Undergraduate Academic Policies

Earning Credits

Students may earn credit applicable to Plymouth State University degree programs by taking courses at PSU or by taking approved courses at other colleges/universities and transferring in the earned credits as outlined below. Alternately, students may earn credit through examination, independent study, or individual enrollment.

Credit-by Examination

Credit-by-examination is a way that students may earn a maximum of 30 credits. The examinations may be nationally standardized examinations or ones composed by Plymouth State University faculty. When students earn credit-by-examination, the credits are noted on their transcript.

Institutional Credit by Exam (ICBE)

Students who believe they have adequate background in a particular subject may seek to obtain credit by taking an appropriate examination determined by Plymouth State University faculty. Students may request institutional credit-by-examination by working directly with the applicable PSU Program Coordinator or Designee. The faculty member(s) and the academic department involved determine whether a course is open to credit-by-examination. They are responsible for administering, assessing, and reporting the results to the registrar’s office via an Institutional Credit-By-Examination (ICBE) form found on the registrar’s office website

Important information regarding ICBE:

  • Exam must be scored with a C or better to receive credit; grades are not awarded.
  • Form must be signed by Department Chair or Designee who administered exam
  • Exam fee must be paid by student at Student Financial Services in Speare Administration Building
  • Completed form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in Speare Administration Building
Nationally Standardized Examinations

The nationally standardized examinations recognized by PSU are the AP (Advanced Placement), CLEP (College Level Examination Program), and DSST examinations (see Transferring Credits).

AP exams are typically taken by juniors and seniors in high school. CLEP and DSST exams can be taken at official testing sites. If Plymouth State University is specified as a school to receive an official grade report, no further action is required of the student. In the case of AP exams, the appropriate academic department(s), acting in conjunction with the Admissions office, will determine whether credit and/or placement in advanced courses is to be granted. Scores on CLEP and DSST exams will be assessed to see whether the standards for the conferring of credit have been met. If they have, credit will be given for courses in which students have not already received university credit.

The University also recognizes credit earned through the International Baccalaureate (IB). Exams are evaluated by Admissions. Of the two IB examination levels (Higher Level and Standard Level), the University recognizes the Higher Level examinations where a score of 5, 6, or 7 has been achieved. Credit will not be given for Standard Level examinations. Students who have taken both AP and IB examinations do not receive credit/placement for both.

Independent Study

An independent study is an upper-level (4910), special, individualized project; students may earn one to four credits in any given independent study. It is undertaken at the option of a professor. It is intended to provide a capstone experience for upper-division students. A contract must be drawn between the student and professor, specifying the project, the work to be accomplished, and the time period in which the project must be completed. The student, as designer of the independent study project, accepts professional responsibility for the structure of this unique experience. The contract identifies the uniqueness of the study, includes brief statements about objectives and procedures, and offers a short tentative bibliography. Independent study forms are available on the registrar’s office website. Completing the form involves receiving approval of the professor and appropriate department chair/designee. Once all signatures have been obtained, the student must submit this form to the registrar’s office to register for the credit.

Individual Enrollment

Individual enrollments are a way for a matriculated student to be able to take a required course not currently being offered during any given fall or spring semester. The student must demonstrate extenuating circumstances as to why the course could not be taken in the regular sequence. No individual enrollment will be granted for a course currently being offered. Individual enrollments are not available to non-matriculated continuing education students. Individual enrollment forms are available on the registrar’s office website. Completing the form involves procuring the approval of the professor and appropriate department chair/ designee. Once all signatures have been obtained, the student must submit this form to the registrar’s office to register for the course. Credits earned are treated exactly as conventional classroom courses in regard to tuition and fees. There will be only one course offered by individual enrollment per faculty member in the fall and spring semesters; in winterim and summer an individual enrollment comprises part of a faculty member’s teaching load.

Internships 

What is an internship?

An internship is a high-impact, experiential, credit-bearing learning opportunity that integrates knowledge, theory, and practical training from an academic discipline in a professional setting. Based in practical experience, an internship course is a supervised academic opportunity with learning objectives and goals supported by ongoing reflection, mentorship, and feedback to develop students’ knowledge of and practical experience in a disciplinary field and/or career. Internships at PSU vary depending by academic program. Some are required by programs. Some have an accompanying seminar, class meeting, or meeting with the instructor. An internship may be paid or un-paid. Some are graded, others are Pass/No Pass. The learning objectives, goals, and grading criteria of the internship are detailed in the syllabus. Requirements may be based on the needs of individual programs or external accreditation. 

How do I obtain approval for an internship?

Internships require prior approval of a faculty member/internship coordinator within the academic program offering the credit as well as prior written approval from an on-site supervisor, including, when available, a Memorandum of Agreement between the university and the external agency or business. Students without a faculty member sponsoring the internship should work with the Academic & Career Advising Center to find the most appropriate faculty supervisor. Internship responsibilities are determined by the faculty supervisor with input from the on-site supervisor. 

How do I register for an internship course?

Students seeking internships should contact a faculty member/internship coordinator in their program, or the Academic and Career Advising Center (if there is no internship coordinator or faculty member available in their program) to learn about opportunities and discuss supervision. An internship is a course and the student must register for the course prior to the start of the internship experience. 

What do I do after I’ve registered for the internship?

After it has been approved by the faculty member and on-site supervisor, and the student has registered for the course, the internship experience should be recorded by the Academic & Career Advising Center, including the Memorandum of Agreement when available. Students will work with the program internship coordinator (or the faculty member they are working with) for instructions on completing the remaining administrative steps, and for support during the duration of the internship period. 

Class Level

Students are classified according to the total number of credits earned, including transfer credits accepted, but not including in-progress courses, as follows:

Class Level Number of Credits
First Year Fewer than 30 credits earned
Second Year (Sophomore) 30 – 59.99 credits earned
Third Year (Junior) 60 – 89.99 credits earned
Fourth Year (Senior) 90 or more credits earned

Enrollment Confirmation

At the beginning of each fall and spring semester, matriculated (degree-seeking) students must confirm their enrollment at Plymouth State University. Confirmation is not the same as registration; it is a separate action to verify that students are registered for credit, are present on campus, and have satisfied their financial obligations.

Failure to be confirmed by the deadline can result in loss of classes, return of financial aid, and withdrawal from the University. See the Enrollment Confirmation section of the Schedule of Classes for more details and dates. Contact the registrar's office with confirmation questions.

Overload Credit

Full-time students taking more than 18 credits during a fall or spring semester are considered in overload status. Students with a 2.33 (minimum) cumulative grade point average are eligible to take up to four credits of overload by completing an Overload Request form, available on the registrar’s office website. Students with a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.33 and students requesting more than four credits of overload must secure the approval of their advisor and support from the Academic Student Advocate.

During winterim, students with a 2.33 (minimum) cumulative grade point average may enroll for eight credits. Students with a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.33 may enroll for eight credits with approval from the Academic Student Advocate. Any student requesting more than eight credits must secure approval from the Academic Student Advocate and an academic affairs officer. During the summer terms students may enroll for a maximum of 18 credits. Any student requesting more than 18 credits must secure approval from Academic Student Advocate and an academic affairs officer. Forms are available on the registrar’s office website.

Transferring Credits to Plymouth State University

The University allows transfer credit from regionally accredited degree-granting institutions. For the credits to transfer, the student must earn a minimum grade of C or its equivalent (nursing students, refer to the Nursing section below for more stringent requirement). A grade of C- or CD is not equivalent to a C. For a grade of  P in a Pass/Fail course, the P must be defined as equivalent to a C or above on the institution’s transcript.

The American Council on Education (ACE) and the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) have evaluate and recommend for credit many of the training programs and courses conducted by the Armed Services, major industries, and professional associations. Plymouth State University will consider and generally award transfer credit for courses evaluated by ACE or NCCRS, per their recommendation.

For courses transferred with a number or letter grade but no grade scale, in the absence of other information the following scale will be used to determine equivalency: 100-93 =  A; 92.99-90 = A-; 89.99-87 = B+; 86.99-83 = B; 82.99-80 = B-; 79.99-77 = C+; 76.99-73 = C; 72.99-70 = C-; 69.99-67 = D+; 66.99-63 = D; 62.99-60 = D-; 59.99-0.00 = F.

An official transcript is required for eligible credits to transfer in to PSU. Additionally, course descriptions and/or course syllabi may be requested. Courses deemed by Plymouth State University or the transferring institution to be either developmental/remedial or vocational are not transferable. Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given.

Only credits will be transferred. Quarter hour credits or other units are converted to semester hours.

Course grades from institutions other than those included in the NHCUC and USNH agreements will not appear on the PSU transcript, nor will they be included in the students’ grade point average.

In the case where a PSU course is taught through the UNH College of Professional Studies (formerly Granite State College), this translocated course is placed on the PSU transcript and is treated as a non-transferred course. Grades earned in PSU courses taught through the UNH College of Professional Studies are averaged into students’ grade point averages at PSU. If a course is taken via the NHCUC agreement (see the NHCUC bullet under Undergraduate Academic Policies, Transferring Credits to PSU section) or the USNH shared courses agreement, the course is placed on the PSU transcript and is treated as a non-transferred courses. Grades earned from courses taken through NHCUC or USNH are included in the students’ grade point average at PSU.

Students entering Plymouth State University with transfer credits shall have their cumulative grade point average established by their PSU grades only. Transfer students are subject to the academic standards for satisfactory performance.

A maximum of 90 credits total from regionally accredited degree-granting institutions and/or ACE approved courses, and/or NCCRS approved courses will be accepted toward the baccalaureate degree. Students are not permitted to take a course at PSU for which they have already received equivalent transfer credit.

Generally, courses from two-year colleges transfer to PSU as lower-level unless an equivalency to a PSU upper-level course can be demonstrated. Students will have to supply requested documents such as course syllabi and sample texts for further evaluation.

No Plymouth State University course for which credit was received may be repeated at another institution (exception exists for the Nursing program, see next section). Only a course failed at PSU may be repeated elsewhere. The transfer course must be equivalent to the course failed at PSU. Upon receipt of the transfer credit, the PSU grade of F will remain on the transcript, but will be excluded from the grade point calculation.

Nursing Students

Students enrolled in the BS Nursing program, may transfer in credits to improve upon a grade that did not meet nursing standards (minimum grade of B-) for a nursing prerequisite, co-requisite or required nursing (NR) course. Students must earn a minimum grade of B- for transfer. Only one prerequisite course may be retaken in the nursing curriculum.  

Current students must submit a Transfer Credit Request form to have a course evaluated by PSU prior to taking it. A course syllabus may also be requested. The registrar's office is responsible for the coordination of the course evaluation. The registrar's office signs off on the form with the PSU equivalent alerting the student of whether the course is transferrable or not (denied). The department sponsoring the major determines the applicability of transfer credits to a student’s major. Forms are available on the registrar’s office website.

Veterans/Military Students

All veterans applying for admission to Plymouth State University should indicate their veteran status on their application. To ensure full consideration of transfer credits , veterans must request that an official copy of their Joint Services Transcript (JST https://jst.doded.mil/smart/signIn.do) and/or a transcript from the Community College of the Air Force be sent to the Office of Admissions at Plymouth State. In rare cases, a veteran may be asked to supply a copy of their DD214.

Credits Awarded for Acceptable ADVANCED PLACEMENT Test Scores

Advanced Placement Test Credits for Score of Three Credits for Score of Four Credits for Score of Five General Education Satisfied Application of Credit or PSU Equivalency
Art History 4 4 4 PPDI
Biology 8 8 8 (BI 1110 +, BI 1120) SIDI Depends on score
Calculus AB 4 4 4 QRCO MA 2550
Calculus BC 4 (MA 2550) 8 (MA 2550 +, MA 2560) 8 (MA 2550 +, MA 2560) QRCO Depends on score
Chemistry 0 4 (CH 2335) 8 (CH 2335 +, CH 2340) QRCO Depends on score
Chinese Language and Culture 3 (CN 1015) 6 (CN 1015+, CN 1025) 6 (CN 1015+, CN 1025) GACO Depends on score
Comparative Government & Politics 4 4 4 GACO
Computer Science A 3 (CS 2010) 7 (CS 2010 and CS 2370) 7 (CS 2010 and CS 2370) TECO Depends on score
Computer Science Principles 3 3 3 TECO CS 2010
English Language & Composition 4 4 4 COMP EN 1400
English Literature & Composition 4 4 4 CTDI
Environmental Science 4 4 4 SIDI
European History 4 4 4 PPDI
French Language and Culture 4 4 4 GACO Depends on score
German Language and Culture 31 61 61 GACO
Human Geography 3 3 3 GACO
Italian Language and Culture 31 (IT 1060) 61 (IT 1060 +, IT 1070) 61 (IT 1060 +, IT 1070) GACO Depends on score
Japanese Language and Culture 31 61 61 GACO Depends on score
Latin 3 6 6 Depends on score
Macroeconomics 3 3 3 GACO
Microeconomics 3 3 3 SSDI
Music Theory 0 4 (MU 1210) 8 (MU 1210 +, MU 1220) Depends on score
Physics 1: Algrebra-Based 3 (PH 2210) 3 (PH 2210) 3 (PH 2210)
Physics 2: Algebra-Based 3 (PH 2220) 3 (PH 2220) 3 (PH 2220)
Physics C: Electricity/Magnetism 4 4 4 PH 2420 + PH 2440
Physics C: Mechanics 4 4 4 PH 2410 + PH 2430
Precalculus 4 4 4 MA 2130
Psychology 4 4 4 PS 2015
Spanish Literature and Culture 4 4 4 GACO Depends on score
Statistics 3 3 3 QRCO MA 2300
2-D Art and Design 4 4 4 CTDI
3-D Art and Design 4 4 4 CTDI
Drawing 4 4 4 CTDI
US Government and Politics 4 4 4 PO 1025
United States History 4 4 4 PPDI
World History: Modern 4 4 4 PPDI
1

Credit will not be awarded for French Language if the student’s native language is French, or for German Language if the student’s native language is German, or for Japanese if the student’s native language is Japanese, or for Spanish Language if the student’s native language is Spanish.

Credit is awarded according to the PSU catalog that is in effect at the time that student takes the exam. apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse

Credits Awarded for Acceptable CLEP Scores

CLEP Exam Minimum Score Required Credits Awarded General Education Satisfied Application of Credit or PSU Equivalency
American Government 50 4 PO 1025
American Literature 50 4 CTDI
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 50 3 CTDI
Biology 50 8 SIDI
Calculus 50 4 QRCO MA 2550
Chemistry 50 4 QRCO CH 2335
College Algebra 50 3 MATH MA 1800
College Composition 50 4 COMP EN 1400
College Composition Modular 50 4 COMP EN 1400
College Mathematics 50 3 QRCO MA 1500
English Literature 50 4 CTDI
Financial Accounting 50 3 Elective
French Language—Level 1 (2 semesters) 50 81 DICO, GACO FR 1011 + FR 1012
French Language—Level 2 (3 semesters) 59 121 DICO, GACO FR 1011 + FR 1012 + FR 2023
German Language—Level 1 (2 semesters) 50 61 GACO
German Language—Level 2 (3 semesters) 60 91 GACO
History of the United States I: Early Colonizations to 1877 50 4 PPDI
History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present 50 4 PPDI
Human Growth and Development 50 4 PS 2055
Humanities 50 3 CTDI
Information Systems 50 3 TECO Elective
Introduction to Educational Psychology 50 3 elective
Introductory Business Law 50 4 BUS 1200
Introductory Psychology 50 4 PS 2015
Introductory Sociology 50 4 DICO SO 2225
Natural Sciences 50 6 SIDI
Precalculus 50 4 QRCO, TECO MA 2130
Principles of Macroeconomics 50 3 GACO Elective
Principles of Management 50 3 elective
Principles of Marketing 50 4 BUS 1100
Principles of Microeconomics 50 3 SSDI
Social Sciences and History 50 6 PPDI
Spanish Language—Level 1 (2 semesters) 50 81 DICO, GACO SP 1011 + SP 1012
Spanish Language—Level 2 (3 semesters) 63 121 DICO, GACO SP 1011 + SP 1012 + SP 2023
Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648 50 4 PPDI
Western Civilization II: 1648 to Present 50 4 HI 2016
1

Credit will not be awarded for French Language if the student’s native language is French, or for German Language if the student’s native language is German, or for Spanish Language if the student’s native language is Spanish.

Credit is granted in accordance with the recommendations of the Council on College Level Examinations of the College Entrance Examinations Board and the American Council on Education. Credit is awarded according to the PSU catalog that is in effect at the time that student takes the exam. clep.collegeboard.org/exam

Credits Awarded for Acceptable DSST Scores

DSST Exam Minimum Score Required Credits Recommended General Education Satisfied Application of Credit or PSU Equivalency
A History of the Vietnam War 400 4 B PPDI
Art of the Western World 400 4 B PPDI
Astronomy 400 3 B SIDI PHDI 2300
Business Ethics and Society 400 3 B BU 2440
Business Mathematics zero not acceptable
Computing and Information Technology 400 3 B TECO
Criminal Justice 400 4 B CJ 1020
Environmental Science 400 4 B SIDI ESDI 2500
Ethics in America 400 3 B SSDI PYDI 1135
Ethics in Technology 400 3 B MA 1500
Foundations of Education 400 3 B elective
Fundamentals of College Algebra 400 3 B MATH MA 1800
Fundamentals of Counseling 400 3 B elective
Fundamentals of Cybersecurity 400 3 BU elective
General Anthropology 400 4 B GACO AN 2100
Health and Human Development 400 3 B WECO
History of the Soviet Union 400 4 B PPDI
Human Resource Management 400 3 B MGM 4250
Introduction to Business 400 3 B elective
Introduction to Geography 400 3 B SSDI
Introduction to Geology 400 3 B SSDI
Introduction to Law Enforcement 400 4 BU
Introduction to World Religions 400 3 B PPDI
Lifespan Developmental Psychology 400 4 B PS 2055
Management Information Systems 400 3 B Elective
Money and Banking 400 3 BU ECN 4100
Math for Liberal Arts 400 3 B MA 1500
Organizational Behavior 400 3 B DICO Elective
Personal Finance 400 3 B SSDI BUDI 2300
Principles of Finance 400 3 BU
Principles of Public Speaking 4001 4 B CM 2405
Principles of Statistics 400 3 B QRCO MA 2300
Principles of Supervision 400 3 B elective
Substance Abuse 400 3 BU WECO HE 3700
Technical Writing 400 4 B CM 3095 (not TECO)
The Civil War and Reconstruction 400 4 B PPDI
Principles of Advanced English Composition 400 4 B EN 3125
1

In addition to a minimum score of 400 on the multiple-choice test, an examinee must also receive a passing grade on the speech.

B = Baccalaureate program
BU = Baccalaureate Upper-division

Credit recommendations have been determined by the American Council on Education and credit is awarded according to the PSU catalog that is in effect at the time that student takes the exam. getcollegecredit.com

Credits Awarded for Acceptable INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE Test Scores

International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Test Credits for Score of Five Credits for Socre of Six Credits for Score of Seven General Education Satisfied Application of Credit or PSU Equivalency
Anthropology, Social and Cultural 4 4 4 SSDI
Biology 3 3 3 SIDI
Business and Management 3 3 3
Chemistry 3 3 3 SIDI
Computer Science 3 3 3
Design Technology 4 4 4
Economics 3 3 3
Environmental Systems and Societies 3 SSDI
Film 4 CTDI
Geography 3 3 3 SSDI
Global Politics 4 SSDI
History 4 4 4 PPDI
Information Technology in a Global Society 3 3 3 SSDI
Language, Best (A1) 3 3 3 GACO
Language, Best (A1), English 3 3 3 CTDI
Language, Second (A2) 3 3 3 GACO
Language, Second (B) 3 3 3 GACO
Language (Classical Greek) 3 3 3 GACO
Language, Literature 3 CTDI
Mathematics 3 3 3 MATH
Music 3 3 3 CTDI
Philosophy 3 3 3 SSDI
Physics 3 3 3 SIDI
Psychology 4 4 4 SSDI
Sports, Exercise, and Health Science 3 WECO
Theatre 3 3 3 CTDI
Visual Arts 4 4 4 CTDI
World Religions 3 SSDI

The University recognizes credit earned through the International Baccalaureate (IB) ibo.org. Of the two IB examination levels (Higher Level and Standard Level), the University recognizes the Higher Level examinations where a score of 5, 6, or 7 has been achieved. Credit will not be given for Standard Level examinations. Students who have taken both AP and IB examinations do not receive credit/placement for both.

Transfer Agreements

Agreements which facilitate the transfer of credit between Plymouth State University and the institutions of the Community College System of New Hampshire exist for specific bachelor programs. The current agreement pathways include CCSNHU & PSU Block Transfer and 2+2 Transfer.
 
CCSNH & PSU Block Transfer Agreement
Participating in the CCSNH & PSU Block Transfer Program allows qualified students to complete an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts at any of the CCSNH colleges and move seamlessly to PSU. PSU will honor at minimum 60 credits earned from an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts as fulfilling PSUs General Education requirements, plus applicable electives, with the possible exception of any course required by the major. This program guarantees qualified students entry to PSU via any of the CCSNH colleges.
 
2+2 Transfer Agreement
2+2 Transfer Agreements are designed for students who have earned a specific associate degree at the Community College and wish to transfer into a related bachelor degree program.
 
Please visit https://www.plymouth.edu/prospective/undergraduate/undergraduate/admissions/transfer for more information.

For current information, please contact the Admissions Office and ask for someone in Transfer Admissions.

New Hampshire College and University Council

Enroll at other New Hampshire Colleges and Universities. Plymouth State University is a participating member of the New Hampshire College and University Council (NHCUC), a consortium of higher education resources. An undergraduate student exchange program allows Plymouth State University students to enroll at other NHCUC institutions for one or more courses during an academic semester. The following schools are involved in the NHCUC exchange with PSU: Franklin Pierce University, Hellenic American University, Keene State College, New England College (including the Institute of Art and Design), Rivier University, Saint Anselm College, Southern New Hampshire University, and the University of New Hampshire at Durham and Manchester. At the home and host institutions, applicants must be in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing. The host institution reserves the right to deny participation. Students interested in the NHCUC exchange program should contact the PSU registrar’s office.

Course Enrollment. PSU students in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing may enroll at other NHCUC institutions for one or two courses during the academic semester. Such courses, in addition to on campus courses, must meet the minimum number of credits (12) for full-time status, and normally should not exceed the full course load defined by current policies of the University. If the total PSU and NHCUC credits exceed 18, the student will be charged an overload fee. Failure to pay the overload fee will prevent the credits from transferring to PSU. No financial charges are made by the host institution with the exception of laboratory fees for special instruction, parking permit fees, or recreation fees. Those fees are billed to students by the host institution. Summer school and January programs, as well as online courses for any term, are excluded from the exchange agreement.

Full Semester Enrollment. Students who are in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing at Plymouth and have earned a cumulative 2.50 (minimum) grade point average are permitted to take a full schedule of courses at any of the participating NHCUC institutions. The enrollment may be for one or two full-time semesters, upon agreement of the University and the host institution. Students remain registered at Plymouth State University and continue to pay PSU tuition and fees. If the total credits for the semester exceed 18, the student will be charged an overload fee. Failure to pay the overload fee will prevent the credits from transferring to PSU.

The determination of room and board charges is an individual arrangement between students and the host institution. The host institution will bill these charges directly to students. PSU cannot guarantee room and board at the host institution.

For full transfer credit policies, see the Transferring Credits to PSU section of the Undergraduate Academic Policies page.

ROTC

Undergraduate students attending Plymouth State University may enroll in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps or in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of New Hampshire. The Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC offer programs leading to a commission as a second lieutenant in their respective services. Students in either ROTC program may pursue any curriculum that leads to a bachelor’s or higher degree. Two- and four-year programs are available. The four-year program is open to first-year students, sophomores, and transfer students. The two-year program is open to students who have at least two academic years remaining within their university degree program. In addition to on-campus course requirements, students must attend an officer preparatory training session for part of one summer.

Both the Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC offer ROTC scholarships on a competitive basis. Entering first-year students may compete for four-year scholarships during their last year of high school. Additionally, incoming students may compete for scholarships while already in college if they meet specific ROTC requirements. Scholarships may pay up to full tuition, mandatory fees, and required textbooks for university courses. In addition, all scholarship recipients receive a tax-free monthly subsistence allowance. Non-scholarship students in the last two years of the ROTC program also receive the tax-free monthly subsistence allowance. Both ROTC programs have administrative and medical requirements that must be met to qualify for a scholarship and a commission.

More specific information about ROTC programs may be obtained by contacting Army ROTC at (603) 862-1078 or Air Force ROTC at (603) 862-1480 at the University of New Hampshire, Durham. Students enrolling in ROTC are responsible for ensuring that their paperwork is completed and submitted to the PSU registrar's office in a timely fashion. Students must be enrolled during the semester they attend ROTC and must inform the PSU registrar's office if they drop or withdraw as soon as possible.

For full transfer credit policies, see the Transferring Credits to PSU section of the Undergraduate Academic Policies page.

Grading Policies

Letter grades, with pluses and minuses noted, are used to assess the relative extent to which students achieve course objectives in the vast majority of PSU courses. These courses are the ones on which a student’s grade point average is based. A student’s grade point average is calculated on both a semester basis and on a cumulative basis that takes into account all grades earned by a student at PSU. Grades earned at other colleges/universities whose credits were transferred to PSU are not taken into account except courses as described in the Transferring Credits section.

Grade Point Average

The following grade point system is used to determine the student’s grade point average.

Grade Points per Credit
A 4.00
A– 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B– 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C– 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D– 0.67
F 0.00

The point equivalent of a grade is multiplied by the credits earned in that course. The sum total of all such points earned in a semester, divided by the number of credits attempted, yields the semester grade point average as illustrated below.

Course Grade Points Credits Total Points
Composition B 3.00 3 9.00
Human Biology I C+ 2.33 4 9.32
Finite Mathematics B 3.00 3 9.00
Foundations of Sociology A 4.00 3 12.00
Macroeconomics B+ 3.33 3 9.99
16 49.31

The 49.31 grade points are divided by 16 credits and yield a semester grade point average of 3.08.

To calculate a cumulative grade point average, the same procedure described above to calculate the semester grade point average is used. The only difference is that all graded credits and points earned at PSU are used. The PSU transcript keeps a running tally of the cumulative grade point average as well as of the semester grade point average.

Administrative Failure

The notation AF stands for administrative failure. This is placed on a student’s transcript when an instructor does not have enough information to assign a letter grade in a graded course. The administrative failure is usually a student’s failure to drop a course they stopped attending. An AF counts as an F grade in the calculation of grade point averages. It is not a reason for a course withdrawal.

Incompletes

A grade of Incomplete (IC) may be awarded at the discretion of the course instructor if unusual circumstances prevent completion of the course on time, and a minimal portion of the total class work needs to be completed. The process for grades of Incomplete is as follows:

  1. The instructor, in consultation with the student, determines there is a compelling reason for the granting and completing of the Incomplete and files a Request for a Grade of Incomplete form with the registrar’s office before the final grades are due. Forms are available on the registrar’s office website.
  2. Instructors must choose a due date for the student’s work, with the last day of classes for the next fall or spring semester as the latest possible.
  3. Instructors must choose a default grade for the student if the work is not turned in and/or a Grade Change form is not submitted. The default grade does not need to be F.
  4. The instructor is responsible for documenting and notifying the student of the work to be completed and the deadline.
  5. The student is responsible for turning in work to the instructor by the due date set.
  6. For any due date before the last day of classes of the subsequent semester, the instructor must submit a Grade Change form to the Registrar’s Office within 5 business days following that due date.
  7. For a due date of the last day of classes of the subsequent semester, the Grade Change form is due to the Registrar’s Office no later than the day and time all other grades are due for that full semester. (Fall and winterim Incompletes are due in the spring; spring and summer Incompletes are due in the fall.)
  8. If a Grade Change form is not submitted by the due date, the grade will be replaced with the default indicated on the Request for a Grade of Incomplete form. Once the final grade is posted, changes may only be made in accordance with the Fair Grading Policy.

Please note that a student with an outstanding Incomplete in a course may not register for that course and a student may not graduate with an Incomplete on their transcript. Requests for extending the completion date of an IC grade must be approved by the registrar.

Pass/No Pass Courses

Some courses at Plymouth State University are designated in their course descriptions as being Pass/No Pass (P/NP). Credits earned by passing these courses are added to the total credits earned (graded and transfer courses as well as credit-by-exam). Pass/No Pass credits are also included in credits attempted. Credits earned in P/NP courses do not affect the grade point average and will not replace a previously earned letter grade in the GPA calculation. Matriculated students are not permitted to take more than one-sixth of their total degree program credits on a P/NP basis. Only courses identified as P/NP in the course description may be graded Pass/No Pass.

For purposes of assessing academic standing for competency-based programs and communicating grade point equivalencies for the transcript, but not to be used in the calculation of GPA, a “P” grade shall indicate that a student earned a grade point of greater than or equal to a 2.0  at the undergraduate level.

Three-Week Progress Reports

At the end of the third week of the term, faculty will use an electronic progress report tool to notify students and their advisors about any concerns that may affect a student's progress in a class.

The progress reports will be sent as an email to faculty, who can access their course rosters from the email and, using a dropdown menu, identify any areas of concern for individual students. Clarifying comments are encouraged but not required. Faculty members do not need to submit progress reports for all students, only for those about whom there are concerns.

If a faculty member indicates a concern about a student, the student will receive a notification about that concern, along with a message about an action they can take. The student’s advisor will also receive a message about the concern, along with a suggested action or resource for the student. This alert system will supplement the CARE process.

Early Evaluation

All students are evaluated at the end of the first six weeks of classes during the fall and spring semesters. Instructors of full-semester courses submit grades on students’ performance. Students are urged to discuss these grades with their advisors and instructors. 

Academic Standing

All matriculated (degree-seeking) undergraduate students (full-time and part-time) have their academic standing assessed at the end ​of fall, winterim, spring and summer. Grades changed after standing has been processed may result in an updated academic standing for the term in which the grade was changed. Grade changes received after the add/drop period of the next semester, or after the add/drop period of the student’s next term of enrollment, whichever happens first, will not affect academic standing. To be in good academic standing means that students have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 – the minimum grade point average required for graduation. The standards used to place students in any one of the three academic standing categories – academic probation, academic separation or academic severance – are based on the cumulative GPA students must meet or exceed at different levels of cumulative credits attempted as reflected in their transcript in order to be making satisfactory progress. Cumulative credits attempted include all graded, pass/no pass, and transfer courses as well as credit-by-examination. When students are placed on academic probation, separation, or severance, an appropriate transcript notation is made.

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative GPAs fall into the ranges listed below for different numbers of cumulative credits attempted are placed on academic probation.

Cumulative Credits Attempted Cumulative GPA
First Semester Students 1.00–1.99
First Semester Transfers 1.50-1.99
Less than 30 1.50–1.99
30–45.5 1.60–1.99
46–59.5 1.75–1.99
60–74.5 1.85–1.99
75–89.5 1.95–1.99
90–115.5 1.96–1.99
116 and above 1.98–1.99

The period of academic probation will be until the next assessment point. Students on academic probation will be given an academic probation advisory (Success Strategies). Students whose cumulative GPA falls in the probationary range are allowed two consecutive assessment points on academic probation to attain good academic standing. If after the third consecutive assessment point their GPA places them once again in the academic probation range, they will incur an academic separation. Students on academic probation may apply for financial aid (excluding University-sponsored scholarships based on academic achievement). It is highly recommended that students take no more than 13 credits while on academic probation. As part of their probationary advisory they are encouraged to meet throughout the enrollment period with a Degree Completion Advisor in the Academic and Career Advising Center to discuss their academic progress. These meetings are in addition to any meetings they may be having with their academic advisor or Academic and Career Advisor. 

First Academic Separation

There are two situations which will result in a first academic separation:

  1. The cumulative GPA falls into the ranges for academic probation at the third consecutive assessment point or
  2. At any given assessment point, the cumulative GPA falls into the ranges listed below for cumulative credits attempted.
Cumulative Credits Attempted Cumulative GPA
First semester students 0.00–0.99
First semester transfers 0.00 - 1.49
Less than 30 0.00–1.49
30–45.5 0.00–1.59
46–59.5 0.00–1.74
60–74.5 0.00–1.84
75–89.5 0.00–1.94
90–115.5 0.00–1.95
116 and above 0.00–1.97

Student who have been academically separated for the first time automatically lose their matriculated status during the next term following the separation action unless they file an appeal. As explained below, all students may appeal for immediate reinstatement, and, if the appeal is successful, may return the following term on Academic Probation.

Students, who have been academically separated for the first time may be granted an opportunity through either readmission or reinstatement to demonstrate their ability and intention to succeed academically and to earn a degree from Plymouth State University.

Reinstatement

In the days following the separation action, students may appeal to the Academic Student Advocate, Frost House, for immediate reinstatement. Students who wish to do this must submit an Appeal for Reinstatement that will be sent to them electronically. They may also seek counsel from their academic advisor or Academic and Career Advisor. Reinstated students who subsequently choose to withdraw from the University may return as matriculated students only through the readmission process described below.

Readmission

A student who was separated following two or more terms of enrollment is required first to raise the cumulative GPA out of the separation range. During the mandatory term of non-matriculated status, students may enroll for a maximum of 11 credits through the registrar’s office. Students may also enroll in a maximum of four credits during an winterim or summer term. Alternately, students may repeat courses at other colleges/universities that they failed at PSU to have the F removed from PSU GPA calculation. Prior arrangements for transfer courses must be made through the registrar’s office. If, through any of the above actions, the cumulative GPA is raised to meet the appropriate minimum standard for non-separated status, then students may apply to the Office of Admission for readmission any time following the mandatory enrollment period of non-matriculated status. Readmission is not automatic.

Students who were separated following their term at PSU may reapply without having repaired their GPA; they must provide an explanatory letter as part of their readmission application.

Readmitted students who have raised the cumulative GPA to the academic probation range, and all reinstated students, will be placed on academic probation for the next term. If students who are readmitted or reinstated earn a 2.00 GPA for that term, but fail to raise their cumulative GPA out of the separation range, they are given a second probationary term in which to do so.

Second Academic Separation

Students who are academically separated for a second time will be assigned to non-matriculated, part-time status. Students may not appeal for reinstatement during the next term following a second separation action. Students who have incurred a second separation and who had registered for courses during registration the previous term will be dropped from those courses for which they registered. If students decide to return as continuing education students (see below) they must re-register.

Students who have been separated a second time have three educational options at Plymouth State University:

  1. Students may take courses as a non-degree- seeking, part-time student for the purpose of lifelong learning.
  2. Students may take courses as a non-degree-seeking, part-time student in order to repair their cumulative GPA and to demonstrate their commitment to earning an undergraduate degree from Plymouth State University. Students must consult with the Office of the Academic Student Advocate to develop an educational plan that includes selective repeats of courses. If, through selective repeats of courses and the taking of new courses, they raise their cumulative GPA to a 2.00 or above, they may apply for readmission to a degree program. 
  3. Without having raised the GPA to 2.00, students may apply for readmission no sooner than five years following the second separation. If readmitted, these students may choose (a) to declare academic bankruptcy or (b) to repair their existing cumulative GPA.
    1. If students choose Academic Bankruptcy, all grades that are more than five years old will be removed from the calculation of their cumulative GPA and the calculation of their cumulative GPA will begin anew. Students will be placed on Academic Probation for the first term following readmission.
    2. If students choose to repair their existing GPA, they will have up to two terms on Academic Probation in which to achieve a 2.00 cumulative GPA. In order to avoid a third severance, students must earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.00 for the first probationary term and must have raised their cumulative GPA to 2.00 or above by the end of the second probationary term.

If the cumulative GPA of any student readmitted following a second separation falls below a 2.00, that student will incur a Severance.

Academic Severance

Students who are academically severed cannot earn an undergraduate degree from Plymouth State University. They are not eligible for reinstatement or readmission at any time in the future. Grades earned in winterim or summer session will not be used to reverse such an action. These students may, for purposes of lifelong education, take courses as part-time, non-matriculated students.

Academic Rebalance

An undergraduate student following their first matriculated semester may choose to have all Plymouth State University coursework be exempt from the calculation of the grade point average. In choosing this option, such a student would receive credit for courses in which a letter grade of C or better was earned; the grades for such courses, however, would not be included in the computation of the grade point average. The grades for these courses will be removed, changed to XC, and marked “I” (Include). All grades less than C will remain on the transcript and will be marked “E” (Exclude).

The following conditions apply:

• Academic Rebalance may be requested only once and only for a single fall or spring semester.

• Those eligible for Academic Rebalance are (a) students in their first semester with no prior university experience and (b) transfer students in their first semester at Plymouth State University.

• Academic Rebalance is available only to those who have a first semester GPA that places them in Academic Separation status.

• No tuition, residential life costs, or university fees are refundable for the semester that Academic Rebalance is requested.

• The Academic Rebalance policy applies only to courses taken at Plymouth State University.

• A request for Academic Rebalance must be initiated with the office of the Academic Student Advocate.

• Students with significant student conduct violations are not eligible for Academic Rebalance.

• Before the transcript modifications will be applied, students choosing the Academic Rebalance option are required to participate in and successfully complete a non-credit bearing academic rebalancing curriculum offered during the next full-time semester.

Those students who request Academic Rebalance acknowledge the following implications:

• This will have implications for a student’s Financial Aid and is not excluded in the calculation of Title IV satisfactory academic progress.

• Earned credit hours are reduced and this may affect time to graduation.

Academic Bankruptcy

An undergraduate student who is seeking readmission to the University may choose to have all Plymouth State University coursework that is at least five academic years old be exempt from the calculation of the grade point average. In choosing this option, such a student would receive credit for courses in which a grade of C or better was earned; the grades for such courses, however, would not be included in the computation of the grade point average. The grades for these courses will be removed, changed to XC and marked “I” (Include). All grades less than C will remain on the transcript and will be marked “E” (Exclude). The declaration of Academic Bankruptcy must be made to the Academic Student Advocate at the time of re-enrollment and can be claimed no more than once in a student’s career at the University.

President’s List, Dean’s List, Honors List for Part-Time Students

Undergraduate students who earn a term grade point average of 3.70 or above are named to the President’s List for that term. Those students who earn a term grade point average between 3.50 and 3.69 are named to the Dean’s List for that term. To be eligible for either the President’s List or the Dean’s List, full-time matriculated students must have completed at least 12 credits, at least nine of which must confer grade points, at the time the lists are finalized

Undergraduate part-time students who earn a grade point average of 3.50 in their combined work in fall, winterim, spring and summer terms are named to the Honors List for Part-time Students at the end of each academic year (summer). To be eligible for this honor, students must attend as part-time matriculated students in any term that academic year, must earn at least six credits in courses which earn grade points, must complete all such courses by the time grade reports are prepared after summer, and must achieve at least a 3.50 grade point average in graded courses.

Declaring Majors, Options, Minors

Students may declare an academic major when applying for admission to the University or they may enter without having chosen a specific major. Students are required to declare an academic major no later than the semester they are completing 60 credits, which is typically the fourth semester. Students who fail to declare a major after completing 60 credits are not eligible to register for any subsequent semester until a major is declared. Transfer students with 60 or more credits must declare a major by the end of their first full-time semester.

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, students who are receiving veterans’ benefits and who have not declared an academic major, cannot be certified beyond their sophomore year, unless a major is declared. Only “General Education” courses can be certified prior to the declaration of a major. [2024 VA School Certifying Official Handbook]

In the event that a student chooses a major or changes a major after being admitted to Plymouth State University, the student needs to file a Declaration or Change of Academic Major and/or Option form with the registrar’s office. This form requires the signature of the department chair/ designee of the new major. Once this form is complete, the student should return the form to the registrar’s office for processing. Typically, a new advisor from the new major department is either chosen by the student or assigned.

Major/Option Declaration forms are available on the registrar’s office website. Major/Option Declaration forms are also used to declare options within a major. Options must be chosen within some majors, whereas in others the options are entirely elective. In either event, the procedure for completing the form is the same as that outlined above in regard to declaring the major itself. Where there are several options available within a major, it is advisable for students to choose the one that best suits their interests rather than to pursue several overlapping options jointly. If a student does choose to pursue a second or subsequent option, at least 12 credits must be different from the first option. To complete an option a student uses the same catalog as the major. The completion of options is noted on students’ transcript.

To declare an academic minor or academic certificate, the student needs to file an Academic Minor/Certificate Declaration form. This form requires the signatures of the student’s advisor and an appropriate representative of the department or council offering the minor or certificate. Completed forms are returned to the registrar’s office. Minors are not stand-alone programs. Minors may only be pursued while the student is enrolled in their degree program and cannot be finished or awarded after the student has earned their degree.

To drop an academic minor or option or certificate, students should submit to the registrar’s office a Request to Remove an Academic Minor or Option form. Forms are available on the registrar’s office website.

Double Majors

Students may pursue a double major but must meet the requirements of both disciplines. To accomplish this goal within the minimum number of credits required requires close communication with advisors from both majors. Only one degree (BA, BFA, or BS) will be awarded. Both majors must be completed at the same time and from the same catalog.

Dual Degrees

If students wish to receive two different degrees (e.g., a bachelor of arts degree and a bachelor of science degree), students need to complete at least 30 credits of coursework beyond those required for the first degree. The degrees must be from different disciplines and students cannot pursue two similar degree programs (e.g., cannot earn both a BA in biology and a BS in biology). Both degrees must be completed at the same time.  To ensure that students can adequately handle the increased demands of seeking two different degrees, it is strongly suggested that students consult with advisors representing both programs.

Second Degree Requirements

Students desiring to return to Plymouth State University to earn a second Bachelor’s degree, in addition to either the B.A. or B.S. they have already completed, must complete a minimum of 30 credits at PSU subsequent to the completion of the first bachelor's degree and meet all major course requirements for the second degree. The second degree can be the same as the first (ie a second BA or a second BS), but the major must be from a different discipline. Students will not be required to complete additional general education requirements. Students who wish to return for a second degree after graduation will begin with Admissions and will pursue the additional degree from the catalog in effect at the time of their re-matriculation.  Students must comply with all other PSU academic regulations.

Students with a Plymouth State degree returning as candidates for a second bachelor degree that is different from the first degree may select majors, minors, and options appropriate to the second degree and will typically follow the catalog current at the time of readmission. 

Students who already hold a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree from any other college or university are allowed to pursue any Plymouth State University degree program once admitted. At least half of the courses in the new major program must be taken at PSU, and students must complete a minimum of 30 credits while at Plymouth State University. Students who already hold a degree from elsewhere are allowed to transfer in credits just as any other students are allowed to do (see Transferring Courses to Plymouth State University).

Time to Degree

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree must fulfill all major degree and/or minor requirements within eight academic years from the date of matriculation.

After eight years, a student’s transcript will be reviewed by the program faculty to decide if completed courses may count toward completion of that program.

In addition, the student will work with their advisor to create a plan to graduate in two years. If the student does not complete the degree program within the two-year window of the plan, the student must either change catalogs or majors. Courses that are not approved by the program faculty may not count in the new degree plan.

Leaves of absence do not extend the eight-year limit.