Apr 20, 2024  
2011-12 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-12 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Regulations

Academic Advising

Each student is assigned to the academic department or school which corresponds to his or her major area of study. A student with an undeclared major must seek advising in the University College Advising Center (UCAC). The head of the department or school will in turn assign a faculty advisor to the student. The faculty advisor will assist the student in determining and carrying out an academic program which will meet the student’s educational aims and goals. Professional academic advisors are available in each college to assist students. Students required to enroll in a course or courses in University Studies will also be assigned an advisor in the University College Advising Center.

Faculty advisors post a schedule of office hours, and each student should feel free to call on his or her advisor or any faculty member or professional advisor at any time assistance or discussion is appropriate. Some programs require an academic advisor’s permission for selection of classes. Any student with an undeclared major is required to obtain advising from the University College Advising Center before course selection is permitted. Each student is strongly encouraged to meet with his/her advisor prior to course selection to review progress toward graduation. All new freshmen and new transfer students are required to complete advising before initial registration will be permitted.

Academic Alert

Faculty report academic progress for certain populations of students as well as any students for which a faculty member has concerns. An Academic Alert report will reflect feedback from a professor which could include an estimated grade, issues/concerns, and/or comments. An email notification is sent to the student if an Academic Alert is posted. Details related to the alert can be accessed in RaiderNet by selecting the Student tab, then the Student Records and Academic Alert links.

Academic Disciplinary Procedures

The administration of academic discipline is a function of the head of the department concerned and the Office of Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services. The instructor should report allegations of academic misconduct to both places. The instructor should attempt to discuss the matter with the student before sending a disciplinary referral. The instructor may conduct a conference with the student in compliance with the following procedures:

  1. The student will be given notice that he/she is believed to have committed an act or acts of academic misconduct.
  2. The student will be presented with all evidence in the knowledge or possession of the instructor which supports the allegations of academic misconduct.
  3. The student will be given an opportunity to present information on his/her behalf.

After discussing the matter with the student, and if disciplinary action is still warranted, the instructor should submit a disciplinary referral to the appropriate offices and inform the student that the information is being forwarded to the Office of Judicial Affairs. Based upon the TBR Policy No. 3:02:00:01 regarding academic misconduct, the instructor will assign an appropriate grade penalty per departmental guidelines and individual classroom policies. The disciplinary referral should include all supporting documentation of the violation including copies of the academic work in question and recommendations of the grade penalty. For additional information, please visit www.mtsu.edu/judaff/index.shtml or visit the Office of Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services in KUC 128.

Academic Fresh Start

Any person who has not been enrolled in a college or university for a period of four years and who, upon reenrolling, satisfactorily completes 40 hours of classwork, may petition to have grades on all prior coursework disregarded in calculating his/her cumulative grade point average. (Student may not select specific courses.) A written request and transcript should be sent to the dean of the college in which the student is pursuing a major. If the request is granted, the earlier courses will not count toward requirements for graduation or professional licensure but will appear on the student’s transcript with appropriate notation.

Academic Standing (Retention Standards and Grades)

Students may view grades and academic standing online each semester by selecting the appropriate option on RaiderNet. No student may view grades on RaiderNet until all debts or obligations owed to MTSU have been satisfied. Students with holds may come to the Records Office in CAB 106 with a photo ID to be informed of their grades.

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of grades and academic standing. Academic standing could be good standing, probation, or suspension, and it is calculated at the end of each term after grades are received, repeats marked, and GPA calculated. Grade changes are processed daily and email notifications of the grade changes are sent to the student’s and faculty’s MTSU email address. Once the next semester begins, academic standing is not recalculated even if grade changes are received unless a university error was made. An email is sent to the student’s MTSU email address if he or she is placed on probation or suspension, but a student should always check his/her academic standing on RaiderNet after each semester. If a student is placed on probation, the student must attain one of the following retention standards:

1. a 2.00 GPA for current term, OR

2. meet one of the following retention standards:
    00-29.99 GPA hours: 1.50
    30-49.99 GPA hours: 1.80
    50 or more GPA hours: 2.00

A student on academic probation who does not meet either the current term GPA or cumulative GPA in the above standards during the next term in which enrolled will be suspended. This includes reenrollment and transfer students admitted on probation or who have been previously suspended from another school. (See re-enrollment policy .) Students previously suspended are not eligible for probationary status.

If a student is suspended, any future registration is purged and the student cannot attend MTSU for the length of the suspension. A student can appeal a suspension. (See the Academic Suspension Appeals section for more details.) Students should also be aware of the difference between a financial aid suspension due to unsatisfactory progress and an academic suspension based on grades and GPA. A financial aid suspension means the student can still attend MTSU; however, the student will not receive financial aid. An academic suspension means the student cannot attend MTSU for the length of the suspension even if eligible for financial aid. These are two different suspensions, and there are two different appeal processes that are independent of each other.

Any student who lacks prescribed courses and attends another Tennessee Board of Regents school while on suspension from MTSU must enroll for those prescribed/learning support courses while attending the other school, if available.

International students attending MTSU on student or exchange visas may not be readmitted after their second suspension even though the normal suspension period is over. According to the terms of their eligibility forms (I-20 or DS-2019), international students are expected to do satisfactory academic work and maintain a full course of study at MTSU. Failure to do this invalidates their student status, and Immigration Service will be notified. International students who are suspended may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee for reinstatement if they feel that their poor academic performance was due to circumstances beyond their control.

Academic Year

The regular academic year is divided into two terms, Fall and Spring. There is also the Summer term which is divided into parts of term: 1-Full Term, beginning in May, is approximately 13 weeks; S1-May, beginning in May, is approximately three weeks; S2-June and S3-July, beginning in June and July respectively, are approximately five weeks in length; S4-June/July, beginning in June, is approximately ten weeks; R-RODP for the Regents Online Degree Program, beginning in June, is approximately ten weeks. Additional parts of term may be scheduled to accommodate the special needs of certain courses.

During a fall or spring term, there are two accelerated parts of term offered in an eight-week format.


No student will be issued a diploma, certificate of credit, or transcript of his/her record until all debts or obligations owed to the University have been satisfied.

Appeal of Academic Suspension

MTSU is committed to helping students achieve their academic goals. However, some students fail to maintain an adequate grade point average and are academically suspended.
Academic appeals for undergraduate students will be reviewed by an academic appeals committee and consideration will be given for readmission if the student presents adequate evidence of ability, maturity, and motivation. College transcript and materials submitted by the student are reviewed by this committee to determine if they think students can do college-level work and if they are motivated to be successful in school. The academic appeals committee decides if the suspension stands or if the student can be readmitted. Conditions that this committee might impose, if a student is readmitted, could be limiting enrollment in 8 or 14 credit hours for the semester and/or requiring the student to see the college advisor. This committee’s decision is final and only applies to the semester for which the student appealed. There is no higher appeal. Readmission by the academic appeals committee does not imply reinstatement of financial aid, if applicable. Students should be aware of the difference between a financial aid suspension due to unsatisfactory progress and an academic suspension based on grades and GPA and that these are two different appeal processes that are independent of each other. The academic appeal form may be obtained in Cope Administration Building 106 or on the Records and Scheduling web page.

There is a filing deadline for appeals prior to the beginning of classes each semester. Students appealing for Fall term can appeal at the Summer or Fall meeting (not both). Appealing for the Fall term at the May meeting allows students to receive the committee’s decision in May rather than having to wait until August. Students should access the Records and Scheduling  web page; refer to the current MTSU registration guide; or contact personnel in the Records Office for the deadline date applicable to each semester. Students are responsible for being aware of their academic standing. Email messages regarding academic suspension are sent to students’ MTSU email addresses. Students should check their MTSU email and academic standing on RaiderNet after all grades are posted and the GPA is calculated.

Students who wish to appeal an academic suspension must complete the appeal form and submit any documentation by the published deadline.

Cancellation of Scheduled Classes

The right is reserved to cancel any class when the number of students enrolled is deemed insufficient per minimums listed below.

1000 - 2000 = 15 students enrolled
3000 - 5000 = 10 students enrolled
6000 = 8 students enrolled
7000 = 6 students enrolled

Regents Online Degree Program (RODP) classes are cancelled at the discretion of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR).

Change of Major

Many students make the decision to change their majors/programs during their undergraduate careers. While the procedure for doing so is relatively simple, a change in academic program or declaration of double majors or dual degrees should be carefully considered and thoroughly investigated. Students considering a change in major should consult their current advisors and faculty in their new areas of interest and explore possible major career fields in the University College Advising Center, McFarland Building.

A change of major is accomplished by meeting with a University College Advising Center advisor. Any request for a change of major will be processed for the current term and an email confirmation sent. Once processed, students can see their new major, run an up-to-date degree evaluation, and keep departments better informed of their current majors. Any student receiving military veterans benefits who changes his or her major must notify the Veterans Affairs coordinator located in the Records Office.

Class Attendance

A student is expected to attend each class for which he/she is registered except in cases of unavoidable circumstances and should not attend classes for which he/she is not officially registered.

Even though some faculty may not check attendance in a conventional manner, attendance in classroom courses or participation in distance learning courses is expected, and absence or nonparticipation is recorded and will have an effect on receipt or repayment of financial aid and/or scholarships. Students who are reported for nonattendance will be assigned a grade of F to appear on their transcripts, and nonattendance will be reported to appropriate agencies.

Exceptions are made for University-sanctioned activities. Students shall not be penalized for such absences. Students anticipating participation in University functions which will take them out of classes should discuss these absences with their instructors at the earliest convenient time.

The fact that a student may be absent from a class does not in any way relieve that student of the responsibility for the work covered or assigned during the absence. It is the responsibility of faculty members to excuse or refuse to excuse absences of students who miss their classes. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain excuses for absences and to arrange with the faculty member in question to make up the work missed. Absences begin with the first date the student is enrolled in class.

If emergency circumstances prevent contacting the professor or department, the student may contact the University College Advising Center for notification to the instructor(s). The phone number for that office is (615) 898-2339. Only the instructor of the class concerned can excuse an absence.

MTSU does not usually close because of inclement weather, but students will be allowed to use their own discretion when snow and icy conditions exist; they will be given the opportunity to make up the missed classes should they decide not to attend. To determine if classes are cancelled, students should listen to area radio and television stations, access the University home page at www.mtsu.edu/ or call the news line at (615) 904-8215.

Any student who is absent from a state college or university during any school term or portion thereof in excess of thirty (30) days due to active military service shall be entitled to withdraw and receive a tuition credit in the form of credit hours for each credit hour paid by, or on behalf of, such student, or a refund for any payments made. Credit shall be given only if the reserve or National Guard student did not receive a final grade in the course for which tuition credit is sought.

Classification of Students

No student may be classified as a sophomore until after earning at least 30 semester hours.

No student may be classified as a junior until after earning at least 60 hours.

No student may be classified as a senior until after earning at least 90 hours.

Correspondence Credit

Correspondence courses taken at MTSU carry regular degree credit. Students can obtain a current listing of MTSU correspondence courses by accessing the Look Up Courses link via PipelineMT or by calling the University College at MTSU at (615) 898-5332.

Correspondence courses taken at other schools are accepted under the regulations governing acceptance of transfer credit (see Admissions and Registration ) and are subject to the following regulation: ENGL 1010  and ENGL 1020  and courses with a laboratory component must not be taken by correspondence except by the permission of the chair of the department and the dean of the college in which the course is offered.

Course Numbers

Courses numbered 1000-1999 are on the first year or freshman level; 2000-2999 on the second year or sophomore level; 3000-3999 on the third year or junior level; 4000-4999 on the fourth year or senior level; 5000 and above on the graduate level. Course numbers defined as basic or developmental are not acceptable as degree credit work.

Course Substitution

Course substitutions are needed when a course does not fulfill a degree requirement; however, it is determined in consultation with an advisor that the course would be an appropriate replacement. The course substitution form requires approval by the advisor, chair, and dean of the student’s major or minor program depending on what requirement is being substituted. Corrections for transfer courses that are not appropriately equated may also be marked on the course substitution form.

Credit Hour Unit

A credit hour unit is one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for 15 weeks, or equivalent academic activities, to achieve the student learning outcomes for the credit hour. Laboratory and studio classes usually earn one credit for each two hours of attendance or equivalent for a semester unless otherwise indicated.

Dean’s List

Dean’s List designations are made each semester and are based on full-time undergraduate degree credit enrollment. Developmental courses do not count in determining GPA or full-time status for Dean’s List purposes. Students whose GPAs for the current semester are 3.50 or greater are placed on the Dean’s List. Courses graded on a pass/fail basis will count as GPA hours in calculating full-time status for determination of Dean’s List designation. The grade of P will not count as GPA hours for determination of grade point average.

Double (or Second) Major

A student may elect to obtain a double or second major for graduation by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Satisfy general requirements as prescribed by the University and the specific requirements set forth by each major and for the degree sought.
  2. Two properly approved upper-division forms must be filed, one for each major.
    NOTE: One upper-division form is acceptable provided both majors are clearly identified on the form.
  3. In the case of a major requiring two minors, the second major may count toward fulfillment of one minor provided it meets the requirements of the particular degree. In the case of a B.A. degree which requires only one minor, the second major may count as the required minor.
  4. The degree sought must be compatible with both majors; that is, a student with a major appropriate for the B.S. degree may not choose a second major that is not offered under the B.S. degree. As an example, a student pursuing a B.S. degree with a major in Mathematics may not opt for a second major in History which is not offered under the B.S. degree.

Dropping or Adding Courses

Tennessee Board of Regents policy prohibits students from dropping prescribed courses except under extenuating circumstances with the approval of the chair of University Studies.

NOTE: Student-athletes must obtain permission from the Student-Athlete Enhancement Center and international students must obtain permission from the International Admissions Office before processing drop/add forms in the Scheduling Center.

The procedures and deadlines to drop and add a class are listed online. A student who stops attending a class but does not officially drop the class will be assigned a grade of F which will be recorded on the student’s permanent record.

Students finding it necessary to withdraw from the University after having selected classes for a future term should use RaiderNet via PipelineMT to drop all classes or initiate the withdrawal process in the University College Advising Center, McFarland Building (615-898-2339).

Dates may vary from term to term concerning whether the withdrawal should be accomplished by RaiderNet via PipelineMT or through the University College Advising Center. Check the appropriate registration guide for specific dates.

Dual Degree

A student may elect to obtain a dual degree for graduation by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Satisfy general requirements as prescribed by the University and the specific requirements set forth by each major and for the degree sought.
  2. Two (2) properly approved upper-division forms must be filed, one for each major.
  3. In the case of a major requiring two minors, the second major may count toward fulfillment of one minor provided it meets the requirements of the particular degree. In the case of a B.A. degree which requires only one minor, the second major may count as the required minor.
  4. The degrees sought must be different degree types (for example, B.A. and B.S.).

Enrollment Verification

The following schedule of hours attempted will be used to determine the enrollment status requested by undergraduate students: Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters: full-time - 12 semester hours and one-half time - 6 hours. In Fall and Spring terms, enrollment certifications are official beginning the fifth day of the term. MTSU has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to provide enrollment and degree verifications. NSC may be contacted at

National Student Clearinghouse
13454 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
Herndon, VA 20171-3280
Web: www.studentclearinghouse.org or degreeverify.com
E-mail: service@studentclearinghouse.org
Phone: (703) 742-4200
Fax: (703) 742-4239

Students may print their own enrollment verification by accessing RaiderNet via PipelineMT. Preliminary verification can also be accessed prior to the fifth day of class.

Evening Classes

Many classes are scheduled on the campus in the evenings and on Saturdays. The Evening School Office functions as a part of the University College to assist students who wish to take classes at such times.

Grade Point Average

The following quality point system is used in determining the grade point average (GPA):

  For each credit hour of A:
For each credit hour of B+:
For each credit hour of B:
For each credit hour of B-:
For each credit hour of C+:
For each credit hour of C:
For each credit hour of C-:
For each credit hour of D+:
For each credit hour of D:
For each credit hour of D-:
For each credit hour of F:
4 quality points
3.33 quality points
3 quality points
2.67 quality points
2.33 quality points
2 quality points
1.67 quality points
1.33 quality points
1 quality point
0.67 quality points
0 quality points

The academic standing of a student is expressed in terms of grade point average which is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of GPA hours. Following is an example:

Course Hours   Grade Points
ENGL 1010 
BIOL 1030 /BIOL 1031 
ART 1030 
SOC 1010 
MUS 1030 
  C (2.0)
B (3.0)
B (3.0)
B (3.0)
F (0.0)
  16     36

To get the quality points listed in the last column, the credit hours (column 2) are multiplied by the point value of the grade earned (column 3); then the 36 is divided by 16 for a GPA of 2.25.

The GPA is rounded and truncated after the thousands position, and no further rounding up or down of the GPA is done in determining eligibility for retention, graduation, honors, dean’s list designation, or taking an overload.

The section on Repeated Courses explains the computation of the GPA for students who repeat courses. The grade of F counts as GPA hours with zero quality points earned; P grades carry hours earned but no quality points or GPA hours.

Grades (Marking System)

Following is a description of the criteria used in assigning letter grades:

A-work of distinctly superior quality and quantity accompanied by unusual evidence of achievement
B-work of good quality and quantity accompanied by evidence of achievement beyond the essentials of a course
C-work demonstrating fulfillment of the essentials of a course
D-passing work, but below the standards of graduation quality
F-failure, necessitating repetition of the course to obtain credit
N-no credit, nonpunitive (assigned only in certain courses)
P-passing (assigned only in certain courses)
I-incomplete (not used in calculating grade point average)
W-assigned in courses which are dropped during a specified period of time within a term. Students should consult online for specific dates each term.
NC-no credit (audit)

Plus/minus grading for undergraduate courses became effective Fall 2000. Grades which may be assigned are

B+, B, B-
C+, C, C-
D+, D, D-

Plus/minus grades will be posted for students who transfer to MTSU Fall 2000 or after. Plus/minus grading for students enrolled at MTSU prior to Fall 2000 will not be retroactive to any term prior to Fall 2000. Reenrollment students will not be eligible to have courses reevaluated if courses taken at a previous transfer institution prior to Fall 2000 were graded on a plus/minus system.

The N grade is given only in those courses with prior approval to use N grading. The grade of N will be awarded only once per unique course to students who complete the first attempt of the course but fail to meet minimum (C level) standards. In subsequent attempts the student will be assigned a grade of F if minimum standards for the course are not met. Examples of courses which use the N grade are ENGL 1009 , ENGL 1010 , ENGL 1020 , and READ 1000 .

The P grade is given only in those courses with prior approval to use pass/fail grading. Courses may be taught on a pass/fail basis only after the approval of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Catalog course descriptions include information indicating which courses are approved for pass/fail grading.

No more than fifteen semester hours in pass/fail coursework may be attempted by any student during any one semester. No more than one-half of the degree requirements may be obtained through credit-by-examination, credit for military service-related experience, flight training, and courses in which nontraditional grading such as pass/fail is used. More information can be found under the general requirements for the baccalaureate degrees elsewhere in this catalog.

The grade I indicates that the student has not completed all course requirements because of illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, especially those which may occur toward the close of the term. Mere failure to make up work or turn in required work on time does not provide a basis for the grade of I unless the extenuating circumstances noted above are present for reasons acceptable to the instructor. When a student fails to appear for the final examination without known cause, the grade to be reported should be determined as follows: If the student has done satisfactory work to that point, the grade I may be reported on the assumption that the student is ill or will otherwise present sufficient reason for official excuse; if the student has attended irregularly and has not done satisfactory work to that point, the grade F should be reported.

The incomplete must be removed during the succeeding semester, excluding summer. Otherwise, the grade of F is entered. A student should not make up the incomplete by registering and paying again for the same course. The I grade carries no value until converted to a final grade.

Grades-Appeal of Course Grades

Level One

  1. Student appeals concerning a course grade should be resolved by a conference between the student and the faculty member who assigned the grade.
  2. In the event of an impasse between the student and the faculty member, a student with an appeal of a grade shall discuss it with the department chair within ten (10) business days of the conference with the involved faculty member. The department chair shall investigate the circumstances, record his/her findings, and send a copy to the student and the faculty member within ten (10) business days of the notification of impasse. Although the department chair does not have the power to change the grade, he/she will make a recommendation concerning the appeal. The recommendation and findings will become a part of the appeals record, and a copy will be provided to the student and the faculty member.

Level Two

  1. If the student is not satisfied, he/she may, within fifteen (15) business days following receipt of the department chair’s recommendation, refer the appeal, plus all relevant data, including stated reasons why he/she believes the appeal has thus far not been satisfied, to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. The appeal to the Provost’s Office must occur within forty (40) business days of the graduation date for each term. The vice provost for Academic Affairs shall select a college committee to hear the appeal and transmit the appeal documents to the committee chair or to the dean of the college which houses the selected appeals committee.
  2. Written notification of the meeting and of an opportunity to appear before the grade appeals committee will be sent by the chair to the concerned faculty member and student. A simple majority o members present constitutes a quorum. The committee will receive documents and testimony regarding the circumstances, will record its findings, and shall render a decision. Notification of the committee’s decision will be made to the student, faculty member, department chair, college dean, vice provost for Academic Affairs, and the registrar.
  3. The decision of the committee hearing the appeal will be final.

NOTE: In cases where the department chair is the person against whom the complaint is lodged, the dean in whose college the department is located shall assume the duties of the chairman in the investigation and decision-making.


  1. The number of days indicated at each level above shall be considered the maximum, but every effort should be made to expedite the process.
  2. The failure of the student to proceed from one level of the appeal procedure to the next level within the prescribed time limits shall be deemed to be an acceptance of the recommendations and/or decision previously rendered. All further considerations and proceedings regarding that particular appeal shall cease at that point.
  3. A grade appeal may be withdrawn at any level without prejudice. However, the stated time frames continue to be applicable if the student determines to begin the process again.
  4. All appeal proceedings shall be kept as confidential as may be appropriate at each level.
  5. A grade appeals committee shall have reasonable access to all official records for information necessary to the determination of a recommendation.
  6. Appeals filed after the spring graduation date will be considered in the summer ONLY under 2 circumstances:
    1. If it affects the student’s ability to graduate in that term or in the summer.
    2. If the vice provost determines that there are extenuating circumstances to warrant a special hearing. Otherwise, such appeals will be held over until the beginning of the Fall semester. If an appeal is to be heard in the summer, an ad hoc committee of the chairs/available members from each grade appeals committee will hear the case. If a chair cannot attend the summer meeting, he/she will (if at all possible) endeavor to provide a replacement from his/her committee. The chair from the college in which the appeal originated shall be excused from the meeting. There will also be a student representative assigned with one alternate, each not from the college from which the appeal originates.

Graduate Courses, Permission to Enroll in

Seniors at MTSU with 98 semester hours of credit may be allowed to take up to 12 semester hours of graduate coursework. Approval is required by the undergraduate advisor and by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. With the exception of students enrolled in an approved Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) program, graduate coursework may not be used to meet the requirements for an undergraduate degree. Applicants for this status must complete the Application for MTSU Undergraduate Students to Take Graduate Work which is available at the College of Graduate Studies.

NOTE: The Jennings A. Jones College of Business does not have a Half-and-Half program.


Graduation is conducted at the close of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Murphy Center is the site of this important occasion. Students who plan to graduate should complete an Intent to Graduate form during priority registration when two semesters are remaining for graduation. This form is available in the Records Office, Cope Administration Building 102, and online at www.mtsu.edu/records/intentform.pdf.

All students must complete the general requirements as prescribed by the University and the specific requirements set forth for the degree sought. A minimum of 120 hours is required for most programs, with at least two semesters in which a minimum of 30 semester hours is earned in residence during the junior and senior year. The final semester must be in residence unless permission is granted by the dean of the college in which the student is pursuing a major.

A student must have a 2.00 GPA overall and a 2.00 average in the major and in 42 hours of upper-division credit to graduate. Some departments require a 2.00 GPA in the minor. No more than 25 percent of the credits for nonbusiness degrees may be in courses commonly found in a school or college of business nor can more than one business minor be completed. No student will be issued a diploma, certificate of credit, or transcript of his/her record until all debts or obligations owed to the University have been satisfied. All requirements for a degree must be met by the time of graduation. This includes incomplete grades and transfer credit from other colleges.

Applicable Catalog-Students may elect to meet the requirements of any one catalog published while they are in attendance at any Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) school provided graduation is within seven years of the first academic term covered by the catalog elected.

Graduation with Honors-Undergraduates

Recognition of honors at the graduation ceremony will be made for those students obtaining the required grade point average by the beginning of their final semester.

Cum Laude: 3.500-3.749
Magna Cum Laude: 3.750-3.899
Summa Cum Laude: 3.900-4.000

Notation of graduation with honors is entered on the diploma and the transcript and is based on the overall grade point average on all degree credit courses. Grade point average is rounded and then truncated after the thousandth position.

Identification Card

The MTSU BlueID card identifies MTSU students, faculty, and staff for access to campus services and privileges. The BlueID card may be used to check out books at the library; be admitted to the Campus Recreation Center, campus computer labs, and residence halls; cash checks; attend campus events and purchase extra tickets; receive student health services; and pay for food via student meal and budget plans.

The BlueID card may be used as a debit card. Students may deposit money into a RAIDER FUND$ account; then, use the BlueID card rather than cash or checks for purchases at the campus bookstore, to pay registration fees, buy a soft drink or snack, or to purchase meals at any of the food service locations on campus.

Lottery (Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship) GPA

Calculation of the GPA for receipt of the scholarship does not include credits earned prior to high school graduation and is subject to the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship course repeat policy.

Lower and Upper Division

Courses numbered 1000 and 2000 are on the lower-division level. Courses numbered 3000 and 4000 are on the upper-division level.

Misrepresentation of Academic Credentials

It is a Class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing that such person

  1. has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
  2. has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees for diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
  3. has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.

Repeated Courses

Students may repeat courses for the purpose of raising their grade point averages subject to the following:

  1. No course should be attempted more than twice (i.e., repeated more than once) except upon the advice of the faculty advisor. The first time a course is taken is the first attempt; it is not a repeat until taken again. If a student repeats a course more than once, the hours will be added to the total GPA hours and therefore will be included in figuring the cumulative grade point average.
    For example
  first attempt of ENGL 1010 :
    F = 0 GPA hours, 0 hours earned;
  first repeat of ENGL 1010 :
    F = 3 GPA hours, 0 hours earned
  second repeat of ENGL 1010 :
    C = 6 GPA hours, 3 hours earned.

An example of a successful repeat:

  first attempt of ENGL 1010 :
    F = 0 GPA hours, 0 hours earned;
  first repeat of ENGL 1010 :
    C = 3 GPA hours, 3 hours earned.

In other words, if a student repeats a course once and improves the grade, the effect on the cumulative hours taken is the same as if the course were successfully completed on the first attempt. However, if a student takes a course multiple times, each repeat increases the cumulative GPA hours; taking the same three-semester-hour course five times, for example, is one attempt and four repeats and therefore is 12 GPA hours;

  1. The last grade earned will stand even if the last grade received is an F and the student has previously received a grade higher than an F. The previous passing grade will not calculate in hours earned. All repeated courses remain on the student’s transcript with repeat notation.
  2. Veterans receiving educational assistance benefits may not repeat courses previously passed and receive veterans financial assistance for such unless a minimum grade is required in the program.
  3. Students may not repeat a course in which they have previously earned the grade of A or B or P without approval from the department which houses the course.
  4. Students may not repeat a course in which they have previously received the grade of I (incomplete). Students must make arrangements with the instructor who assigned the incomplete to finish the course during the succeeding semester, excluding summer.
  5. Students may use either ENGL 2020  or ENGL 2030  or HUM 2610  interchangeably for purposes of repeating a course.
  6. This repeat policy took effect in Fall 1981. All courses attempted since then are subject to this policy. Courses attempted prior to Fall 1981 are subject to the previous repeat policy.
  7. Students who receive the Lottery Scholarship are subject to course repeat policies of the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship regulation rules. Contact the Financial Aid Office for specific rules.

Semester Hour Load of Student

Students should determine their semester course loads after careful consideration of time commitment outside the classroom. Students who work a significant number of hours per week should consider attempting fewer hours each semester. One’s own time commitments, work and study habits, and other considerations should be reviewed with the academic advisor prior to the selection of courses.

Fifteen or sixteen semester hours of credit is the “normal” Fall or Spring load for students who wish to graduate in four years. Eighteen semester hours (excluding courses for audit) is the maximum load for a student during any semester while enrolled only at MTSU or concurrently at another institution.

  1. Students with a 3.50 average on all college work attempted may be permitted to take up to 21 semester hours in a semester.
  2. Students with a 3.00 average may be permitted to take a maximum of 19 hours in a semester provided one hour is Military Science, Physical Education activity, or CSCI 1000 .
  3. Graduating seniors may be permitted to take an overload with the limits above during the last semester in residence to graduate.

Following are the maximum number of semester hours in which an undergraduate student may enroll during parts of term within a Summer term:

1-Full Term-18 hours
S1-May-4 hours
S2-June-8 hours
S3-July-8 hours
S4-June/July-8 hours
R-RODP-18 hours
All Parts of Term-combined total of 18 hours

Students who wish to enroll for credit hours in excess of these limitations must obtain permission at least two weeks prior to registering for classes from the academic advisor and the dean of the college in which that student is pursuing a major. Students who have not declared a major must obtain permission of the advisor in the University College and approval of the director of the University College. Student athletes must obtain permission of the advisor in the Athletic Enhancement Center prior to obtaining approval of the academic advisor and dean of the college in which student is pursuing a major.


The schedule of courses provided online each semester is for the convenience and guidance of students and faculty. The University reserves the right to change courses and schedules when the interest of all concerned may best be served.

Transcript of Credits

Official copies of a student’s record are furnished free of charge upon written request by the student. No student will be issued a diploma, certificate of credit, or transcript of record until all debts or obligations owed to MTSU have been satisfied. Unofficial copies may be viewed on RaiderNet provided all debts or obligations are satisfied. Students with holds may come to the Records Office in CAB 106 and present a photo ID to be informed of their grades.

Withdrawals from the University

The University College Advising Center (UCAC) handles all issues relating to withdrawing from the University. Please visit www.mtsu.edu/withdrawal for up to date information regarding the withdrawal process. Students are highly encouraged to consult with the UCAC before making any decisions about withdrawing. Please also consult the Registration Guide (www.mtsu.edu/records/sbooks.shtml) for withdrawal and fee adjustment deadlines. Questions about withdrawing should be directed to the UCAC in the McFarland Building, via phone at (615) 898-2339 or via email at withdraw@mtsu.edu.

General Withdrawal Guidelines:

  1. Withdrawing Prior to Term - Students finding it necessary to withdraw from all classes prior to the beginning of a term may withdraw via RaiderNet (link to RaiderNet).
  2. Withdrawing During a Term
    1. During the first two weeks (14 calendar days) of a term, courses may be dropped via RaiderNet (link to RaiderNet) without assignment of a grade on the official transcript.
    2. Beginning on 15th calendar day through 60% of a term, student can drop some or all courses via RaiderNet (link to RaiderNet) and a grade of “W” will be assigned.
    3. After 60% of the term, a complete withdrawal from ALL classes can be accomplished via RaiderNet (link to RaiderNet), through the last day to withdraw in each term. Instructor assigns the appropriate grade of “W” if the student is passing or “F” if the student is failing. After 60% of the term, individual courses cannot be dropped via RaiderNet. Individual courses may be dropped if appropriate signatures are obtained on a drop form and submitted to the Scheduling Center.
    4. The deadline to withdraw from the University(all classes) and receive a grade of “W” or “F,” as determined by the instructor is generally one week prior to the last day of classes and will be noted in the Registration Guide (link to Registration Guide) for each term.

NOTE: Fees, Financial Aid, Housing, etc. can be impacted anytime a student withdraws or drops a course. Consult the Registration Guide (link to Registration Guide) and those offices for more information.

Summer differs; please check Registration Guide (www.mtsu.edu/records/sbooks.shtml) for specific dates.

If extreme extenuating circumstances necessitate a student’s withdrawal from the University after 60% of the term, exceptions may be made. A grade of “W” may be recorded with written concurrence of the faculty member, but only if the extenuating circumstances are first verified by the University College Advising Center. Students who fall under this category should schedule an appointment with the Withdrawal Advisor in the UCAC and provide a written statement and all documentation to support their extenuating circumstances. The University Withdrawal Policy can be reviewed at www.mtsu.edu/policies/pdfs/WithdrawalsFromtheUniversity.pdf.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Throughout the undergraduate catalog, the phrase “hours earned at MTSU” refers to courses taken at the Murfreesboro campus as well as all forms of distance learning courses including Regents Online Degree course credit earned through offerings by MTSU.

Baccalaureate Degrees, General Requirements for

To graduate from MTSU with a bachelor’s degree, a student must meet the following requirements.

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours with a 2.00 grade point average. (Some programs may require more than 120 hours.)
  2. A minimum of 25 percent of credit for each degree awarded by MTSU must be earned through offerings by the University. Typically, a minimum of 30 hours earned through MTSU is required; however, in degree programs of more than 120 semester hours a greater number of hours would be required.
  3. At least 42 semester hours of junior and senior (3000-4000 level) courses must be completed with an average grade of C (2.00 GPA) or better. Courses numbered 1000 and 2000 which are substituted for 3000- or 4000-level courses may not be used in the calculation of the 42 upper-division hours. A minimum of 30 semester hours of junior and senior (3000-4000 level) courses must be completed through MTSU.
  4. With approval of the dean of the college in which the student is pursuing the major, a candidate may complete six of the last 18 hours at another college or university or by CLEP.
  5. No more than 60 semester hours completed by credit-by-examination, credit for service-related experience, and flight training may be counted for credit in a degree.
  6. Students must complete at least nine semester hours at the upper-division level through MTSU in each major and at least three semester hours at the upper-division level through MTSU in each minor. Additionally, no course used to satisfy a requirement in a major or minor may be used in another major or minor.
  7. The student who seeks a second concentration in a major must complete a minimum of nine (9) hours that do not duplicate hours in the first major/concentration.
  8. A minimum of 60 semester hours of senior college credit will be required of all students who transfer from colleges of less than four-year designation.
  9. A minimum 2.00 GPA will be required in a major pursued as a graduation requirement and a minimum 2.00 is required in some minors.
  10. All candidates must meet the General Education  requirements as outlined and satisfy a technology requirement as outlined below.
    NOTE: Information applicable to transfer students may be found below.
  11. No more than 25 percent of the credits for nonbusiness degrees may be in courses commonly found in a school of business. Additionally, a student can have only one business minor.
  12. During priority registration when two semesters are remaining for graduation, students must complete upper-division and Intent to Graduate forms and file them with their graduation coordinators. Both forms may be obtained from the office of the head of the department/school in which the student expects to major. A minimum 2.00 GPA in the major field and on all work attempted is required for unconditional admittance to the upper division and to candidacy, unless otherwise stated by a program, for the bachelor’s degree. Some programs require formal approval with additional requirements for admission to candidacy.
  13. Any or all students may be required to take one or more tests designed to measure general education achievement and/or achievement in selected major areas as a prerequisite to graduation for the purpose of evaluation of academic programs. Unless otherwise provided by an individual program, no minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation. Participation in testing may be required for all students, for students in selected programs, and for students selected on a sample basis.
  14. In compliance with SACS accreditation standards, all students will have training in and use of technology.

NOTE: In all instances, meeting the requirements for graduation is the responsibility of the student. In addition to the general requirements above, candidates for the various degrees must meet certain specific requirements.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree must meet the following requirements:

  1. The major must be completed in one of the approved disciplines or concentrations. It must be identified as an approved degree in the  academic inventory (see Majors A-Z ) and described in this catalog by the department concerned.
  2. One minor is required, and it must be chosen from the list of disciplines and concentrations in (4) below or from Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors . Students wishing to be licensed to teach at the secondary level must meet the requirements for a minor in Secondary Education Minor  in addition to the basic requirements of one major and one minor.
  3. To meet TBR policy requirements, students who receive the B.A. degree must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to two years of college-level coursework. To meet the requirement, students must successfully complete 2010 and 2020 or any courses numbered above the 2000 level in a single foreign language. Students are eligible to register for these courses after successfully completing four high school units of the same language, a score on a language placement test equivalent to proficiency of a year of college-level study of the same foreign language, or the successful completion of 1010 and 1020. Students who wish to use study abroad credits to fulfill the foreign language requirement must see the chair of the Foreign Language and Literatures Department for approval of the courses.
  4. At least 90 of the minimum 120 hours required for graduation must be in courses with the following rubrics, but no more than 36 hours will be accepted from any one rubric:
  AAS (African American Studies) HIST (History)
  ACSI (Actuarial Science) HUM (Humanities)
  ANTH (Anthropology) LEAD (Leadership Studies)
  ART (Art) MATH (Mathematical Sciences)
  ASTR (Astronomy) MES (Middle East Studies)
  BIOL (Biology) Any Music (including MUAP,
  CDIS (Communication Disorders)   MUED, MUEN, MUHL,
  CHEM (Chemistry)   MUPD, MUS, MUTH)
  COMM (Communication) ORCO (Organizational Comm.)
  DANC (Dance) PHIL (Philosophy)
  ECON (Economics) PHYS (Physics)
  ENGL (English) PLEG (Paralegal Studies)
  Any Foreign Language (including PS (Political Science)
    ARAB, CHIN, FL, FREN, GERM, PSCI (Physical Science)
    HEBR, ITAL, JAPN, KURD, LATN, PSY (Psychology)
    PORT, RUSS, SPAN) RS (Religious Studies)
  GEOG (Geography) SOC (Sociology)
  GEOL (Geology) STAT (Statistics)
  GERO (Gerontology) THEA (Theatre)
  GS (Global Studies) WGST (Women’s and Gender Studies

Bachelor of Business Administration

See Requirements for the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree in the College of Business (Jennings A. Jones) 

Bachelor of Fine Arts

See Requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in the Art Department .

Bachelor of Music

See requirements for the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree in the School of Music .

Bachelor of Science

Candidates for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete a major with a minimum of 24 semester hours.
  2. Many degree programs require a minor or minors of 15 credit hours or more. Specific requirements in the various departments must be met as listed in the colleges section in this catalog.
  3. The B.S. degree may be granted to a student who takes six semesters of college work before entering an advanced health-related or engineering professional school upon evidence of satisfactory completion of the first year’s work and the unconditional admittance to the second year, if applicable, provided that
    1. the minimum requirement for entrance to the professional school is 60 semester hours of college work;
    2. the professional school is an integral part of a university accredited by the appropriate regional association or the professional school is accredited by the recognized national association in its field;
    3. the last two semesters of pre-professional work are done at Middle Tennessee State University;
    4. the candidate completes a minimum of 90 semester hours in required pre-professional courses;
    5. the candidate completes, in the pre-professional work, at least 24 semester hours in upper-division courses, including at least 6 semester hours in his/her major field;
    6. the candidate meets all general requirements of the degree curriculum.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

See requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) in the School of Nursing .

Bachelor of Social Work

See requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree in the Social Work Department .

Bachelor of University Studies Degree

The Bachelor of University Studies (B.Unv.S.) degree program is for the person who wishes to pursue a broad-based educational experience rather than a program designed to meet specific vocational or professional job opportunities. The degree is offered by the University College . Students may select from two specializations: basic and applied sciences or liberal arts.

Specific requirements are

  1. 41 semester hours fulfilling the General Education requirements;
  2. completion of at least nine semester hours at the upper-division level through MTSU in the college of specialization;
  3. a 2.00 GPA in the courses taken in the college of specialization;
  4. 54 semester hours selected from at least three of the six undergraduate colleges (excluding Honors) subject to the following guidelines:
    1. A minimum of 27 semester hours of the 54 semester hours must be taken at the upper-division (3000-4000) level.
    2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 GPA must be attained on all degree credit courses.
    3. A minimum of 21 semester hours must be completed in either Basic and Applied Sciences or in Liberal Arts. The maximum hours allowed in a specialization is 30.
    4. Upper-division courses with the prefixes ELED, READ, SPED, FOED, YOED, or SPSE may not be used.
    5. No fewer than 6 nor more than 12 semester hours may be taken in any one department. No more than 21 semester hours taken in departments within the Jennings A. Jones College of Business may be counted toward the B.Unv.S. degree.
    6. Courses taken to satisfy the General Education requirements may not be counted to fulfill the 54 semester hours requirement in the University Studies program. Other courses from the General Education curriculum may be taken subject to limitations imposed by (a), (c), (d), and (e) above.

Additional information about the Bachelor of University Studies can be obtained from the dean of the University College .

Second Bachelor’s Degree

Candidates for a second bachelor’s degree must meet the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree previously earned must have been awarded by an institution of higher learning. Considerations for institutions of higher learning may be found under the heading of Acceptance of Transfer Credit .
  2. Complete a minimum of 30 semester hours at MTSU with a minimum of 15 hours at MTSU since the first bachelor’s degree.
  3. All requirements for the major program in the new degree must be met, including a minimum of 9 upper-division hours taken through MTSU, and the entire major for the second bachelor’s degree must be approved by the major department chair and by the dean whose college houses the program. Minor(s) required by the major must include 3 hours of upper-division work taken through MTSU in each minor.
  4. The General Education requirements for a first degree from a U.S. institution will satisfy MTSU’s General Education requirements for the second degree. For students whose first degree is from a non-U.S. institution, the General Education requirements will apply and course equivalencies with MTSU’s General Education program will be determined by the dean of the college of the student’s major of the second degree.
  5. A minimum 2.00 GPA on all work attempted must be attained.
  6. A minimum 2.00 GPA is required in the major pursued as a graduation requirement.
  7. Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree must complete an application for admission to upper division.
  8. Pursuing a concentration under a major in which a student has already completed degree requirements will be considered as the pursuit of an add-on concentration, not a second bachelor’s degree.
    NOTE: The Admissions Office does not evaluate transcripts of students who have already received a bachelor’s degree.

Regents Online Degree Program (RODP)

Middle Tennessee State University is a participating institution in the Regents Online Degree Program. This program brings college courses to students at home, in the library, in the office, or on the road. Courses completed in the program are entirely online. These courses comprise the same content and rigor as courses on campus. Student assistance such as advising, library services, student support, bookstore, and other student services are also offered online. Technical support for accessing course materials is available 24 hours, 7 days per week.

If a student is admitted to MTSU and enrolls in an RODP course, the course is counted as offered through MTSU regardless of the delivery institution and will appear on the student’s transcript as MTSU credit.

Note: Authorization to take RODP courses is required for all non-RODP majors. Acceptance of RODP courses as fulfilling requirements of standard degree programs is at the discretion of the individual department.

Degrees offered by MTSU through RODP include

  • Bachelor of Science with a major in Professional Studies (concentrations in Information Technology, Organizational Leadership, Health Administration, or International Organizational Leadership.) 
  • Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Liberal Studies

Students must earn a minimum of 120 hours; meet MTSU upper-division, residency, senior hour, General Education, and GPA requirements; and complete the courses outlined in the specific degree program. Course requirements for these degrees can be found at www.rodp.org/.

Advisement is available through the University College  at (615) 898-5611.

Transfer Students

Regardless of the receipt of an associate’s degree, transfer students will be required to meet the MTSU General Education requirements as stated in the MTSU catalog under which the student chooses to graduate.

Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Common Catalog Statement Regarding General Education

Effective Fall Semester 2004, all institutions in the State University and Community College System of Tennessee (the Tennessee Board of Regents System) will share a common lower-division (freshman and sophomore) general education core curriculum of forty-one (41) semester hours for baccalaureate degrees and the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees. The courses composing the general education curriculum are contained within the following subject categories:

Baccalaureate Degrees*

Subject Area Credit Hours
Humanities and/or Fine Arts (including at least 3 hours in literature)
Social/Behavioral Sciences
Natural Sciences
  9 hours**
9 hours
6 hours
6 hours***
8 hours
3 hours
Total   41 hours

*Foreign language courses are an additional requirement for the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The B.A. degree requires proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to completion of two years of college-level work.
**Six hours of English composition and three hours in English oral presentational communication are required.
***Students who plan to transfer to non-TBR institutions should check requirements and take the appropriate courses.

Although the courses designated by TBR institutions to fulfill the requirements of the general education subject categories vary, transfer of the courses is assured through the following means:

  • If a student has earned an A.A. or A.S. degree using a 2004 Undergraduate Catalog (or later) from a TBR institution, the requirements of the lower-division general education core will be complete and accepted by a TBR university in the transfer process; however, institutional/departmental requirements of the grade of C (2.00) will be honored and enforced.
  • If an A.A. or A.S. is not obtained, transfer of general education courses will be based upon fulfillment of complete subject categories. (Example: if all eight hours in the category of Natural Sciences are complete, then this block of the general education core is complete.) When a subject category is incomplete, course-by-course evaluation will be conducted. The provision of block fulfillment pertains also to students who transfer among TBR universities.
  • Certain majors require specific courses to be taken in general education. Check the departmental catalog section(s) for major requirements that must be fulfilled under lower-division general education.

See General Education  for Middle Tennessee State University requirements. A complete listing of the courses fulfilling general education requirements for all TBR institutions is available on the Web site (www.tbr.edu/) under Transfer and Articulation Information.

Computation of Grade Point Average for Checking Degree Requirements

Major Average-If a student has more courses in a major area than are actually required, only those courses specifically required for the major will be used to determine the required 2.00.

Minor Average-For those minors which require a 2.00 grade point average (GPA), only those courses specifically required for the minor will be used to determine the required 2.00.

Upper-Division-The 2.00 GPA is calculated for the “best” 42 upper-division hours.

Teacher Education-Guidelines for computation of grade point averages for admission to the teacher education program, for eligibility to student teaching, and for subject area endorsement may be obtained in the administrative offices of the College of Education. Additional information can be found under Licensure of Teachers in the College of Education .

Excessive Repeats-Attempts in excess of one are figured in the cumulative GPA.

Developmental Courses-These courses are calculated into the cumulative GPA to determine retention; however, the developmental courses do not count toward degree requirements and the grades are not used to determine the 2.00 GPA required for a degree.

Cumulative Average-The cumulative average includes all GPA hours from all institutions excluding developmental credits. The first attempt of a repeated course is excluded. Even if a course does not count toward graduation requirements, it will be counted in the cumulative average.

Student Access to Educational Records


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. Student must be afforded notice of their rights under FERPA, and the types of personally identifiable information considered as directory information.


“Educational Records” are those records, files, documents, and other materials which (1) contain information directly related to a student; and, (2) are maintained by Middle Tennessee State University (“the University” or “MTSU”) or by a person acting for the University. Education Records refers to information recorded in any medium including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, tapes, film, CDs, cartridges, diskettes, and disk storage or electronic devices. Education records do not include (1) personal notes not accessible or revealed to others; (2) records maintained by law enforcement personnel solely for law enforcement purposes; (3) employment records (except those of student employees); (4) medical, psychological, and psychiatric records (these are accessible by the student’s physician); or, (5) records created or received after an individual is no longer a student in attendance that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student.

For all nondisciplinary purposes, a student is any person who is or has been enrolled (registered for at least one class) at the University. An applicant who does not enroll or who is declared ineligible has no inherent right to inspect his or her file. Wherever “student” is used in reference to personal rights, an eligible parent of a dependent student has similar rights. The “eligible” parent is one who has satisfied Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and who presents such proof to the custodian of the education records. Normally, this proof will be a certified copy of the parent’s most recent federal income tax form.

Information deemed to be directory in nature may be released without a student’s prior written consent. “Directory information” includes the student’s name, address, email address, telephone listing, photograph, year and place of birth, major field of study, enrolled hours, student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.) participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and dates conferred, awards and dates received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended by the student. A student may request that such directory information not be released to anyone other than those persons defined as school officials. To do so, a Request for Nonrelease of Directory Information must be filed in the Registrar’s Office, Cope Administration 106. The request is valid until the student requests the institution to remove it. A student must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing to resume the release of directory information.

Release of Personally Identifiable Student Educational Records

The University shall not permit access to, or the release of, any information in the education records of any student that is personally identifiable, other than directory information, without the written consent of the student.

However, there are several exceptions which allow the University to disclose personally identifiable information without the student’s prior written consent. One such exception concerns disclosures to school officials. A school official is a person employed by MTSU in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom MTSU has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials; a person serving on the Board of Regents or an employee of the Board of Regents; or, a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibilities for the University.

NOTE: With the exception of school officials who have been determined by the University to have a legitimate educational interest, all individuals and agencies who have requested or obtained access to a student’s record (other than directory information) will be noted in a record which is kept with each student’s Education Record. A request must be in writing stating the purpose of the request. This record will also indicate specifically the legitimate interest that the persons or agency had in obtaining the information.

Procedures for Accessing Educational Records

Eligible students have a right to inspect and review their Education Records. To do so the student must request the custodian make the records available. The student may ask for an explanation and/or a copy of the record.

(The price of the copies shall not exceed the cost of duplicating the record.) The records shall be made available within 45 days after the request. After consultation with the records custodian, the student may seek amendment of the record(s) the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights. If there is a disagreement between the student and the records custodian as to the correctness of the data contained in the record, the student may submit a request for a hearing. The request and the formal challenge to the content of the records must be presented in writing to the chair of the Student Appeals Committee. The chair shall call a meeting no later than forty-five (45) days after receipt of the written appeal and challenge. The committee will allow the student to present evidence to substantiate the appeal and shall render a written decision to the student within forty-five (45) days after the meeting. If the University decides not to amend the record, it shall inform the student of the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why he/she disagrees with the decision of the committee.

NOTE: This procedure does not provide for a hearing to contest an academic grade.


The right of a student to access his/her education records does not include access to:

  1. financial records of parents or any information therein;
  2. confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation; or
  3. records to which access has been waived by a student. (This applies only if a student, upon request, is notified of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and if such recommendations are used solely for the purpose for which they were intended.)

Complaint Process

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Such complaints may be submitted to:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901

Notice to Students

MTSU informs its students of the policy governing privacy rights of students’ Education Records (FERPA) via the online catalog; annual email, and the University website. A listing of the types of records and related information follows.

Revised: July 22, 2011

Educational Records at MTSU

Type of Educational Record   Information in Record
  Persons with Access   Custodian Who Reviews/Expunges Record
Academic Record   Courses, grades, degrees, entrance examination scores   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Locator Information   Personal address, e-mail addresses, telephone no., class schedule   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Nonrelease Lists   Information concerning nonrelease of records   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Withdrawal Records   Demographic; reason for withdrawal   Faculty/staff with official need   University College and Registrar
Student Folder (Undergraduate)   Application for admission, receipt for admission fee, high school transcript, previous college transcript, general correspondence, admission test scores   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Student Folder (Graduate)   Application for admission, previous college transcripts, general correspondence, references, test scores (Miller’s Analogy, Cooperative English, GRE, ACTSB, GMAT, TOEFL)   Faculty/staff with official need   Dean of College of Graduate Studies
Application to Upper Division Form   Name, degree, major, minor(s), courses, grades   Faculty/staff with official need   College Graduation Coordinator
Teacher Reports of Incomplete, Change of Grade Forms   Grades for particular courses   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Grade Records   Students in each class and final grade   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Drop/Add Forms/Transactions   Class change data   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Change of Major Academic Program Forms   Major change, advisor’s name   Faculty/staff with official need   Department/School of Major and Registrar
Military Veteran’s Files   Enrollment data; dates of attendance   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Change of Name, Address, Telephone Number Form/Transaction   Name, address, telephone number changes   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Transcripts from Previous Institutions   Courses and grades   Faculty/staff with official need   Registrar
Test Scores (ACT/SAT, GED, academic assessment)   Scores on tests required for admission   Faculty/staff with official need   Director of Admissions
Application for Admission   Demographic   Faculty/staff with official need   Director of Admissions
Residency (undergraduate, graduate)   Residency classification and information   Faculty/staff with official need   Director of Admissions and Dean of College of Graduate Studies
Application for Admission and Test Scores (International)   Demographic and scores on tests required for admission   Faculty/staff with official need   International Education Office
Financial Statement (International)   Information concerning student’s finances   Faculty/staff with official need   International Education Office
Educational Experiences Form (International)   Student’s previous schooling   Faculty/staff with official need   International Education Office
Form I-20 (International)   Eligibility certificates for international students   Faculty/staff with official need   International Education Office
Resumes and References   Personal data; personal recommendations  

Faculty/staff with official need

  Career Development Center Officer
Discipline   Violations and penalties   Personnel in Dean of Students’ Office   Dean of Student Life
Counseling Record   Demographic and counseling summary   Individual student   Director of Counseling Services
Payroll   Payments, withholdings   Payroll clerks, office supervisors   Business Manager
Payroll, Facilities Services   Number of hours worked and rate of pay   Facilities Services Office director/supervisor   Director of Facilities Services
Loans   Amount borrowed, repayments, correspondence   Loan supervisor and clerks in Loan Office   Bursar
Student Receivables   Amounts due from students for various reasons, i.e., rents, parking violations, fee errors   Business Office staff   Bursar
Dishonored Checks   Amounts of checks, correspondence, etc.   Business Office staff   Bursar
Student Deposits   Deposit amounts, date deposited, purpose, etc.   Business Office staff   Bursar
Student Registration Records (Payments)   Fees paid, type, etc.   Business Office staff   Bursar
Sun Belt Conference Eligibility List   Student’s academic standing for eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics   Staff with official need   Athletic Director