2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Policies

Academic Forgiveness

Related Policy: Vermont State Colleges Policy 111 Academic Data Management

As a way of providing currently enrolled, matriculated undergraduate students with an opportunity to reduce the damaging effects of poor performance from their transcripts, students may petition to have selected courses removed from the calculation of their cumulative grade point averages.  Vermont State University has the following two academic forgiveness policies:


Amelioration allows students to petition to have certain grades removed from their academic transcript. There are three scenarios by which a student may appeal for grade amelioration: 

  • A student who has not attended for one semester (Fall or Spring), and who, after returning and completing 6 credits in Good Academic Standing (grades of C or better), may petition to have selected grades below a C- from one previous semester ameliorated.  
  • A student who has been continuously enrolled, but who changes his/her/their academic program, may petition to have selected courses that were required in the former program but are not required in the new program ameliorated.   
  • A student wishes to request amelioration for any course eliminated from the curriculum by the Faculty Assembly or that has not been taught for five years, because the student had no opportunity to repeat the course to improve his/her/their GPA.   (This single course provision may be used in conjunction with one of the other academic forgiveness options stated above.)

Grade amelioration is noted on the official Vermont State University transcript, and the course(s) or grade(s) being removed from the GPA calculation will remain.  Grades cannot be ameliorated if they have already been included in calculations for awarding a degree.  Amelioration that involves Community College of Vermont coursework will be done in accordance with Vermont State Colleges Policy 111.  Students should be aware that certain academic programs have specific grade requirements; students who are granted academic forgiveness may still need to meet specific program and general education grade requirements.  Grade amelioration is permitted only once in a student’s Vermont State University academic career. 

Fresh Start:

A Fresh Start allows students who meet the criteria below to petition to have all their grades below a C- from previous semesters excluded from their Vermont State University GPA.  There are two scenarios by which a student may apply for a Fresh Start:

  • Matriculated Vermont State University students who were previously enrolled and have been away for at least three years, and whose GPA is below a 2.0, and have returned and successfully completed at least 12 credits (all grades of C or better) are eligible to appeal for a Fresh Start.
  • Matriculated Vermont State University students who previously attended as dual enrollment high school students whose GPA is below a 2.0, and who have successfully completed at least 12 credits (all grades of C or better) after high school graduation, are also eligible to appeal for a Fresh Start. 

Students must apply for a Fresh Start, otherwise their previous grades will be calculated into their GPA. Regardless of whether grades are calculated into students’ GPAs, their previously earned credits will be counted towards total credits earned at Vermont State University.  Students should be aware that certain academic programs and requirements have specific grade requirements; students who are granted academic forgiveness may need to meet specific academic grade requirements. Students may not apply for both a Fresh Start and an amelioration during their Vermont State Colleges academic career.

Academic Integrity

At Vermont State University, we expect high standards of academic integrity from all community members as we engage in our academic work.  Academic integrity encompasses honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and the courage to act on these fundamental values (International Center for Academic Integrity [ICAI]. (2021). The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity. (3rd ed.).  Any student who fails to uphold these values may have sanctions imposed, including failure of assignments or courses, or dismissal from the University.  Examples of failure to uphold academic integrity may include using unauthorized aids or artificial intelligence systems, copying another person’s work on exams, quizzes, or assignments, or engaging in other forms of plagiarism.   To plagiarize is to take someone else’s words or ideas and pass them off as one’s own. The sharing of VTSU password and login credentials to misrepresent oneself in online learning is another violation of academic integrity.  Violations need not be intentional in nature.  All members of the VTSU community are expected to understand their responsibility to act with integrity and to seek assistance and/or clarity when uncertain.

Academic Standing, Probation & Dismissal

Related Policy: Vermont State Colleges Policy 111 Academic Data Management

Vermont State University calculates academic standing for matriculated students at the end of each fall and spring semester.  Good standing is defined as a 2.0 GPA, or a 1.75 GPA for students with fewer than 30 earned or GPA credits (whichever is higher).  Failure to maintain good academic standing may impact scholarship eligibility or have other financial aid implications.

Students are placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below good standing.  Students on academic probation may be restricted from participation in university sponsored activities, including athletics.  A student already on probation whose cumulative GPA remains below good standing is subject to dismissal.  A student with no previously earned credits who fails to achieve a grade point average of at least a .70 GPA in the first semester will be academically dismissed. 

Students who have been dismissed may appeal the dismissal decision.  Students who have been dismissed may reapply to Vermont State University after at least one semester away.  Students are not guaranteed readmission. 

Some VTSU academic programs have standards that exceed the minimum level required more generally by the University. In such cases, students may be dismissed from their respective degree programs even when they are otherwise in good academic standing.  Students may not be readmitted to their program even if they are readmitted to the University.  

Students who are academically dismissed from Vermont State University, and are looking to improve their GPA, may apply to take courses from the Community College of Vermont.  VTSU and CCV share an academic transcript and therefore course work taken at CCV will be calculated into the student’s GPA.

Course Add/Drop/Withdrawal

Vermont State University students register through our Self-Service tool found on our portal.  Course adds and drops are done through Self-Service. 

For courses that meet for the standard full-semester term the following policies apply:

Students may add full-semester courses through the first week of the semester without instructor permission; matriculated students may do so through Self- Service.  Students who add a course after the course has met for the first time are encouraged to contact the instructor immediately about any missed work.  After the add period (for standard full-semester courses - the first week of the semester), students may only add a course after obtaining the instructor’s permission. After week two of a standard full-semester course, the Dean of the School offering the course must approve any late adds. 

Students who drop a full-semester course within the first two weeks of classes will have the course removed from their transcript.  Students are encouraged to consult with their advisors regarding the ramifications of dropping courses.

Students who drop a full-semester course after the first two weeks, but before the 60% point of the semester (usually the 9th week in a 15-week semester), will be assigned a grade of “W” on their official transcript (aka course withdrawal). A “W” grade will not impact a student’s grade point average.  After the 60% point, the student may not drop the class and receives the grade earned at the end of the semester.  Students forced to drop or withdraw from courses due to circumstances beyond their control may petition for an exception to this policy.

For courses that do not meet for the standard term duration, the following formula-based add/drop calculation is utilized:

Course duration is the number of calendar days between the start and end date of the section.

The Add period is 6% of course duration.  The instructor’s permission is required to add after the 6% mark.  The Dean of the School offering the course must approve an add after 13% of the course duration.

The Drop period is 60% of course duration.

A grade of W (aka course withdrawal) is assigned after 13% of the course duration. If a student drops all enrolled courses for a term, the student will be considered as having fully withdrawn from the University (see Withdrawing from the University).

Appeals of Academic Policies

Students may appeal actions and decisions involving academic policies where they allege unfair and/or wrongful treatment or procedural errors.  A student who wishes to submit an appeal or report an academic incident related to the academic policies listed in this catalog may do so by completing the Academic Appeal form.  In cases where appeals are decided on by governing bodies other than the Provost, students may request review by the Provost.  In all cases, the decision of the Provost will be final.

Application for Award of Degree

VTSU students will track progress towards meeting their degree requirements through Self Service located on the University portal.  To assist students and their advisors, the Registrar’s Office will review a degree audit for each matriculated student after they submit a graduation application in Self Service. Students should regularly review their degree audits with their advisor and report any discrepancies to the Registrar’s Office.  The final responsibility for fulfilling the requirements for any degree granted by Vermont State University rests with the student.

Graduation application deadlines are as follows:

  • For May graduates, May 1 of the year before the intended graduation date. 
  • For August graduates, August 1 of the year before the intended graduation date.
  • For December graduates, December 1 of the year before the intended graduation date. 

Applications for graduation are made for a specific degree or degrees with specific major(s), minor(s) and/or concentrations in a specific catalog year. The degree audit is based upon that application only, and any changes to the declared degree program(s) may result in a delayed graduation date.

Attendance and Participation in Courses

At Vermont State University, we believe class attendance and participation are vital to student success, and therefore we expect students to attend all scheduled classes and participate in class activities.  In addition, federal financial aid regulations require that students regularly attend classes and participate in academically related activities.  Vermont State University faculty will develop attendance and/or participation expectations for each course, including online courses, that are aligned with the University’s attendance policy, and those expectations will be included in course syllabi.  Unless otherwise noted, a number of absences in the semester greater than the number of class meetings per week might be considered problematic or excessive, and missing course content due to absences, lateness, early departures, or lack of participation may jeopardize a student’s ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.  In the case of excessive absences or lack of participation, and upon the recommendation of the instructor, a student may be dismissed from the course with a failing grade.  Any time a student misses a class, or other scheduled academic event, or fails to participate according to expectations in an online course, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor and to make satisfactory arrangements for any make-up work.  Students who are aware they will miss a class ahead of time should inform the instructor in advance.  Students missing classes to participate in official University-sponsored activities may warrant special consideration. Making up missed work may be possible at the discretion of the instructor.

To ensure accurate attendance data for federal reporting purposes and student retention efforts, faculty members are encouraged to record attendance within 24 hours of a given class meeting or, for online classes, within a given class week.

Auditing Course Sections

Related Policy: Vermont State Colleges Policy 111 Academic Data Management and Vermont State Colleges Policy 417 Tuition Discount for Students Aged 65 and Over

Students may audit a course section with the approval of the course instructor.  Those auditing a course are not required to take examinations or prepare assignments, and no grade or credit is conferred.  After the add period, no change will be made either to allow credit for a course audited, or to change a regular course to the status of an audited course.  No credit or grades are assigned for auditing courses. For additional information, refer to the policy on grading.

For the financial implications of auditing a course, please see the section on Tuition and Fees.

Class Standing/Membership

Students are classified for academic class standing/membership based on cumulative credits earned according to the following schedule: 0-29.9 First Year, 30-59.9 Sophomore, 60-89.9 Junior, 90 or more Senior.

Academic Status of Returning Service Members after Active Duty Deployment

Service members returning from a leave of absence due to active duty deployment will retain their academic standing and may continue their education where they left off if they return to Vermont State University within the terms of the official leave of absence. The university will make reasonable efforts to accommodate students in programs that have quotas, are being phased out, or have been dropped from the curriculum. Students on extended leave may encounter difficulty when program course changes have been made. The student retains the right to use either the degree requirements in the catalog in effect at the time of admission or the degree requirements of any other catalog published during the period of active enrollment.

Course Substitution, Waiver and Assessment of Prior Learning

Related Policy: Vermont State Colleges Policy 110 Course Challenge

Vermont State University recognizes that our students come to us with a variety of educational backgrounds and life experiences.  To value those experiences, VTSU offers students the following options to petition to receive credits towards their selected degree programs, or be exempt from requirements, based on the students’ previous experience and/or education:

Course Substitution

A course substitution request is appropriate when the student has earned college credit for a different course which may be an appropriate substitution. Course substitution requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  To request a course substitution, a student must submit the Academic Requirement Petition form. 

Course Waiver

A student may request to have a specific course waived when they feel they have acquired the knowledge, skills, or expertise covered in the course through life experience.  If approved, the requirement would be waived, but no credit would be awarded.  To request a course waiver, a student must submit the Academic Requirement Petition form.

Course Challenge Exams

Qualified students have the opportunity through course challenge exams to be awarded up to 12 credits toward a degree program for learning acquired outside the college classroom through life experience or achievement.  Students who wish to challenge specific courses required for their degree program may do so by submitting the Course Challenge form.  Not all courses may be challenged, challenges may require Department Chair or Dean approval, and credit will only be awarded upon successful completion of the exam.  Awarded credits are ungraded credits on the VTSU transcript. Please see the tuition and fees section of the catalog for the course challenge fee.

Assessment of Prior Learning

The Course Challenge process is not designed to replace the Vermont State College’s Assessment of Prior Learning program.  Generally, students who have a significant amount of prior experiential learning and/ or who are unsure of their degree plans should be advised into the Assessment of Prior Learning program.  In cooperation with the Office of Prior Learning Assessment of the Vermont State College System, VTSU awards credit for demonstrated competency from prior learning and life experience. Students enroll in an Assessment of Prior Learning portfolio course where they demonstrate previous learning acquired on the job, in the military, through volunteering, or self-study.  Assessment of Prior learning transcripts are evaluated by VTSU for applicability toward degree requirements. The maximum credit awarded will depend on the portfolio course selected, and the individual student’s program.

Dean’s and President’s Lists

Vermont State University calculates Dean’s and President’s honors for matriculated students at the end of each fall and spring semester. Students who complete 12 or more Vermont State College (VSC) letter graded credits in a single semester and who have no Incomplete, NP, NG, F, or blank grades are eligible under the following standards:

  • Students who achieve a 4.00 semester average will be placed on the President’s List.
  • Students who achieve a semester average greater than 3.50 and less than 4.00 will be placed on the Dean’s List.

Full-time nursing students are eligible for term honors while enrolled in a non-graded clinical course.

Degree Requirements and Commencement Participation

Requirements for a Baccalaureate Degree:

  • Completion of at least 120 credit hours of work at the 1000 level or above.
    • Certain programs require more than 120 credits.
  • Achievement of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
  • Completion of the bachelor-level Connections General Education Program.
  • Completion of all course work in the major.
  • At least 30 credits, including substantial advanced work in the major or concentration, applying toward the degree must be earned from Vermont State University or earned previously at Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, or Vermont Technical College.

Requirements for an Associate degree:

  • Completion of at least 60 credit hours of course work at the 1000 level or above.
    • Certain programs require more than 60 credits.
  • Achievement of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
  • Completion of the associate-level Connections General Education Program.
  • At least 15 credits applying toward the degree must be earned from Vermont State University or earned previously at Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, or Vermont Technical College.

Requirements for Earning a Second Degree

A Second Baccalaureate Degree:

Students who already hold a baccalaureate degree may earn a second degree by completing the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least an additional 30 credits through Vermont State University.
  • Completion of the requirements of a major unique from the first baccalaureate degree major.
  • Achievement of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.

Note that requirements for double majors also may apply.

A Second Associate Degree:

Students who already hold an associate degree may earn a second degree by completing the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least an additional 15 credits at Vermont State University.
  • Completion of the requirements of a major unique from the major of the first associate degree.
  • Achievement of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.

Note that requirements for double majors also may apply.

Requirements for a Double Major:

Students wishing to earn a degree with a double major must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of degree requirements as listed.
  • Completion of the requirements of two majors.
  • For baccalaureate degrees, at least 30 of the credits used to complete each major must be in courses not used to meet the requirements in the other major.
  • For associate degrees, at least 15 of the credits used to complete each major must be in courses not used to meet the requirements in the other major.

Requirements for Academic Minors:

An academic minor consists of a minimum of 18 credits in a discipline or field, at least six of which are at the 3000/4000 level.  In general, students may not use the same courses used to satisfy requirements in a major to also satisfy requirements in a minor.  Any questions should be referred to the department chair of the department sponsoring the minor.

Participation in Commencement:

Undergraduate students who meet the following requirements may participate in the graduation ceremony:

  • Matriculated students who have successfully completed all graduation requirements, and
  • Matriculated students who have successfully completed all graduation procedures by the appropriate deadline.

Students who do not meet the above requirements may petition to walk in the graduation ceremony under certain conditions:

  • Students needing seven credits or fewer, or
  • Students who are within two courses of successfully completing all graduation requirements.

A petition to the Provost (or designee) for permission to participate in the graduation ceremony must be accompanied by an academic plan (approved by the student’s academic advisor) to complete the remaining credits. Petitions are due no later than April 1st.


Related Policy: VSCS Policy 111 Academic Data Management

Vermont State University undergraduate grade scheme is as follows: 

Grade Point Value Credit Earned P/NP Equivalent
A+ 4.00 Y P
A 4.00 Y P
A- 3.70 Y P
B+ 3.30 Y P
B 3.00 Y P
B- 2.70 Y P
C+ 2.30 Y P
C 2.00 Y P
C- 1.70 Y P
D+ 1.30 Y P
D 1.00 Y P
D- 0.70 Y P
F 0.00 Y NP

Vermont State University transcript notations for undergraduate student work receiving other than letter grades:

Grade Legend Point Value Credit Earned
P Pass 0.00 Y
NP No Pass 0.00 N
AU Audit 0.00 N
TR Transfer Credit 0.00 Y
CR Credit Granted, Non-Course Work 0.00 Y
I Incomplete 0.00 N
NG No grade has yet been submitted 0.00 N
W Withdrawn 0.00 N

Some programs, including those leading to licensure, as well as prerequisite courses may require a higher minimum passing grade. Please consult with your academic advisor for individual program and course requirements.

Vermont State University and the Community College of Vermont share a common transcript (including notations), grade scheme, and other academic policies.  These shared policies may be found here:  Vermont State Colleges Policy 111-Academic Data Management

Graduating with Distinction

Related Policy: Vermont State Colleges Policy 111 Academic Data Management

Bachelor and Associate degree graduates who have attained high academic standing receive degrees with one of three distinctions. The distinction is based on the student’s complete scholastic record within the Vermont State College System and is determined as follows:

Cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher: summa cum laude

Cumulative GPA of 3.7 to 3.89: magna cum laude

Cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 3.69: cum laude

Of the total credits required for graduation, at least 30 graded credits for a two-year degree and 60 graded credits for a four-year degree must be earned at the Vermont State Colleges to graduate with distinction.

For the May graduation ceremonies, Honors are tentative, and are recognized based on the number of credits completed and the GPA earned as of the end of the previous fall semester. Officially, and for the record on a student’s transcript, Honors are determined based on total number of undergraduate credits taken at Vermont State University and final GPA.

Graduation Honors for certificate programs require a final, cumulative GPA as follows: Honors, 3.00-3.49; High honors, 3.50 or above.

Other curricular awards are also presented at the close of the spring semester to graduating seniors in specific areas of study.


An instructor may assign a student a grade of Incomplete (I) if the student is unable to complete the work of the course for reasons beyond their control, provided the student’s work in the course is of satisfactory quality.  An Incomplete grade should only be considered when the student has completed a substantial portion of the work for the course.  The instructor issuing the Incomplete, in consultation with the student, shall specify the length of time for course completion, not exceeding the end of the seventh week of the following semester (excluding summer). The grade of ”I” will not be used in calculating the GPA. The final grade for the course is determined by the quality of the make-up work and the previously completed work. If the student fails to complete the assigned work, the instructor determines a default grade that is entered on the student’s transcript.  If the instructor does not specify a default grade, the grade may default to an “F” when the Incomplete grade expires.  Students who are not in good academic standing, or who are requesting more than two incomplete grades for the semester require additional approval from the Dean of School or designee.

If a grade change is received after the start of the next term, academic standing may be adjusted only if it improves standing (not to include being named to Dean’s or President’s List).  

Independent Study

Independent Study is designed to provide degree students with the opportunity to work individually with a faculty member in a subject area, or on a project, that is normally not available through regular course work.  Each student pursuing an Independent Study works under the direct and regular supervision of a faculty member.  The goals, objectives, and performance measures are defined in a formal contract between the faculty supervisor and the student, and approved by the sponsoring department and the Provost or his/her designee. Students receiving Veteran’s educational benefits must comply with specific VA regulations regarding independent studies. 

Effort should be consistent with the usual expectations of fifteen hours of class time and thirty hours of study time for each credit.

Independent Study is not used in place of existing courses, either those that are low-enrolled or those that a student needs to take outside of the typical offering cycle. In those instances, the University may decide to run those courses as tutorials.

Internships, Experiential Learning, and Cooperative Education

Recognizing the educational value of activities and studies other than traditional course work, Vermont State University provides opportunities for individualized learning through engaged learning opportunities that include, but are not limited to, internships, student teaching, job shadowing, field experience, research studies, and co-op experiences.  Experiential learning provides positions of responsibility for the student in a professional environment under the supervision of an on-site professional and a faculty member.  Students engage in experiential learning in diverse settings including social service agencies, local newspapers, ski areas, and radio and television stations.  Through experiential learning, students are introduced to opportunities, duties and responsibilities in their desired career areas. In some cases, students are paid by the employer for the work experience.

As experiential learning and internships involve a relationship between the student, the University, and the host organization, University-developed forms will be signed by the appropriate parties.

The department awarding credit determines specific prerequisites for the experience.  Experiential learning courses may be taken on a pass/no pass or for grade option, depending upon the department requirements.

Minimum qualifications for a student to complete an internship or experiential learning opportunity are as follows:

  • 12 credits completed within the VSTU or sophomore standing
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Must be enrolled in a degree program

Some departments have additional requirements (such as completion of specialized courses or the General Education Core Curriculum).  Some academic programs, specifically those with external accreditors, may have additional or alternate requirements and procedures.

Experiential learning courses are measured in credit hours.  A minimum of 45 hours of approved work experience, plus documentation and evaluation of learning by the student, are required for each credit hour granted for an internship and cooperative education experience.  An example of hours and credit counts follows:

  • 37.5 hours per week for 14 weeks = 12 credits
  • 19 hours per week for 14 weeks= 6 credits
  • 90 hours = 2 credits
  • 45 hours = 1 credit
  • Hours for internships worth more than twelve credits are determined by arrangement

Length of Time for Degree Completion

Students are expected to finish their degree programs with continuous enrollment in the specified number of terms outlined in the curriculum for their programs.  Students who leave the University for a full term are assigned the requirements for the catalog that is in effect for the year of their return.  These students are expected to meet any new requirements for that catalog year unless the sponsoring department approves an earlier catalog year.  Each student operates under degree requirements in effect at the time of initial acceptance as a degree candidate.  If, after two years for a certificate, four years for an associate degree, or six years for a bachelor’s degree, the graduation requirements have not been met, the student must satisfy the requirements in effect during the student’s year of graduation.

A student participating in a University-sponsored part-time degree program has two years from the conclusion of the last scheduled course in the sponsored program to complete the degree requirements. After this time, if the degree requirements haven’t been met, the student must satisfy the graduation requirements in effect during the student’s year of graduation.

Exceptions to this policy may be approved by the program director or department chair, and the Dean of the School.

Non-Degree Students

Related Policy: Vermont State Colleges Policy 417 Tuition Discount for Students Age 65 and Over

Non-degree students are students who wish to take one or more undergraduate course(s) at Vermont State University but who are not formally admitted as matriculated students.  To be eligible to enroll in courses as a non-degree student, students must have a high school diploma or a GED, unless they have been approved to take courses through one of Vermont State University’s Dual Enrollment or Early College programs.

A student who wishes to enroll as a non-degree student should contact the Admissions Office to start the registration process.  Qualified non-degree students may enroll in all courses listed in the catalog, if space is available and if requisites have been met or waived by the instructor.

To understand the financial implications of taking a course as a non-degree student, please see sections on Financial Aid and Tuition and Fees.

Pass/No Pass Option

Unless specified in the catalog or course listing, courses are offered as graded only.

Departments may designate a course as being (a) graded only, (b) pass/no pass only, (c) student option to be taken either on a regular graded basis or as a pass/no pass course.  The purpose of this option is to encourage students to explore stimulating or intellectually challenging courses that they might otherwise bypass.  The option provides latitude for such exploration without the penalty of a lowered GPA if performance is below normal.  Some programs may not allow Pass grades to fulfill requirements; students should verify that their program will accept P/NP courses before registration.  Students may not choose the pass/no pass option for classes that will fulfill General Education requirements.  Internships may be approved as P/NP or for a letter-grade.

Credit is received for P grades, but the grades do not affect the student’s grade point average. Failing work is recorded as NP (No Pass). NP grades do not earn credit nor does the grade affect the student’s grade point average.

Changes in the grade option may be made only during registration and will not be permitted after the add period for the course.

Note: Some institutions and graduate programs do not accept credit for courses taken pass/no pass.

Registration in Course Sections

Students must properly register for each of their courses in order to receive academic credit for work completed.  Class attendance does not in itself signify registration.  All students who attend classes on campus, or who reside on campus, must meet state immunization requirements.  All students must be financially cleared by student administrative services (see Tuition and Fees section for details) in order to register for classes.

Students will be informed of registration processes including dates and deadlines prior to each registration cycle.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat a course* two times without advisor’s permission, for an improved grade by registering for the course again.  When a course has been repeated within the Vermont State College System (VSCS), the initial grade remains on the transcript, but any quality points and credits awarded are taken out of the student’s cumulative GPA.  The most recent grade will be the only one computed in the student’s cumulative average.  Credit for the course may be earned only once.  If the credit value of the course has changed, the repeated course is worth the new credit value.  When repeating a course at another institution outside of the VSCS, the initial grade remains on the transcript and is still counted in the student’s cumulative GPA.  The grade from the repeated course being transferred to Vermont State University will display as transfer credit and may fulfill degree requirements but will not be counted in the student’s cumulative VSCS GPA.  Students may request to use the Pass/No Pass option (for Pass/No Pass eligible courses) when registering for a repeat course; however, there may be program requirements only satisfied by a letter grade. Grades of P/NP will have no impact on the student’s GPA.   Some programs may have more stringent course repeat policies.

*Some courses may be taken multiple times for credit, as indicated in the Course Descriptions section of the catalog.

Residency Requirement and Matriculation

A matriculated student is one who has applied to Vermont State University, been officially accepted into an academic program, and is either currently enrolled or on an approved break in enrollment. All matriculated students have a minimum number of credit hours that must be taken at the University in order to be considered a degree candidate.

For a baccalaureate degree, at least 30 credits, including substantial advanced work in the major or concentration, must be taken at Vermont State University.  For an associate degree, at least 15 credits must be taken at Vermont State University.

Semester and Cumulative Grade-Point Averages

Grades are indicated by letters with a designated quality point value assigned to each as follows:

Grade = Quality Point Value

A+ = 4.0

A = 4.0

A- = 3.7

B+ = 3.3

B = 3.0

B- = 2.7

C+ = 2.3

C  = 2.0

C- = 1.7

D+ = 1.3

D = 1.0

D- = 0.7

F = 0.0

A cumulative quality point average (or cumulative GPA) is a calculation of the average of all grades and all completed credits for all semesters.  The semester quality point average (or semester GPA) refers to the average of all credits and all semester hours for only one specific semester.

A student’s semester grade point average (GPA) can be calculated by assigning a numerical value to the grade, multiplying that value by the number of credits taken for that course, and dividing the total from all the courses by the total credits attempted (pass/no pass and incomplete courses are excluded.) For example, B+ = 3.3 x 3 credits = 9.9, B- = 2.7 x 2 credits = 5.4. 9.9 + 5.4 = 15.3÷5 credits = 3.06 (GPA).

The semester grade-point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total letter-graded credit hours attempted during the semester into the total quality points earned during the semester. The cumulative grade-point average is calculated by dividing the total letter-graded credit hours attempted into the total quality points earned.

Special Topics Courses

Academic departments may choose to offer special topics courses to provide curricular enrichment opportunities for students.  Course topics may only be offered twice before the department must submit the course for permanent catalog approval.  Courses may be offered under any existing prefix and be offered at the appropriate undergraduate academic level: 1000, 2000, 3000, or 4000.  These courses are eligible to be repeated for credit when a new topic is offered.  The specific topic will be published on the semester course schedule.  A course outline must be submitted by the offering department and maintained for record keeping purposes.

Transcript of Academic Work

Related Policy: Vermont State Colleges Policy 111 Academic Data Management

As of July 1, 2023, Castleton University (CU), Northern Vermont University (NVU), and Vermont Technical College (VTC) unified to become Vermont State University.  These three institutions, along with the Community College of Vermont (CCV), comprise the Vermont State College System and have shared an academic transcript since 2002.  Coursework from CU, NVU (including Lyndon State College and Johnson State College), VTC and CCV (from 2002 on) will be represented on the Vermont State University transcript.  Vermont State University will continue to house the transcripts of Castleton University, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College.

Transfer Credit and Other Forms of External Credit

Related Policies: Vermont State Colleges Policy 108 Transfer of Credit, Vermont State Colleges Policy 111 Academic Management Policy and Vermont State Colleges Policy 106 General Education

Students must request official transcript(s) be sent to Vermont State University for transfer evaluation.  Currently enrolled Vermont State University students are required to obtain approval prior to taking courses for which they are seeking transfer credit unless they are taking courses at the Community College of Vermont (CCV).  Courses taken at CCV are not considered transfer credit.

Vermont State University will accept credit from other colleges and universities under the following conditions:

  • An official transcript is provided from the institution that granted the credit.
  • Credit from regionally accredited, or U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, will be accepted if grades are C- or better.  Grades of “P” will not be accepted unless the institution’s transcript key clearly indicates the corresponding letter grade range.  Some academic programs have higher minimum grade requirements which may impact the transferability of courses.
  • Transfer credit will be accepted up to 90 credits for baccalaureate level programs, and up to 45 credits for associate degree programs.
  • In a sequence of inter-related courses, if the first course is passed with a grade below C- but the second grade is C- or higher, both courses will be accepted.  Some academic programs have higher minimum grade requirements which may impact the transferability of courses.
  • Credits applied to a previously earned degree will be accepted as transfer credit.
  • Consortium agreements, contractual agreements, and specific program requirements may specify transfer arrangements which supersede the criteria listed above. 
  • Students may need to have an evaluation completed by an approved international credit evaluation service when the courses were completed at an institution outside the United States.

While earned grades are used in determining transferability of credits, grades received from outside institutions are not included in the calculation of a student’s GPACCV grades are included in the calculation of a student’s GPA at VTSU.

While credits may be accepted toward overall credit requirements, the extent to which transfer credits fulfill specific major or program requirements will depend on the courses taken and their applicability to VTSU’s requirements.

Courses for which transfer credit is granted cannot be repeated for credit.

Students will be considered to have fulfilled the entire general education curriculum, including VSC Graduation Standards, at Vermont State University if they transfer from another accredited institution with a baccalaureate degree.  Students who transfer to Vermont State University having completed an associate degree that includes an intermediate writing course will not be required to take Connections Seminar 2.  Courses will be transferred in to meet the appropriate general education breadth categories, but students should be aware that many programs, including most of VTSU’s technical programs, require specific general education courses to meet program prerequisites or requirements.

Vermont State University accepts all general education credits and associate’s level VSCS graduation standards from the Community College of Vermont.  Students who have completed an associate degree at the Community College of Vermont will have completed all associate level general education requirements at VTSU.  Students transferring from the Community College of Vermont with 30 credits or more and who have previously completed an intermediate writing course would also be exempt from Connections Seminar 2.

Vermont State University awards advanced standing and/or academic credit to qualified students who have successfully completed certain nationally recognized examinations.  These include the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Programs (CLEP), the U.S. military’s DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) Program, and other examinations.

Vermont State University and Community College of Vermont Cross Enrollment

The Vermont State University and Community College of Vermont Consortium agreement enables students in degree or certificate programs at one institution to enroll in courses at the other institution. The agreement outlines the impact on registration, billing, financial aid procedures as well as academic policy considerations.  Students may enroll exclusively with the other institution for a maximum of two semesters while maintaining an active program at their home school.

Withdrawing/Approved Break in Enrollment from the University

A student voluntarily exiting from the University must do so formally by completing a Student Exit Form.

Transcripts for students who exit the University will reflect courses and grades consistent with the Course Add/Drop/Withdrawal Policy.  Students who exit the University after the 60% point of their term of enrollment will receive earned grades for their courses.  A student who stops attending classes after the drop period, and doesn’t inform the college, will receive earned grades for their courses.

Approved Break in Enrollment

Students are expected to be enrolled for at least one course per semester (excluding summer semester) to maintain active enrollment status.  Students who do not re-enroll for a subsequent term are required to reapply to the University for admission.  Students who have voluntarily exited the University and have completed the Student Exit Form may return to the University, under their catalog year requirements, after a break in enrollment and are not required to go back through admissions under the following conditions:

  • Student left in good academic standing
  • Student had earned VTSU credits prior to exiting
  • Student re-enrolls within one year from the time of exit
  • Student is returning under the same program
  • Student is not enrolled in a program requiring readmission

Students wishing to return from an approved break should contact their academic advisor.

In extenuating circumstance, students may be eligible for an approved Medical Leave from the university.  Students should contact the School Dean for information regarding a Medical Leave.

Students who withdraw from the University and who are not on an approved break in enrollment may reapply by submitting a formal application with the Admissions Office when they are ready to return.

Military Active Duty Deployment

If a student enlisted in the armed forces is called up to active duty during the semester, he or she must provide an Associate Academic Dean with a copy of the official orders and-if possible-an indication of the length of the tour. At that point, the student is withdrawn effective to the beginning of the semester; the student’s semester charges are adjusted to zero, any financial aid is returned to the source, and the student is fully refunded any personal payments made to the University.

Exception: If the deployment takes place in the final two weeks of the semester, the student has the option to discuss with his or her professors the possibility of being given a grade of “Incomplete” and an extension to finish the course work.  In this case, there is no need for financial adjustments.