University Policies and Procedures

Academic Classification

Undergraduate students are classified based on the number of hours earned through the preceding academic term. The following schedule dictates classification:

0-29 semester hours: Freshman
30-59 semester hours: Sophomore
60-89 semester hours: Junior
90 or more semester hours: Senior

Class Attendance

It is University policy that a student is expected to attend every meeting of his or her classes. If an absence from class should prove necessary, regardless of the reason, the student will be held accountable for all academic activities missed due to the absence. A faculty member may, at his or her discretion, include class attendance as a criterion in the determination of final grades.


A student can, without limit or penalty, add courses, drop courses, or change the sections of courses through the published "Drop-Add" period-i.e., through the first five days of a fall or spring semester.

An undergraduate student is allowed to drop a cumulative total of no more than four (4) courses after the published "Drop-Add" period. (The phrase "cumulative total" should be understood to mean a total of four drops over the student's undergraduate career at Appalachian, excluding summer terms.) A student who wishes to drop a course after the published "Drop-Add" period must do so by the published date on the academic calendar.

A course can be added after the published "Drop-Add" period only for exceptional circumstances, and requires the written permission of the instructor, chairperson and dean.


Undergraduate and graduate students who expect to complete degree requirements in a certain term must file an application for graduation (and teacher certification, if applicable) in the term before they will complete all requirements for that credential. Graduation applications can be submitted via AppalNet. Note: students receiving federal loans through the University must attend an "exit" interview prior to graduation. Information regarding the "exit" interview will be mailed to the student during the academic term in which he or she plans to graduate.

Incomplete Grades

When a student receives a grade of incomplete, he or she has, at the discretion of the instructor, a period of up to one semester to complete the coursework.

Maximum Academic Load

In the Fall and Spring, Undergraduate students may register for more than 18 semester hours only with written permission from their dean. A graduate student may register for no more than 15 semester hours; a graduate student with an assistantship may register for no more than 12 semester hours.

In the Summer, Undergraduate students may take a maximum of 12 semester hours during the Summer Semester or a maximum of seven semester hours during a 5-Week Term. No more than one short-term course may be taken during a single period. After the close of registration, no refund of tuition and fees will be made when a person is required to drop excess hours taken without permission.

In the Summer, graduate students may register for a maximum load of six semester hours during a 5-Week Term or the Graduate/Teacher Term. Total credits earned during the summer terms is limited to 12 semester hours. No more than one short-term course may be taken during a single period. Any exception in excess of this limit must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School before registering for the overload. Any student who registers for an overload without permission of his/her dean will be required to drop the excess hours. After the close of registration, no refund of tuition or fees will be be made when a person is required to drop excess hours taken without permission.

Notice Concerning the Inspection and Release of Student Records

Appalachian State University complies with all provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The full statement of the University's policy is available in the Office of the Registrar.

Within the limits prescribed by FERPA, students have the right to inspect and challenge the contents of their education records. Access to education records is coordinated through the Registrar's Office. Students who wish to inspect their records should contact that office between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

The University routinely releases to the public ONLY "Directory Information." as follows: the student's name; local telephone listing; University post office box number; E-mail address; academic classification; enrollment status during a particular academic term (i.e., full-time or part-time); field(s) of study; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight, height, athletic statistics and photographic representations of members of athletic teams. Any student who wishes to have the above Directory Information withheld must complete and sign the appropriate request form in the Registrar's Office.

Annual Notification of Rights

Students' Education Records at General Administration of The University of North Carolina:

Certain personally identifiable information about students "education records") may be maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration, which serves the Board of Governors of the University system. This student information may be the same as, or derivative of, information maintained by a constituent institution of the University; or it may be additional information. Whatever their origins, education records maintained at General Administration are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

FERPA provides that a student may inspect his or her education records. If the student finds the records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights, the student may request amendment to the record. FERPA also provides that a student's personally identifiable information may not be released to someone else unless (1) the student has given a proper consent for disclosure or (2) provisions of FERPA or federal regulations issued pursuant to FERPA permit the information to be released without the student's consent.

A student may file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning failure of General Administration or an institution to comply with FERPA.

The policies of The University of North Carolina General Administration concerning FERPA may be inspected in the office at each constituent institution designated to maintain the FERPA policies of the institution. Policies of General Administration may also be accessed in the Office of the Secretary of The University of North Carolina, General Administration, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC.

Further details about FERPA and FERPA procedures at General Administration are to be found in the referenced policies. Questions about the policies may be directed to Legal Section, Office of the President, The University of North Carolina, General Administration, Annex Building, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC (mailing address P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688; tel : 919-962-4588).

Repeat Policy

The policy states, in essence, that when a course is repeated, the initial attempt can be excluded from computation in the student's grade- point average (GPA) for a maximum of four (4) different courses. The student must indicate to the Registrar's Office, in writing or through the Registrar's WEB site, which courses are to be excluded from GPA computation under this policy. Forms should be submitted no later than the last day of the final exam period in which the course is repeated.

Release of Grades

Grades can be obtained at the end of each academic term through WRS. It is a policy of the State of North Carolina, however, that the University cannot release a transcript or diploma to a student with an unpaid account. In order to comply with this policy, the University will audit the account of every enrolled student approximately two weeks prior to the end of each academic term.

Students with unpaid accounts will be so notified and expected to clear the account by the end of that academic term (defined as the last day of examinations). If a student fails to clear the account, the University will, in accordance with State policy, release neither a transcript nor (if applicable) a diploma. (Please note that a charge made against a future term- i.e., a charge made for "early registration"-does not constitute an "unpaid account" in this context.)

Graduate Level Classes for Non-Degree Seeking Students

Non-degree seeking students must have a bachelor's degree to enroll in classes numbered 5000 or above. Students who meet these requirements should contact the Graduate School, located in John E. Thomas Hall, for a permission form. The completed form must be submitted to the Registrar's Office, during the appropriate registration period, for enrollment in the course.