Curriculum and Classroom Policies

Return to: Academic Regulations

Course Information

Undergraduate Course Information

In accordance with Texas Education Code, Section 51.974, undergraduate course information including syllabi and faculty curriculum vitae may be obtained by visiting

Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) System

The University of Texas at El Paso participates in the Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) System, which was developed to facilitate the transfer of general academic courses among Texas colleges and universities. Common courses are freshman- and sophomore-level courses taught throughout Texas which correspond with the general description of courses or category of courses included in the Lower-Division Academic Course Guide Manual. A UTEP course determined to be equivalent to a course listed in the Guide has the common course number listed below the UTEP course title in the individual course description of this catalog and a Texas state symbol is to the left of the course prefix and number. Students interested in transferring can refer to the common course number in each college or university catalog to determine course transferability among institutions.

Course Numbering System

Each course offered by The University of Texas at El Paso is identified by a four-digit course number. The first number indicates the level: 0 = developmental, 1 = freshman, 2 = sophomore, 3 = junior, 4 = senior, and 5 or 6 = graduate. The second number indicates the semester credit hour value of the course. The last two numbers identify the course within its particular department.

  • Lower-Division Courses are designated by a 1 or 2 as the first digit of the course number.
  • Upper-Division and Advanced Courses are designated by a 3 or 4 as the first digit of the course number. The student should refer to the departmental and college requirements for specific conditions, if any, imposed on registration in advanced courses.
  • Graduate Courses are designated by a 5 or 6 as the first digit of the course number.

Maximum Course Load

A student is permitted to register each term for the maximum number of semester credit hours listed below. Written permission from the academic dean must be obtained to take more than the maximum load. Students must have a grade point average above 2.0 to request permission.

Fall 21
Spring (Wintermester) 24 (combined terms), or 21 for Spring, or 6 for Wintermester
Summer (Maymester) 15 (combined terms), or 9 for Summer, or 6 for Maymester

Enrollment Status and Verification

Fall and Spring Hours Per Semester/Term
Full-time 12 or more
Part-time Fewer than 12
Maymester and Wintermester
Full-time 3 or more
Part-time Fewer than 3
Summer Sessions  
Full-time 6 or more, or 3 in Summer I and 3 in 8-week, or 3 in Summer II and 3 in 8-week, or 3 in Summer I and 3 in Summer II
3/4 time 4-5
1/2 time 3
Less than 1/2 time fewer than 3

Students enrolled in accelerated, online or other special programs that use “parts-of-term” are considered full-time if they are enrolled in at least 3 credit hours in any given part of term and also meet the full-term requirements noted above.

Students who are not eligible to enroll without conditions, who are on academic probation or academic suspension/dismissal, who have been readmitted or reinstated from such conditions, or who are in the START Program will have course load conditions imposed by their advisor or dean. Students should see the section of this catalog entitled Standards of Academic Performance.

For enrollment verification to financial aid, scholarships, loan agencies, insurance companies, etc., the following categories will be followed. Students are encouraged to enroll in the appropriate number of credit hours as required/specified by the agencies. Veteran students are recommended to consult with the campus Veterans Affairs Office.

Limits on Undergraduate Course Enrollment

In most instances, a student may enroll in an undergraduate class a maximum of three (3) times; further enrollment requires PERMISSION OF THE ACADEMIC DEAN OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT OFFERS THE COURSE. This includes enrollments that result in a grade of W, F, D, or P. It does not apply to courses taken prior to a student’s re-enrolling under “Option 2” as described under the Reinstatement After Extended Absence or Academic Fresh Start portions of this catalog. Individual colleges might have more restrictive policies.

A student may enroll more than three times in a variable-topic, studio, performance, workshop, or other course that is identified as “may be repeated for credit.” A student may not enroll in a course in which he or she has an unresolved grade of I (Incomplete).  Because all grades earned remain on the academic record and are included in the GPA calculation, and because obtaining an "A" in a course where a "C" was earned previously results in only a negligible increase in GPA, students are strongly discouraged from repeating grades higher than D/F.  Exceptions will be considered by the Dean of the academic college in which the course is offered.

Courses Taken on a Pass/Fail Basis

Some courses are graded only on a Pass/Fail basis (grade of S or U). Check with the appropriate academic department for a listing of these courses. These courses can be used to fulfill degree requirements if so specified on the student's degree plan. In addition, an undergraduate student whose cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or higher can take courses on a Pass/Fail basis with the following conditions:

  1. A maximum of four courses attempted on a Pass/Fail basis can be used to fulfill degree requirements, as free electives only.
  2. Such courses cannot be reserved for graduate credit.
  3. Not more than two such courses can be taken in a long semester or one in a summer session.
  4. Courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis cannot be counted toward the minimum residency requirements.
  5. To obtain credit for the course, the student must meet the minimum standard and do all assigned work required for the grade of A, B, C, or D.
  6. No course graded Pass/Fail can be used to fulfill any degree requirement in the College of Engineering.
  7. Business majors cannot take any course offered by the College of Business Administration on a Pass/Fail basis.

To enroll on a Pass/Fail basis in courses that are not normally graded Pass/Fail, a student must:

  1. Obtain a Pass/Fail form and approved signature from the academic dean of his or her college.
  2. Submit the approved form to the Records Office by the submission deadline listed in the on-line Class Schedule at

Election of the Pass/Fail option is irrevocable after the submission deadline. Pass/Fail courses are not included in the grade point average calculation. There is no assurance that Pass/Fail courses will be accepted as transfer credit by another institution.

Temporary Grading Policy, Spring 2020

Reservation of Work by Undergraduates for Graduate Credit

Ordinarily, undergraduates are not eligible to take graduate courses. A student who already has a baccalaureate degree is not eligible to reserve courses for graduate credit, but it is possible for seniors to register in graduate courses in their last semester under the following conditions:

  1. The undergraduate must need no more than 12 semester hours (or six semester hours in summer session) of work to complete all requirements for the first baccalaureate degree and must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in junior- and senior-level courses.
  2. These 12 hours (or less) must all be completed in the same semester or summer session in which the graduate courses are taken.
  3. Total registration for all work must not exceed 15 semester hours (or 9 hours in a summer session).
  4. Enrollment in graduate courses must be approved prior to registration by the graduate advisor of the department, the undergraduate dean, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  5. This option is limited to one term.

With the exception of students enrolled in institutionally approved curricular programs that explicitly involve the joint granting of baccalaureate degrees and graduate degrees and fast-track programs, an undergraduate cannot count credit for graduate courses toward the baccalaureate degree.  It will be reserved for credit toward a graduate degree.  A form for reserving courses is available in the Graduate School.  Approval to reserve work for graduate credit neither constitutes nor implies admission to any graduate program.

Fast-Track Dual-Credit Program

The Fast-Track Dual-Credit program enables outstanding undergraduate UTEP students to receive dual undergraduate and graduate credit for up to 15 hours of UTEP course work as determined by participating Master's and Doctoral programs.  Not all graduate programs have elected to participate in the Fast Track option, so students should see their departmental graduate advisor for information about requirements and guidelines.

Application Requirements

  1. This program is intended for UTEP students who are interested in transitioning from a Bachelor's degree to a graduate degree.  A student who has previously earned a Bachelor's degree may not apply to this program.
  2. To be considered for the Fast Track program, students need to complete a Graduate School application.  Once the Graduate School clears the application based on the recommendations of the intended graduate program, students will be assigned a fast track code until the Bachelor's degree is conferred.  The student will be subsequently admitted as a new student in the graduate program.
  3. Students must have successfully completed at least 90 hours of undergraduate coursework toward their major with a minimum of 24 of those hours at UTEP.
  4. Students must have and maintain the same GPA requirements in the major as for the university honor's certificate, which is an undergraduate GPA of GPA equal or greater than 3.30.
  5. Participating graduate programs may have additional requirements including specific GRE scores and undergraduate coursework preparation.

Program Guidelines

  1. Each participating graduate academic program will determine which graduate level courses will be included in the Fast Track.  The Graduate School will maintain an inventory of all approved courses.
  2. Students must be advised each semester at the departmental level by both the undergraduate and graduate advisors and cleared for registration in graduate courses by the Graduate School.
  3. Undergraduate students must earn a B or better in the graduate course for it to count as graduate credit.  If the grade is a C, it will not count toward the graduate degree but the credit hours will still count toward the undergraduate degree.  The earned grade will not be calculated in the undergraduate GPA and will show on the undergraduate transcript as a transfer.  These graduate course grades should not be used for determination of undergraduate honors or other academic awards at the Bachelor's level.
  4. When the student graduates with the Bachelor's degree, the graduate courses will be shown in the undergraduate transcript, and if a grade of C or better is attained, count toward the undergraduate degree.  The courses will also show on the graduate transcript as graduate courses, but in these cases will be calculated into the graduate GPA.
  5. Tuition will be based on the level of the course, not the level of the student.  Financial aid may be adjusted.
  6. Exceptions to these guidelines will be handled through an appeal process established by the participating graduate program.

For a list of approved dual credit courses, please click on the following link: Fast-Track Dual-Credit CoursesNote: The link to the list of fast-track dual-credit courses will take you to the Graduate Catalog.  To return to the Undergraduate Catalog, you will need to select the Undergraduate Catalog from the upper-right-hand drop-down menu.

Repetition of Courses

D/F Repeat for all 1000 and 2000 level courses

If a student earns a D or F in a 1000 or 2000 level course the student may "D/F repeat" that course.  Students have only one opportunity per course to improve their original grades under the D/F repeat policy.  The new grade becomes the grade that counts toward the student's cumulative GPA and credit hours for graduation, even if the repeated course grade is lower than the original grade in the course.  The D/F repeat policy will be enacted any time an eligible course is repeated.

When a course is D/F repeated, the following procedure occurs:

  1. The original grade is disregarded for the purpose of determining the overall GPA, it is marked as excluded (E) in the semester that the student originally took the course.
  2. The original grade is not deleted from the student's permanent record.
  3. The second grade is entered on the student's transcript and marked as included (I) in the semester that the course was repeated.

Other Repeated Courses

Courses repeated, but not eligible for the provisions of the D/F repeat policy follow this procedure:

  1. The original grade is included in determining the overall GPA.  It is excluded from earned or degree hours and is marked with an (IA).
  2. The original grade is not deleted from the student's permanent record.
  3. The second grade is entered on the student's transcript and is included in the semester that the course was repeated.
  4. Courses repeated more than once are handled the same way with the final attempt carrying earned or degree hours.  All attempts are used for determining the GPA.

Class Attendance

The student is expected to attend all classes and laboratory sessions and attendance is mandatory for all freshman-level courses (1XXX).  It is the responsibility of the student to inform each instructor of extended absences. When, in the judgment of the instructor, a student has been absent to such a degree as to impair his or her status relative to credit for the course, the instructor can drop the student from the class with a grade of W before the course drop deadline and with a grade of F after the course drop deadline.

Excused Absences for University-Recognized Activities

Students who will be absent while representing the University in officially recognized University activities (sports, band, professional conferences, etc.) must notify the Dean of Students not less than ten (10) days prior to the absence. The Dean of Students will provide the student with a letter of excuse for the professors. It is the student’s responsibility to give the letter to the professors prior to the official recognized activity. Students following these procedures will be permitted to make up both assignments and examinations in consultation with faculty.

Absence for Religious Holy Days

Religious holy day means a day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code. Section 51.911 of the Texas Education Code and 19 Texas Administrative Code 4.4 related to absences by students for observance of religious holy days states that the institution shall excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused under this subsection cannot be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence. The student must provide written notice to the instructor of each course that he or she will be absent for a religious holy day not less than 10 days prior to the absence. If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence being for the observance of a religious holy day as defined therein, or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor can request a ruling from the Provost or the Provost’s designee. The student and the instructor shall abide by the decision of the Provost or designee.

Military Leave

Section 51.9111, Texas Education Code, and 19 Texas Administrative Code 4.9 provides that students be excused from scheduled classes or other required activities if the student is called to and participates in active military service for a reasonably brief period and that the student shall be allowed to complete an assignment or exam within a reasonable time after the absence. The excused absence is permitted only if the student will not miss more than 25% of the total number of class meetings or the contact-hour equivalent (not including the final examination period) for the specific course or courses in which the student is enrolled at the beginning of the period of active military service.

Students called to active military service must provide a copy of their military orders to the instructor of each course. Further information is available under Complete Withdrawal Due to Active Military Service

Absence From Examinations

A student absent from a test during the semester is graded zero (0) unless another policy is set by the instructor.

Dead Day

This specific day will be scheduled one day after the last day of classes during the fall and spring semesters. The following policy will be observed:

  1. No classes will be held on this day, except classes which meet once a week on that day.
  2. Make-up exams should be left to the discretion of each individual instructor.
  3. All student work (e.g., research papers, lab reports, term paper, etc.) should be due prior to this day.
  4. If a comprehensive final is given, no new material, quizzes, or exams should be given two calendar days prior to Dead Day, and attention should be given to review of semester material. Implementation of this recommendation is to be left to the discretion of the individual instructor.

Final Examinations

Exemption from final examinations cannot be given. Final examinations are scheduled to be two hours, forty-five (45) minutes in length and take place during the final examination period. It is the policy of the University not to administer a second final examination in a course. It is also University policy that students shall not have more than two final examinations in a single day. In the unlikely event that the examination schedule results in a student having three final examinations on a single day, the faculty member upon the request of the student shall reschedule the second of that student’s three examinations.

Academic Integrity

The University of Texas at El Paso prides itself on its standards of academic excellence. In all matters of intellectual pursuit, UTEP faculty and students must strive to achieve excellence based on the quality of work produced by the individual. In the classroom and in all other academic activities, students are expected to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. Any form of academic dishonesty is an affront to the pursuit of knowledge and jeopardizes the quality of the degree awarded to all graduates of UTEP. It is imperative, therefore, that the members of this academic community understand the regulations pertaining to academic integrity and that all faculty insist on adherence to these standards.

Any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty is subject to discipline. Academic dishonesty includes, and is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, and any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts. Proven violations of the detailed regulations, as printed in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP), and available in the Office of Student Life and on the homepage of the Office of Student Life at, can result in sanctions ranging from disciplinary probation, to a failing grade on the  work in question, to a failing grade in the course, to suspension or dismissal, among others.

Grades and Grade Point Averages

Grade Meaning Grade Point Value
per Semester Hour
  A Excellent 4  
  B Good 3  
  C Average 2  
  D Below Average but Passing 1  
  F Failure 0  
  WF Assigned to a dropped course that exceeds the Six-Course Drop Limit 0  

Courses in which the above grades were earned are included in the grade point average (GPA), which is calculated as follows: (1) determine grade points by multiplying the number of semester hours each course is worth by the grade point value of the grade received; (2) divide the total number of grade points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted in which the above grades were earned. (Total Grade Points/Total Attempted Hours = GPA)

The following grades are not included in grade point average calculations:

I Incomplete
S Satisfactory, in a Pass/Fail course
U Unsatisfactory, in a Pass/Fail course
W Withdrawal
CR Transfer credit or credit by examination
A* Satisfactory
B* Satisfactory
C* Satisfactory
D* Satisfactory
F* Unsatisfactory
S* Satisfactory
U* Unsatisfactory
N A temporary administrative grading notation often meaning not reported by the faculty or some other administrative problem
WC Assigned to a dropped course that will count toward the Six-Course Drop Limit
TWC Assigned to a dropped undergraduate transfer course taken at another Texas public college or university; counts toward the Six Course Drop Limit.

Midterm Grades for Freshmen

At mid-semester, all students with fewer than 30 cumulative semester hours, and all other undergraduate students with a grade of D or F regardless of cumulative hours, will receive midterm grades. The midterm grade report is designed to give beginning students an early indication of their academic progress. Midterm grades are not recorded on the student’s academic record, computed in the cumulative grade point average, or calculated in the academic standing.

Incomplete or In-Progress Work

Assignment of the grade I is made only in exceptional circumstances and requires the instructor to file with the academic dean a contract signed by the student and instructor outlining the work to be completed and the time span (not to exceed one calendar year) allowable for completion.  In no case may repetition of the course be assigned as work to be completed. If the work has not been completed by the end of the specified time, the grade I will be changed to an F. A student may not enroll in a course in which he or she has an unresolved grade of I.  The grade P (in progress) is limited to specific courses in which re-enrollment is required.  They include all thesis courses (5398-5399, 6320-6321) and graduate internships. A student may not graduate with an incomplete or in progress work on his or her record. If a student wishes to graduate and if the course is not needed for a degree requirement, the incomplete will convert to an F, regardless of whether a year has elapsed from the date the incomplete was assigned. In the case of in-progress work, if the course is not needed for a degree requirement, the grade P must be changed to W.  The instructor must submit a Change of Grade form to the Department Chair and College Dean. The college will file the form with the Registration and Records Office.

Grade Changes

Students must submit to the faculty of record a written request for a grade change as soon as possible after the receipt of the grade but not later than one year after the semester in which the course in question was taken.  A graduating student must request a grade change within three months after the last day of final examination of the last semester enrolled.  After this time, all grades become part of the student's official academic history and cannot be altered unless approved by the academic dean.

A grade change must be approved by the faculty of record, the department chair, and the college dean.  Additional approval is required from the Graduate School for thesis/dissertation and project courses (5396-5397, 5398-5399, 6320-6321, and 6398-6399).  Students will receive notification of approved changes.  Exceptions to the grade change policy will be at the discretion of the faculty member, department chair, and final approval from the academic dean.

Grades can be changed as a result of (1) grade changes initiated by the instructor and approved by the appropriate department chair and the college dean; (2) grade change initiated by the department chair for cases in which the instructor is no longer affiliated with the University and cannot be contacted and there exists clear and convincing evidence for a grade change; (3) grade change because of disciplinary action imposed by the Office of Student Life or Hearing Office for violation of University rules; or (4) action taken by the Student Welfare and Grievance Committee in grade-appeal procedures.

Grades determined as a result of actions taken in items (3) or (4) above are final and not subject to change.  No other grade change shall occur without the consent of the instructor.  The Registrar will notify the student and the instructor of any change in grade.

College/Major Academic Standing

Selected colleges or majors can also require students to maintain a 2.0 GPA for courses taken within the college or within the major. A student whose college or major GPA falls below a 2.0 after completing a specified minimum number of hours of the designated course work in the college/major will be placed on probation within the college/major. This minimum shall be nine (9) hours unless specified differently in the degree requirements for the college/major.

If the student's college/major GPA remains below a 2.0 after completing nine additional hours of course work in the college/major (or the designated college/major probationary period: students should refer to the individual degree requirements to determine the applicable probationary period), the student will be placed on suspension from the college/major for a minimum of one semester. A student who is on suspension from a college/major can continue to enroll in the University if the student changes majors and meets the GPA requirements of the new college/major. A change to a new major in the same college will require permission from the dean. A student who wishes to re-enroll in the same major after a suspension must submit to the student’s academic dean a Petition for Reinstatement to the College/Major. If the petition is approved, the student will be permitted to re-enroll under academic probation, plus any special conditions which might be imposed by the academic dean. It is recommended that students who are suspended from the college/major receive career counseling through the University Counseling Center.

Students who have been suspended for a period of one semester and have been allowed to re-enroll in that college/major must attain a GPA of 2.0 in the college/major after the completion of nine additional hours of course work in the college/major (or the designated college/major probationary period: students should refer to the individual degree requirements to determine the applicable probationary period); failure to do so will result in suspension from the college/major for a minimum of one year. A student who is allowed to re-enroll after this suspension and does not achieve a 2.0 GPA in the college/major (or the  designated college/major probationary period: students should refer to the individual degree requirements to determine the applicable probationary period) will be dismissed from the college/major. A change of major will be required if the student wishes to continue to enroll in the University.

Any appeal from the regulations governing academic performance shall be directed to the dean of the college in which the student is a major. The dean is empowered to grant relief in unusual cases if the circumstances warrant such action. This is in addition to the policies concerning academic standing within the University. Any penalties concerning eligibility to re-enroll arising from the University's academic standing policy shall take precedence over any provisions within this policy.

Standards of Academic Performance

Undergraduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 (C average) for all work attempted at UTEP, and a GPA of at least 2.0 for all course work required in the major field of study. These are University-wide minimum requirements for the conferral of any bachelor’s degree; higher minimum standards of performance are required in some programs.

When final grades of each term are posted to the student’s academic record, both term GPA (for the semester or session just ended) and cumulative GPA (for all work attempted at UTEP) are included. In addition, designations appropriate to the student’s past academic performance and eligibility to re-enroll at the University are included. These designations are as follows:

Eligible to Re-enroll

A student whose cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher is eligible to re-enroll.

Academic Probation

A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation must have permission to re-enroll. Students in an entering student program should seek this permission from their entering student advisor. Other students should seek this permission from their academic dean. A student will remain on academic probation as long as the term GPA is at least 2.0 and the cumulative GPA is below 2.0.

Academic Suspension for One Semester

A student on academic probation whose term GPA is below 2.0 will be placed on academic suspension for one semester. A student thus suspended cannot re-enroll at the University until one long semester or a full summer session has elapsed.

Academic Suspension for One Year

A student on academic probation who has already been placed on academic suspension for one semester, and whose term GPA is less than 2.0, will be placed on academic suspension for one year. A student thus suspended cannot re-enroll at the University until one full calendar year has elapsed.

Academic Suspension for Two Years

A student who has been placed on academic suspension for one year and whose semester and cumulative GPA is below 2.0 will be placed on academic suspension for two years. A student thus suspended MAY NOT re-enroll at the University until two full calendar years have elapsed.

Re-enrollment Following Academic Suspension

A student wishing to re-enroll after his/her academic suspension period is over must submit a Petition for Reinstatement with the academic dean of the previous major or, if the student is selecting a new major, with the dean of the intended new major. If reinstated, the student will be permitted to re-enroll under academic probation, plus any special conditions of the Petition for Reinstatement.

Any appeal from the regulations governing academic performance shall be directed to the dean of the college in which the student is a major. The dean is empowered to grant relief in unusual cases if the circumstances warrant such action. Any student who attempts to circumvent the academic performance regulations is subject to disciplinary action.

Reinstatement of Students After Extended Absence

At the time of reinstatement to the University after an absence of at least two academic years, a student has the option of:

  1. Continuing with the academic record and GPA as they stand, and completing all remaining requirements for graduation; or
  2. Beginning anew, with no courses attempted earlier at UTEP counted toward the degree, nor counted in the cumulative GPA calculations. This option can be elected only once.  Students who have earned a degree, in which the courses from UTEP were accepted as part of the degree, are ineligible to qualify for this option.

If Option 1 is chosen, the GPA will be computed according to rules in force at the time of re-entry. If Option 2 is chosen, notation will be made in the student's record indicating that portion of the record which is to be involved in computing requirements for graduation. There is no assurance that courses attempted prior to this option will be accepted as transfer credit by another institution. In either case, all courses taken and grades earned will remain on the official academic record. Pursuit of the degree under either option does not exempt the student from the provisions of the "seven-year rule" (Students should refer to this catalog’s Requirements section).

If the student was not eligible to re-enroll at the end of the last period of enrollment at the University, submission of a Petition for Reinstatement with the academic dean of either the previous or intended major is required at the time of reinstatement. The petition will specify which of the two aforementioned options has been chosen.


Textbooks may be purchased through university-affiliated bookstores. However, a student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer, per Texas Education Code, sec. 51.9705.