Academic Catalog

Academic Regulations: Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

For complete information regarding academic rules and regulations of the University, students should consult Academic Regulations section of this bulletin. The following additions and amendments apply to the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts.

Academic Advising

The College provides comprehensive academic advising for each major in the department in which the major resides. In consultation with their academic advisor, students are expected to create an academic Plan of Work and review their progress with the advisor on a regular basis. Freshmen and sophomores should meet with their academic advisor at least once each semester. Juniors and seniors should meet with their advisor at least once per year and should also be consulting with their faculty mentors. Students should always seek advising immediately if they are having difficulties in their academic work.


Regular attendance and performance is necessary for success in college work. Each instructor, at the beginning of the course, will announce attendance requirements.

Normal Program Load

The requirements for graduation are based upon an average program of fifteen credits per semester for eight semesters. The normal load shall not exceed eighteen credits.

Because two hours of outside preparation are normally expected for each class hour in each course, a fifteen credit program calls for approximately forty-five hours of class attendance and study per week. Students who undertake such a program should expect to give it their full time and energy. A few hours of employment a week may be safely added to this program by a capable student.

Extra Credits: Extra credits are any credits taken in excess of the normal load of eighteen credits per term. A student with a 3.0 grade point average may take more than eighteen credits, but not to exceed twenty-one credits, only when the proposed program carries the written approval of the academic advisor.

Retention of Student Records

Term papers and examinations shall either be returned to the student or retained by the instructor for a minimum of six months. Thereafter they may be destroyed. Instructors shall retain grade records for at least five years following the end of a term, and instructors who leave the institution shall give grade records for courses conducted during the past five years to their department chairperson. Five years after the end of a course, grade records may be returned to the instructor or destroyed by the department.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List of academically exemplary students is compiled each fall and winter term based on the following criteria: a 3.75 grade point average for students registered for full-time programs of twelve credits or more that contribute to the grade point base; and a 4.0 grade point average for students registered for between six and eleven credits. Students who receive marks of I, WN, or WF, or grades of N or U are not eligible.

Academic Probation

Low Grade Point Average

If a student’s work averages below 2.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student will be required to obtain permission from an advisor before registering, as outlined in an email to the student, with instructions for addressing the Probation status. Such permission to register will be granted only after the student meets with his/her departmental advisor and/or the College’s Success Coach, depending on the student’s level of Probation and the instructions provided in the Probation notification email.  The student and advisor/Success Coach will identify previous causes of academic difficulty and will formulate a plan for future academic success.

Registration and Holds on Records

A student on academic probation has an academic probationary ‘hold’ placed on his/her record, and must obtain a release of this hold each term before being permitted to register. To obtain this release, the student must meet with his/her departmental advisor and/or the College’s Success Coach, as indicated above under ‘Low Grade Point Average.’  The hold will not be released after the last day of the final registration period for the term in which the student intends to register.


While on academic probation, a student may not represent the College in student activities.

Removal of Probation

Academic probation will be removed at the end of any term in which the student achieves a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) or higher for all degree work taken at the University.


Low Grade Point Average

A student on academic probation shall be allowed three subsequent terms for enrollment in probationary status. At the conclusion of the three terms, a student who has not achieved a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 shall be dismissed from the College. This dismissal may be reviewed by the Reinstatement & Appeals Committee of the College if the student submits appropriate paperwork evidencing his/her eligibility to return and remain successful. A student dismissed from the College may not be reinstated until one calendar year has passed; however, reinstatement paperwork may be submitted as early as one semester prior to the student’s eligible reinstatement date.  A student may appeal dismissal during the semester following the dismissal notification.


After one year of exclusion, the student may apply for reinstatement to the College. The reinstatement application must be returned to the CFPCA Dean’s Office on or before whichever following deadline precedes the student’s eligible reinstatement semester:  October 15th, February 15th, or June 15th.  The decision to reinstate the student will be based upon evidence presented by the student that circumstances have changed and that the probability for success has increased. For further information, visit the College's website.

Cheating and Plagiarism

The principle of honesty is recognized as fundamental to a scholarly and creative community. Students are expected to honor this principle and instructors are expected to take appropriate action when instances of academic dishonesty are discovered. An instructor, on discovering such an instance, may give a failing grade on the assignment or for the course. Serious acts of dishonesty may lead to suspension or exclusion.

The instructor has the responsibility to notify the student of the alleged violation and the action being taken. Both the student and the instructor are entitled to academic due process in all such cases. Information on procedures is available through the Dean of Students Office.

Grade Appeal Procedure

It is the instructor's prerogative to evaluate student work and assign grades in accordance with his or her academic and professional judgment. Grounds to appeal a final grade include the following:

  1. The application of nonacademic criteria in the grading process: race, color, sex (including gender identity), national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, height, weight, disability, or veteran status
  2. Evaluation of student work by criteria not directly related to course requirements
  3. A miscalculation of the grade according to information contained on the course syllabus or other posted or distributed information

Note: These policy guidelines do not apply to: 

  1. allegations of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty matters should be addressed under Section 10.1 of the WSU Student Code of Conduct.

  2. allegations of harassment or discrimination in the learning environment. These matters should be

    addressed to the Office of Equal Opportunity

Coursework Grades

Disputes over grades should first be addressed informally between the student and the course instructor. If the student and instructor cannot reach a mutually agreeable resolution, the student can formally appeal the final course grade.

If a student seeks to formally appeal a final course grade, the following steps need to be taken.

Final Grade Appeal - for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

1. The student must initiate any final grade appeal in writing, including any supporting documentation, within thirty (30) days following official notification of grades for the term. The appeal is to be addressed to the course instructor. The instructor is to respond within ten (10) days of receiving the appeal.

• If the instructor notifies the student of the grade to be assigned BEFORE a course is officially concluded, the student can initiate the grade appeal process as soon as they have received the written notification from the instructor of the grade. This written notification of the grade must be given by the student to the Department Chair as part of the appeal documentation.

2. If the student is not satisfied with the response or receives no response from the instructor, the student has ten (10) days to submit a written appeal directed to the Department Chair.

3. The student will be notified in writing of the Department’s decision within thirty (30) days of receiving the appeal. Appropriate departmental committees may be consulted for advice in grade appeals and the instructor will be invited to reply to the issues raised by the student. In all cases, appeals at the Department level will result in a written response from the Department Chair that is sent to the student and to the instructor.

4. If the student is not satisfied with the response from the Department level, the student may, within ten (10) days of receiving the Department decision, submit a written appeal directed to the Dean of the College and copy it to the Department Chair. This written appeal is to contain a copy of the written appeal that was directed to the Department Chair and a statement explaining the student’s dissatisfaction with the Department level response. The College will provide a written decision within thirty (30) days of receipt of the student’s appeal.

5. If the student wishes to continue the final grade appeal, the student may request a formal review by the Provost’s office within thirty (30) days of the date of the College’s response. Such requests are subject to the university’s Academic Appeal Procedure found under “Academic Regulations” in the respective Undergraduate or Graduate Bulletin The request should be submitted via the online form located at

6. Any meetings held in relation to the appeal shall provide parties the opportunity to present additional information orally or in writing. No additional persons should be permitted at such meetings without advance approval by the Chair or Dean, as appropriate.

7. Students/faculty may contact Ombuds Services at any time for assistance with any problem associated with a grade decision or grade appeal.

Graduation With Distinction

Wayne State University bestows upon students completing the baccalaureate degree three separate designations for scholastic excellence reflected in the cumulative grade point average: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude. Graduation with Distinction will be indicated on the student’s diploma and on the transcript.

Graduation with Distinction will recognize at each commencement the top twenty percent of students in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts who have earned the highest grade point average in the College with the following approximate distribution:

Top 5%: Summa Cum Laude
Next 5%: Magna Cum Laude
Next 10%: Cum Laude

The specific minimum grade point average for these distinctions will be determined each year in the following manner (except that it shall not be less than 3.0).

Based on the grade point average distributions of the previous year’s senior class, the grade point average cut-offs for the College will be established for the current academic year. The criteria for Graduation with Distinction include:

  1. A minimum of fifty-six credits in residence at Wayne State University;
  2. A minimum grade point average, as established above, on all work at Wayne State University completed by the end of the term of graduation. (For notation in the Commencement Program, the grade point average on all work completed prior to the term of graduation will be used.)


All students must formally apply for degree certification by the deadline established by the Office of the Registrar for the term of intended graduation.

Information concerning commencement announcements, caps and gowns, invitations, tickets, time and place, assembling and other relevant items will be provided to graduates by the Commencement Office prior to the event.

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