grade.

To be eligible, the student must be fully matriculated with a minimum 2.00 GPA at WSU and enrolled at the University during the semester in which a credit by examination is requested. To apply, the student should meet with the faculty member of the department offering the course to be credited to initiate the process. Credit by Examinations cost $50 per credit and will be posted to the student’s record at the end of the term. These credits are not used in determining full-time status.

Credit for Prior Learning via Portfolio Review

Students may be able to earn credit for prior learning acquired outside the traditional institutional setting by requesting evaluation of prior learning by portfolio review. If a student can demonstrate to the WSU faculty evaluators that what he/she has learned is substantially equivalent in level and depth of knowledge to what the student would acquire in the classroom, the faculty member may recommend the awarding of equivalency credits. All equivalency credits are awarded on a pass/no credit basis. For more information or to begin the application process, students should contact an Adult Entry Advisor in Adult & Continuing Education (209 Somsen Hall, 507.457.5080).

Substitution of a Course

A student may request that a particular course be substituted for a course required in the student’s major or minor. The course to be substituted may be one that the student has completed at WSU or at another college/ university. To request a course substitution, students should meet with their academic advisor for the major or minor. The advisor will complete the online Course Substitution form, which will then go through a workflow process. The student will receive an email on the status of the request. Course substitutions are not reflected on the academic transcript.

Audited Courses

The auditing procedure permits a student to attend a course without performing graded work. An audited course appears on the student’s transcript, but carries no academic credit. Audited courses cannot be used to satisfy graduation, certification, or licensure requirements. Courses pursued on an audit basis must be declared and processed during the registration period. A decision to change from a graded basis to an audit basis must be finalized by the published withdraw deadline for the semester. Regular tuition charges apply. See the Registration & Academic Records  section for registration information.

Independent Study

Projects beyond the scope or range of any courses offered at WSU can be pursued as independent study at the discretion of the appropriate faculty member, department chairperson, and dean. To be eligible, the student must be fully matriculated with an established cumulative GPA at WSU of 2.00 or higher. Students must apply for independent study according to announced deadlines (see Academic Calendar) and register for the course during the designated registration period. See Registration & Academic Records  for registration information.


Internships provide students with academic credit for a supervised on-the-job work experience. Students apply the knowledge and skills learned in an academic setting to a professional work environment. A number of departments offer specific courses granting internship credits. Students must be fully matriculated to enroll in an internship. WSU policy indicates that students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 to enroll in an internship; however, some departments require a higher minimum GPA.

University policy limits the number of credits that may apply toward a degree as follows: 12 internship credits per semester and 16 internship credits in total. In cases where combined internship credits in a major and/or minor will exceed 16 credits, a maximum of 21 semester credits may be applied toward graduation. However, individual departments may set a maximum number of credits awarded for internships.

Students should refer to the appropriate department listing for specific internship details, including minimum GPA, prerequisites, and credit limitations. Internships are offered on a pass/no credit basis, with this exception: Three semester credits may be taken for a grade with approval of the department and academic dean. See Registration & Academic Records  for registration information.

Grading and Credit Policies

Credit Load

One hour of credit is granted for one lecture or class period of 50 minutes per week for 15 weeks. Most courses are credited with three or four credits. Laboratory classes, internships, practica, and other special courses typically offer fewer credits per hour of instructional time. To be considered full-time, a student must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. Students who wish to enroll in more than 19 semester credits must obtain prior approval from the academic dean of the college of their major prior to registration by submitting a credit overload request. MinnState caps registration among institutions at 22 credits.

The University may restrict the number of credits in which a student can enroll if it determines that previous low scholarship, out-of-school obligations, or similar factors might interfere with satisfactory performance of the student’s obligations. The University may restrict a student from registering if the student fails to follow proper registration procedures. To complete degree requirements in four years (eight semesters), students must earn an average of 16 semester credit hours each semester.

Class Attendance

In order to improve students’ access to classes they need and want, the faculty has adopted a policy that requires student attendance at the first meeting of all classes. The purpose of this policy is to identify students who have decided to drop a particular class as early as possible so that students who want to enroll in that class will be able to do so.

If a student wishes to continue in a class but is unable to attend the first class meeting due to circumstances beyond his/her control, the student should notify the instructor or academic department before the first class meeting. If a student wishes to withdraw from a class, the student is responsible for dropping the class (see below).

An instructor may choose to cancel a student’s registration if the student fails to attend the first class meeting of a closed (i. e., full) class; however, the instructor is not required to do so. The student must not assume that the instructor will cancel his/her registration for a class, even if the class is closed. If the instructor cancels the student’s registration, a notice will be sent to the student’s university email.

Other than this policy regarding attendance at the first meeting of a class, the University has no overall policy governing class attendance. Each instructor establishes and announces an attendance policy and has the responsibility and authority for enforcing it.

Grading System

Work in any course is evaluated in accordance with the following system of letter grades and administrative indicators:

A - Excellent F - Failing W - Withdrawal
B - Very Good NC - No Credit AU - Audit
C - Average I - Incomplete IP - In-Progress
D - Below Average P - Pass Z - Unreported

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Each semester hour of credit attempted receives honor points according to the following:

Each A credit =   4 GPA points
Each B credit =   3 GPA points
Each C credit =   2 GPA points
Each D credit =   1 GPA point
Each F credit =   0 GPA points

The GPA is computed by dividing the total number of GPA points by the total number of GPA credits attempted. The frequently referred to “C” average is a 2.00 grade point average. Although courses taken on a pass/no credit (P/NC) basis grant credit toward graduation, P/NC courses do not affect the GPA.

Note: For academic warning, probation and suspension decisions, only courses and credits taken at WSU count in the computation of GPAs.

Incomplete Grades

An Incomplete (I) grade is reserved for special cases in which the student, for reasons beyond his/her control, is unable to finish an important assignment or other required coursework by the end of the semester, though the student is passing in all other aspects. An incomplete grade cannot be used to gain time to perform extra credit work to improve a potentially low course grade.

Students must complete the prescribed requirements of the course before mid-term of the next semester. Once the requirements are satisfied, the instructor will submit an online completed Change of Grade/Incomplete form to the Warrior Hub. The Registrar must receive a grade to replace the I by midterm day of the next semester. If an I is not replaced with a grade within the specified time, the incomplete grade automatically becomes a failing grade.

In-Progress Grades

An instructor may assign a grade of In Progress (IP) to a student who is in a course that is not expected to end at the close of a semester. Certain internships and arranged classes, for example, are designed to continue beyond the close of a semester. If an IP is not replaced with a grade within one year of the close of the semester in which the course was offered, it becomes a failing grade.

Repeated Courses

When a student repeats a course, he/she must take the course on a regular graded basis (i.e., letter grade). When a student repeats a course, only the last grade received and credits earned are included in the GPA computation. (Even if the repeated grade is lower than the first attempt or a failing grade, the second grade will replace the first grade.) If the student withdraws (W) while repeating a course, the original grade is included in the GPA computation.

Students who repeat a course at WSU previously taken at another institution should notify the Warrior Hub at warriorhub@winona.edu. Without this notification, the student’s academic records may be adversely affected. Students should be aware that repeating courses will slow their academic progress and may delay graduation, because they will only receive credit for the most recent offering of the course. Once a baccalaureate degree has been awarded, the student cannot repeat any course to improve his/her GPA.

Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Courses

The University’s P/NC grading classification enables students to enroll in unfamiliar or difficult academic subjects without fear of jeopardizing their GPA. It is intended to introduce students to lifelong learning-learning that does not include the traditional reward or penalty of a grade.

Although courses taken on a P/NC basis grant credit toward graduation, the credit does not affect the cumulative GPA. When the course is completed, either P (pass) or NC (no credit) is entered in the student’s permanent record. P is interpreted as equivalent to an A, B, C or D letter grade. If the student receives a NC grade, the course can be repeated; however, it must be repeated for a letter grade, and the grade will be included in the student’s GPA (see Repeated Courses).

Departments designate which courses are required or permitted to be taken on a P/NC basis. Major, minor, or professional courses generally are not included; however, a department chairperson, in consultation with the instructor and the dean, may approve an exception. The department may permit the course to count toward the major/minor requirements if a student selects a major or minor after taking a course in the department on a P/NC basis.

Students cannot take more than six P/NC credits per semester except for student teaching and internships. The six credits include both optional P/NC classes and classes in which P/NC grading is mandatory.

Additionally, the total number of credits for graduation may not include more than 32 “Pass” credits. Optional P/NC courses, mandatory P/NC courses, transfer P/NC courses, student teaching, and/or internships all are counted in the 32-credit limitation. For optional P/NC courses, the student must decide, by the last day to withdraw, whether the course is being taken on a P/NC basis. See Change the Grade Method for a Class  for more information about declaring/changing the grade method for a course.

Final Examinations

A final examination is required for every course taught at WSU. The course instructor determines the content of the final examination. Specific semester exam schedules are available. Exams are scheduled according to the following guidelines:

  • Because the semester extends through the final exam week, classes are expected to meet as designated in the final exam schedule.
  • An instructor who wishes to reschedule an exam during final exam week must receive prior approval from the college dean.
  • Courses of more than two credits will have final exam times determined by the day the class first meets for lecture each week. Final exams for classes beginning on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday will meet at MWF times. Final exams for classes beginning on Tuesday or Thursday will meet at TH times.
  • Examinations in classes offered for one or two credits will be given during the last regularly scheduled class period prior to the first day of the final examination schedule.
  • The responsibility for allowing exceptions for individual students rests with the student and the instructor.
  • The content of the final examination is determined by the course instructor, who is encouraged to consult with the students prior to giving the final.
  • Evening class final exams are held on the last class period prior to final exam week.
  • Some classes may begin at times other than the regularly scheduled start times. Final exams for these classes will be held at the examination time schedule for the class period in which the start time of the class falls (example: a class beginning at 9 am Tuesday and Thursday will have its final exam at the time scheduled for 8 - 9:20 am TH classes).

Grade Appeal Policy

The evaluation of student performance in courses and the reporting of appropriate grades are faculty responsibilities. However, students sometimes feel that their academic work was evaluated unfairly. The process for student appeals of grades is as follows:

  1. Any student who wants to appeal a grade must confer with the instructor within the first 10 academic calendar days of the next term (excluding summer terms) in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
  2. If the student and the faculty member come to agreement, the process ends.
  3. If the student and the faculty member do not come to agreement, then the student may file a written Grade Appeal Form  available at the Warrior Hub, second floor Maxwell hall on the Winona campus or in the Student and Campus Services Office on the Rochester campus. The written appeal must be sent to the Grade Appeals Committee (GAC) chairperson within 30 academic calendar days of the next term (excluding summer terms); a copy of the appeal must be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

A Hearing Committee, which is a subcommittee of the GAC, will review the case as presented by the student and the faculty member. Both parties are entitled to assistance and advice from members of the academic community in presenting their case to the subcommittee. The Hearing Committee may recommend that the instructor do one of the following:

  • Make no change in the grade
  • Re-evaluate the student’s academic work
  • Change the grade

The GAC chair will convey the recommendation to the student and to the instructor and the VPAA. After this step has been taken, the GAC and its Hearing Subcommittee will have no further direct involvement in the process.

The instructor should provide a response to the student and the VPAA regarding the Hearing Committee’s recommendation within five (5) academic calendar days. The instructor is not required to comply with the recommendation of the GAC Hearing Subcommittee. However, the instructor should respond in one of the following ways:

  • No response: The instructor chooses to not respond within five (5) academic calendar days. The student and the VPAA shall interpret this as a decision to not change the grade.
  • Response without reevaluation of student’s work: The instructor should indicate within five (5) academic calendar days, whether the grade will be changed or not. The instructor is encouraged (but not required) to provide a rationale for the decision. This will be considered the instructor’s final response. A copy of this final response should be sent to the VPAA.
  • Response with reevaluation: The instructor should notify the student and the VPAA of this intent within five (5) academic calendar days. The instructor will complete this reevaluation and send the student and VPAA a final response within ten (10) academic calendar days of receiving the GAC chair’s notification. The instructor should indicate whether the grade will be changed or not. The instructor is encouraged (but not required) to provide a rationale for the decision.

If the student wants to contest the final decision of the instructor, they should submit a letter presenting their case to the VPAA within five (5) academic calendar days of receiving the instructor’s final response, or if no response, within ten (10) academic calendar days from the GAC chair’s notification.

  • The VPAA may request additional information before resolving the matter. Within ten (10) academic calendar days of receiving the student’s letter of contestation, the VPAA will either support or over-ride the instructor’s final decision. The VPAA will inform the student, the instructor, and (if a grade change is involved) the Office of the Registrar of the appeal’s final resolution and its rationale.
  • Neither the GAC nor the VPAA will review a second appeal for the same course and grade after a decision has been made by the VPAA or after the case has been considered closed.
  • Expedited appeals may be considered on a case-by-case basis due to, but not limited by: scholarship deadlines, graduation, military responsibilities, or prerequisite consideration.

Academic Progress

Classification of Students

Based on credit hours completed, students are classified as follows:

Credit Hours
  Freshman 0 - 29
  Sophomore 30 - 59
  Junior 60 - 89
  Senior 90+

Freshmen are not eligible to enroll in courses numbered in the 400-level. In order to make continuous progress toward a four-year degree, a student must take an average of 16 credits per semester. A “freshman,” therefore, is usually a first-year student; a sophomore is usually a second-year student, and so forth. Because a student’s credit load in any semester may vary from the average, classification by credit hours is a more informative indicator of progress toward a degree than time spent in school.

Academic Standing

Definition of Good Academic Standing: To maintain good academic standing, a student must have a minimum WSU cumulative GPA of 1.75 for the first 15 degree credits attempted and 2.00 thereafter. The cumulative GPA used to determine satisfactory progress is based solely on courses attempted and grades earned at WSU. In addition, a student must complete at least 67% of credits attempted, including credits accepted in transfer, to maintain good academic standing.

Academic Warning, Suspension, and Probation

  1. Students will be reviewed for Good Academic Standing after each term, including Summer Session.
  2. Students who fall below these standards for the first time may remain enrolled but will be placed on Academic Warning. Students on Academic Warning must meet with their assigned advisor or an advisor in the Warrior Success Center to review their plan for academic improvement prior to registering for any subsequent semester.
  3. Students on Academic Warning who fail to meet the standards by the end of their next term of enrollment will be placed on Academic Suspension. Students on Academic Suspension will have the opportunity to submit a written appeal for readmission. If the appeal is granted, the student will be able to remain enrolled for an additional semester on Academic Probation. If the appeal is denied, or it the student does not appeal, the student must sit out for at least one academic term before being readmitted on Academic Probation. Summer Session does not count as a sit-out term.
  4. Students on Academic Probation who are making satisfactory progress (defined as meeting the minimum standard of a 2.20 GPA and 75% completion rate for the tern) will be allowed to continue to enroll for each subsequent term until they reach the cumulative grade point average and completion rate for Good Standing.
  5. Students on Academic Probation who do not meet the minimum standards and are not making satisfactory progress as defined in #4 above will be placed on Academic Suspension, and must sit out at least one academic term. Summer Session does not count as sit-out term.
  6. Students who achieve good standing after having been placed on Academic Warning or Suspension and then fall below the standards again will be given another term of Academic Warning before being placed on Academic Suspension.

Additional Notes:

  • Students under standards will be notified of their status (Academic Warning or Academic Suspension) by the Registrar’s Office at the end of each semester, including Summer term if applicable.
  • Students on Academic Suspension will not be eligible for financial aid. Students who have an appeal granted and are allowed to continue on Academic Probation will be eligible for financial aid.
  • Students who wish to return after suspension must meet with an advisor in the Warrior Success Center to appeal the suspension reentry.
  • Students who are suspended at the end of Spring Term may appeal to return Summer or Fall Term, but not both. A student who returns Summer Term after appeal must make satisfactory progress for the term to remain enrolled in the Fall.

For answers to specific questions regarding the suspension policy or procedures, contact the Warrior Hub.

Academic Honors

WSU offers many opportunities for students to achieve academic honors including the Dean’s List and Graduation with Honors. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the various department-level and university-level opportunities to earn recognition for their academic excellence and achievements.

WSU belongs to several national fraternities that recognize scholarship and a commitment to service, including Alpha Lambda Delta (first-year students with 3.50 GPA), Golden Key International Honour Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), and the National Residence Hall Honorary Society.

Honor Societies

Some academic departments have joined national honors societies, and other departments are in the process of doing so. If your major is not included in the following list, contact the chairperson of your department to learn what activities are underway regarding honor societies.

Biology Beta Beta Beta
Communication Studies Lambda Pi Eta
Education Alpha Upsilon Alpha
Education Minnesota Student Program
Kappa Delta Pi
History Phi Alpha Theta
Mathematics Pi Mu Epsilon
Nursing Sigma Theta Tau
Political Science Pi Sigma Alpha
Statistics Mu Sigma Rho

Department Honors Programs

Some departments have honors programs with specific requirements for admission and an honors thesis project. For information, see the department’s program description in this catalog or the department’s website.

Dean’s List

Undergraduate students are included on the Dean’s List if they complete 12 credits or more for letter grades at WSU (not including pass/no credit) during any one semester and achieve a GPA of 3.50 or higher. A Dean’s List notation will be posted on the student’s academic record after the term in which it was earned.

Graduation with Honors

Honors are awarded to WSU graduates whose academic record as reflected by their grade point average (GPA) illustrates significant academic achievement. To qualify for “Graduation with Honors,” a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Students receiving a baccalaureate degree must complete 30 credits in residence during their junior and senior years (i.e., a minimum of 30 credits of WSU courses).
  • Students receiving an AA degree must complete 16 credits in residence.
  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.60 for all WSU coursework.
  • Achieve an overall GPA of 3.60, including any college-level transfer work.

Students who do not meet all of the above requirements are not eligible for Honors. (Note: All GPAs are truncated and not rounded; for example, 3.2499 is truncated to 3.24.)


  • Student has a 3.59 WSU GPA and a 4.00 Transfer GPA: WSU GPA is too low to qualify for honors.
  • Student has a 3.60 WSU GPA and a 3.59 Transfer GPA: Combined GPA is too low to qualify for honors.
  • Student has a 4.00 WSU GPA and a 3.00 Transfer GPA: Student may qualify if overall GPA is above 3.60.
  • Student has a 3.60 WSU GPA and a 3.60 Transfer GPA: Student qualifies for honors.

Honors Standards

Cum Laude: Overall GPA between 3.600 and 3.749
Magna Cum Laude: Overall GPA between 3.750 and 3.899
Summa Cum Laude: Overall GPA between 3.900 and 4.000

Provisional (Commencement) Honors

Honors recognition for the commencement ceremony is based on the provisional determination of honors. This determination is made based on coursework completed prior to the term for which the student has applied to graduate. Provisional honors include any faculty grade changes for prior coursework on record at the midterm deadline of the graduation term (see academic calendar). Provisional honors also include administrative conversions (i.e., grades of “I” and “IP” to “F”) from prior terms on record following the midterm conversion deadline. Any faculty grade changes from prior terms recorded after the midterm deadline are not used to determine provisional honors.

Students who have not filed a Graduation Application prior to the published midterm date of their graduation term are not eligible for provisional honors. However, all graduating students will be reviewed for final honors.

Final Honors

Final honors are determined for all graduates after commencement and include all undergraduate coursework based on the standards and requirements above. A student’s honors status may change after the determination of final honors. Final honors are posted on the student’s transcript.

Academic Pardon

The purpose of the academic pardon policy is to grant students a one-time pardon for past academic hardships and to allow them to resume their college careers with a realistic possibility of completing a degree. Academic pardon may be attractive for a student who has left WSU with a very low GPA, gained life experience, and returned after an extended absence to resume degree work. If the student has not yet applied for graduation, he or she may request that grades earned during a specified period of the previous undergraduate career be held aside during calculation of an adjusted GPA, as described below.

Students must meet all four criteria listed below for an academic pardon:

  1. Student was not enrolled in any WSU courses for a period of at least 36 months between the period indicated above and their re-admission to WSU.
  2. Student earned a WSU cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 for the period indicated.
  3. Student has earned at least 24 semester credits and at least a 2.00 GPA at WSU since being re-admitted.
  4. Student has not previously requested an Academic Pardon.

Approval of academic pardon has the following consequences:

  1. The cumulative GPA will be recalculated. The new GPA will be based on courses completed after the student was re-admitted. Grades and credits attempted during the period for which academic pardon has been approved will not be used in calculating the cumulative GPA that is printed on transcripts and in determining whether graduation requirements have been met.
  2. Courses in which the student received a grade of “C” or better prior to being re-admitted will be used for academic credit but not used in calculating the GPA.
  3. The following statement will appear on transcripts of the student’s academic record: “This student was granted Academic Pardon under the WSU Academic Pardon Policy. All WSU courses with a grade of “C” or better taken prior to re-admission and granting of academic pardon were given academic credit, but were not used in the calculation of the WSU GPA.”
  4. Grades the student received during the period of academic pardon will remain unchanged as a permanent part of the student’s academic record and will be printed on all transcripts of that record.
  5. The student must meet all major/program requirements in effect at the time he/she was re-admitted.
  6. The student is not eligible for academic honors at graduation (i.e. Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude).

Dropping Classes

Registration in a course obligates each student to pay tuition and other fees unless the course is dropped before the drop-without-tuition-obligation deadline. The refund deadline is the fifth class day of full-term courses. The deadline for short courses (three days or less) is the first class meeting. For short courses greater than three days, students have one day to drop with a refund.

Courses dropped before the deadline are not recorded on the student’s transcript. Courses dropped between the drop deadline and the final withdrawal deadline are designated with an administrative indicator of “W” (“withdrew”). Credits in courses with the “W” symbol are not included in the computation of GPAs.

Note: MinnState requires WSU to charge tuition and fees based on course registration, not on attendance. Tuition and fee charges are based on all courses in which the student is enrolled after the drop deadline even if the student has never attended those classes.

In order to increase the number of students served, WSU allows instructors to drop students who do not attend the first class meeting. However, instructors may drop students from closed classes only, but they are not required to do so. Therefore, students are responsible for dropping any class that they have decided not to take. Students must not assume that someone else will take care of it for them. Students may drop classes using either the WSU website or staff assistance:

  • If you use the website, always print a copy of your schedule after you have finished dropping classes. The printed copy confirms that the Internet transaction was completed. Also, your computer screen should display a message indicating that the transaction was successfully completed. If the message is not displayed, the transaction was not successful.
  • If you use staff assistance, ask the staff person for a copy of your schedule.


Deciding Whether to Withdraw

If you are thinking about withdrawing during the semester, be well informed and consider all the consequences. Use the following checklist as you consider this decision:

  • Talk with your academic advisor. She/he will review your academic and career objectives and listen to your concerns. Your advisor can help you plan for completing your college education later.
  • Make an appointment to see a staff member in the Warrior Success Center (Maxwell Hall).
  • If you are having academic difficulty in one or more of your classes, check out Tutoring Services or TRIO Student Support Services. See Academic Resources  for more information about specific services available and eligibility for these services.
  • If you are not sure that you have chosen a major or career path that is right for you, visit the Warrior Success Center (Maxwell Hall).
  • If you are experiencing personal problems, help is available in Counseling Services (Wellness Complex).
  • If you are experiencing illness, contact Student Health & Wellness Services (Wellness Complex).
  • If you are having trouble paying tuition and fees, you may be able to work out a payment plan with the Office of Student Accounts (Maxwell Hall).
  • If you are living on campus and are having problems with your roommate or accommodations, contact your Resident Assistant, Residence Hall Director, or the Housing and Residence Life office to find out what changes can be made (130 Kryzsko Commons, 507.457.5305).

If you receive financial aid through the University and then withdraw during the term, you may be expected to return part of the financial aid, corresponding to the portion of the semester in which you are not enrolled. If you plan to return to WSU or transfer to another school, leaving during the term may make you ineligible to receive government-sponsored financial aid in the future.

Withdrawing from the University

If, after exploring your options, you decide to leave the University, here is a checklist of things you should do.

  1. Be sure to withdraw from your classes, either on the WSU website or with the assistance of staff members as follows:
    Winona classes: Warrior Hub (Second Floor Maxwell Hall, 507.457.2800)
    Rochester classes: WSU-R Student and Campus Services (507.285.7100)
    Extension classes: Adult & Continuing Education (209 Somsen Hall, 507.457.5080)
  2. Return your laptop computer to the Technical Support Center in 207 Somsen Hall. You are responsible for paying the laptop fee for any semester in which you are enrolled at WSU. If you are not enrolled and do not return the laptop by the start of the next semester, you will be charged a late fee.
  3. If you are leaving the University for only a semester or two, pick up an Intent to Return/Application for Readmission form at one of the registration offices above. Complete it and submit it at least one month before you plan to register for classes for your first term back.
  4. Check with the Office of Student Accounts (Maxwell Hall) to make sure your account is paid in full or to inform yourself of the balance on your account and the University’s collections policies.
  5. If you are leaving during the semester and have received financial aid through the University, contact the Office of Student Accounts (Maxwell Hall) to learn whether you will be expected to return any of the aid you have received.
  6. If you are living in a campus residence, formally check out of your room with your Resident Assistant or the Residence Hall Director.
  7. Complete an exit survey so we can learn from your experience.

You may withdraw from the University (withdraw from all of your classes) anytime during the semester until the final withdrawal deadline. If you withdraw from the University within a few weeks after the “drop-without-tuition-obligation” deadline, you will receive a partial refund of tuition and fees, based on the date of your withdrawal, and in accordance with a pro-rated refund schedule (see the Tuition & Fees  section of this catalog). Each term’s pro-rated refund schedule is published on the WSU website.

Academic Integrity Policy 

Academic Integrity at Winona State University is based on honesty. The University requires that work produced by students represents their personal efforts and requires that they properly acknowledge the intellectual contributions of others.

WSU students are required to adhere to the University’s standards of academic integrity. Following are examples of behaviors considered unacceptable and viewed as violations of the academic integrity policy:

Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials in any academic exercise or having someone else do work for you. Examples of cheating include looking at another student’s work, bringing an unauthorized “crib sheet” to a test, obtaining a copy of a test prior to the test date, or submitting homework borrowed from another student.

Deception and Misrepresentation: Lying about or misrepresenting your work, academic records, or credentials. Examples of deception and misrepresentation include forging signatures, falsifying application credentials or transcripts, and misrepresenting group participation.

Enabling Academic Dishonesty: Helping someone else to commit an act of academic dishonesty. This would include giving someone else an academic assignment with the intent of allowing that person to copy it or allowing someone else to cheat from your test papers, quizzes, assessments or other course materials.

Fabrication: Refers to inventing or falsifying information. Examples of fabrication include inventing data for an experiment you did not do or did not do correctly or making references to sources you did not use in academic assignments.

Multiple Submissions: Submitting work you have done in previous classes as if it were new and original work. Although faculty may be willing to let you use previous work as the basis of new work, they expect you to do new work for the class. Students seeking to submit a piece of work to more than one class should seek the permission of both instructors.

Plagiarism: Using the words or ideas of another writer without proper acknowledgment, so that they seem as if they are your own. Plagiarism includes behavior such as copying someone else’s work word for word, rewriting someone else’s work with only minor word changes, and/or summarizing someone else’s work without acknowledging the source.

Consequences for Academic Violations

Consequences for academic violations are most often addressed by the instructor and the student at the time of the violation. The instructor’s determination is final unless appealed to the dean of the college.

Possible consequences at the discretion of:

  • Faculty: Re-do the exam or assignment, award a lower or failing grade on an assignment and/or the course, or allow the student to withdraw from the course
  • Department: Dismissal from a program or major
  • Dean: Administrative withdrawal of the student from a course after consultation with the instructor
  • Vice President for Student Life and Development: Disciplinary probation or suspension

Note: There may be circumstances where the Dean of the College, in collaboration with the WSU Director of Student Conduct and Citizenship, will determine that the case will be heard as a student conduct issue. Students found culpable of a violation(s) will face disciplinary consequences as defined in the Student Conduct Code. The WSU Student Conduct Code can be obtained online or in the Office of Student Life and Development.

Student Rights

  • Oral or written notice of the charges from the faculty member is required even though an immediate consequence may be imposed.
  • An explanation of the evidence against the student. Note: Evidence may be physical or in the form of witnesses or observers.
  • An opportunity for the student to present his/her side of the story
  • Notice of the decision(s)
  • An opportunity to appeal the decision(s)

Appeal Procedure


A student appealing a faculty, department, or dean’s decision should meet within 14 calendar days on an informal basis with the faculty member, department chair, or dean directly involved in the situation in an attempt to address the matter and resolve the issue(s). If the student is not comfortable working with the faculty member or if the student is not able to get a response within this period of time, they may appeal to the next higher level of authority.


A student may appeal the decision in Step I and has 14 calendar days to meet with and present a dated, signed, and written account of the circumstances to the appropriate college dean. The appeal shall contain a statement indicating the reason for the appeal and the relief requested. The academic dean (or higher authority) shall respond to the student and faculty member with a written decision within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.

Written appeals must be based on one or more of the following reasons:

  • The evidence presented at the meeting between the faculty and the student does not support the outcome.
  • There are facts not brought out in the original meeting which may affect the outcome.
  • There was a procedural error which could have affected the outcome of the meeting.
  • The consequences were perceived as excessively severe.


If the issue is not resolved in Step II, the student has 14 calendar days to appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. This appeal should be a dated, signed, and written account of the situation. The vice president shall respond to the student, faculty member and dean with a written decision within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the vice president is final. The 14 day response period does not include breaks and holidays. A time extension may be granted upon request to the dean (STEP II) or academic vice president (STEP III). Failure to submit a timely appeal, or request for extension, constitutes a waiver of any right to request an appeal.