Standards Impacting Academic Performance and Progress



This section defines a number of standards according to which students’ academic performance and progress are measured. Students need to be familiar with these standards and keep them in mind as they review the degree requirements and policies outlined in the catalog.

Standards Impacting Academic Performance and Progress

Semester Hours

A semester hour is the University’s unit of academic credit. During the fall and spring semesters, a University semester hour represents one classroom period of fifty minutes weekly for one semester in lecture or discussion or a longer period of time in laboratory, studio, or other work. For example, a three-semester-hour lecture/discussion course could meet 3 times a week for 50 minutes each period or 2 times a week for 75 minutes each period. In either case, a student attends the lecture/discussion course for an equivalent amount of time each week during a 15-week semester. A minimum of two 50-minute periods each week per credit hour is required for lab, practicum, or clinical activity. It is expected that students will spend at least the equivalent of two classroom periods of outside preparation for one classroom period per week of lecture or discussion. Those courses in which semester hours exceed contact hours may require additional readings, assigned papers, or other course work.

To convert semester hours to quarter hours multiply by 1.5; to convert quarter hours to semester hours multiply by 2/3. For example, 30 semester hours are equivalent to 45 quarter hours.

Class Standing

The number of semester hours earned by the student determines class standing within the University.

Semester Hours Earned Class Standing
1–29 Freshman standing
30–59 Sophomore standing
60–89 Junior standing
90 and above Senior standing

The University may use class standing to determine a student’s eligibility for receiving certain kinds of financial aid and scholarships, applying for some degree programs, enrolling in particular courses, and evaluating progress.

Credit by Examination
Students may establish credit toward an undergraduate degree through the following examinations:

  • ACT English/SAT Verbal
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Proficiency Examinations for Enrolled Students

Students must submit official grade reports/examination results to the Office of Admissions before credit can be awarded. UIC will not award transfer course credit based on another institution’s evaluation of test results.

ACT English/SAT Verbal

UIC will award three hours of passing credit for ENGL 160 for an ACT English subscore of 27 or more or an SAT Verbal score of 610 or more.

Advanced Placement (AP)

UIC will award credit on the basis of scores earned on the Advanced Placement Examinations administered by the College Board as indicated below:

Exam Score Course Equivalent
Art History 4–5 AH 110 (4 hours)
  AH 111 (4 hours)
Biology 4–5 BIOS 100 (5 hours)
  BIOS 101 (5 hours)
Calculus AB 3–5 MATH 180 (5 hours)
Calculus BC 2 MATH 180 (5 hours)
3–5 MATH 180 (5 hours)
  MATH 181 (5 hours)
Chemistry 4–5 CHEM 112 (5 hours)
  CHEM 114 (5 hours)
Chinese Language & Culture 3 CHIN 103 (4 hours)
4–5 CHIN 103 (4 hours)
  CHIN 104 (4 hours)
Computer Science A 4–5 MCS 260 (4 hours)
English Language & Composition 4–5 ENGL 160 (3 hours)
English Literature & Composition 4–5 ENGL 101 (3 hours)
Environmental Science 4–5 EAES 101 (4 hours)
European History 4–5 6 hours of History
French Language 3 FR 103 (4 hours)
4–5 FR 103 (4 hours)
  FR 104 (4 hours)
German Language 3 GER 103 (4 hours)
4–5 GER 103 (4 hours)
  GER 104 (4 hours)
Government & Politics: Comparative 4–5 POLS 130 (3 hours)
Government & Politics: U.S. 4–5 POLS 101 (3 hours)
Italian Language & Culture 5 ITAL 103 (4 hours)
  ITAL 104 (4 hours)
Japanese Language & Culture 3 JPN 104 (4 hours)
4–5 JPN 104 (4 hours)
  JPN 200 (3 hours)
Latin: Vergil 3–5 LAT 299 (3 hours)
Macroeconomics 4–5 ECON 121 (3 hours)
Microeconomics 4–5 ECON 120 (3 hours)
Music Theory 3–5 MUS 101 (3 hours)
  MUS 102 (3 hours)
  MUS 103 (1 hour)
  MUS 104 (1 hour)
Physics B 4–5 PHYS 105 (4 hours)
  PHYS 106 (1 hour)
  PHYS 107 (4 hours)
  PHYS 108 (1 hour)
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism 4–5 PHYS 142 (4 hours)
Physics C: Mechanics 4–5 PHYS 141 (4 hours)
Psychology 4–5 PSCH 100 (4 hours)
Spanish Language 4 SPAN 104 (4 hours)
5 SPAN 104 (4 hours)
  SPAN 202 (3 hours)
Spanish Literature 4 SPAN 202 (3 hours)
5 SPAN 202 (3 hours)
  SPAN 203 (3 hours)
Statistics Credit awarded varies by college
United States History 4–5 HIST 103 (3 hours)
  HIST 104 (3 hours)
World History 4–5 HIST 100 (3 hours)
  HIST 101 (3 hours)

International Baccalaureate Exams (IB)

UIC will award credit on the basis of scores earned on the International Baccalaureate examinations as indicated below:

Exam Score Course Equivalent
Higher or Subsidiary Level 6–7 ANTH 103 (4 hours)
Biological Science:    
Higher Level 6–7 BIOS 100 (5 hours)
    BIOS 101 (5 hours)
Higher Level 6–7 CHEM 112 (5 hours)
    CHEM 114 (5 hours)
Higher Level 6–7 LAT 101 (4 hours)
    LAT 102 (4 hours)
    LAT 103 (4 hours)
    LAT 104 (4 hours)
    LAT 299 (3 hours)
Subsidiary Level 6–7 LAT 101 (4 hours)
    LAT 102 (4 hours)
    LAT 103 (4 hours)
    LAT 104 (4 hours)
Higher Level 6–7 ECON 120 (3 hours)
    ECON 121 (3 hours)
Higher or Subidiary Level 6–7 ENGL 101 (3 hours)
French Lang B:    
Higher or Subsidiary Level 5–7 FR 200 (3 hours)
    FR 231 (3 hours)
Higher Level 6–7 GEOG 101 (3 hours)
    GEOG 151 (4 hours)
Subsidiary Level 6–7 GEOG 100 (3 hours)
    GEOG 141 (3 hours)
Higher or Subsidiary Level 4–5 GER 211 (3 hours)
  6–7 GER 211 (3 hours)
    GER 318 (3 hours)
Higher Level 6–7 HIST 101 (3 hours)
    HIST 103 (3 hours)
    HIST 104 (3 hours)
Higher Level 5–7 MUS 100 (3 hours)
    MUS 101 (3 hours)
    MUS 103 (1 hour)
    MUS 107 (3 hours)
Subsidiary Level Option X 5–7 MUS 100 (3 hours)
    MUS 103 (1 hour)
    MUS 107 (3 hours)
Subsidiary Level Option Y 5–7 MUS 100 (3 hours)
    MUS 101 (3 hours)
    MUS 107 (3 hours)
Higher Level 6–7 PHIL 100 (3 hours)
Higher Level 5–7 PHYS 141 (4 hours)
    PHYS 142 (4 hours)
Subsidiary Level 5–7 PHYS 121 (4 hours)
Higher or Subsidiary Level 5–7 PSCH 100 (4 hours)
Spanish A:    
Higher Level 6–7 SPAN 202 (3 hours)
    SPAN 203 (3 hours)
Spanish B:    
Higher Level 6–7 SPAN 202 (3 hours)

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

UIC may award credit on the basis of scores earned on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit on the basis of CLEP examination scores may be applied toward degree requirements.

Examinations may provide credit if approved by the appropriate college and department. Prior written approval from the college and, where appropriate, the relevant department is required. Individual colleges may limit credit allowed. Students should consult their college and/or department for permission and required scores before taking any CLEP examination.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires a minimum score of 65 for all examinations.

CLEP tests are administered on campus by the Office of Testing Services. For further information on CLEP examinations, call the UIC Testing Services at (312) 996-3477.

Proficiency Examinations for Enrolled Students

Proficiency examinations may be offered in some subjects. Students should consult with the department to determine which examinations are offered. Before taking any proficiency examination, the student must obtain the consent of the college dean as well as the head or chairperson of the department concerned. Proficiency examinations in foreign languages are restricted to post-intermediate levels. No proficiency examinations are given at the introductory or intermediate levels of a foreign language.

Proficiency examinations in more advanced undergraduate subjects may also be given if the head or chairperson of the department recommends and the dean of the college concerned approves it. There is no fee for these examinations.

The grade given in proficiency examinations is either “pass” or “fail” but a student does not receive a “pass” unless at least the equivalent of a C is earned. Neither grade is included in the computation of the student’s average; no official record is made of a “fail.”

A student who passes a proficiency examination is given the amount of credit toward graduation regularly allowed in the course if the course is acceptable in the curriculum. However, if such credit duplicates credit counted for admission to the University, it is not given.

Proficiency examinations are given only to:

  1. Persons who are in residence at UIC.
  2. Persons who, after having been in residence, are currently registered in a Guided Individual Study course at the University of Illinois.
  3. Persons who, though not currently enrolled, are degree candidates at the University and need no more than 10 semester hours to complete their degree requirements.
  4. Persons enrolled at one University of Illinois campus who wish to take an examination being given at another campus. They must secure an Application for Concurrent Registration from the Office of Records and Registration.

Proficiency examinations may not be taken:

  1. By students who have received credit for more than one term of work in the subject in advance of the course in which the examination is requested.
  2. To raise grades or to improve failures in courses.
  3. In a course the student has attended as a listener or as a visitor.

Credit earned through proficiency examinations neither applies toward nor interrupts the enrollment residence requirement. See Enrollment Residence Requirement in the University Degree Requirements, Graduation, and Commencement section of the catalog.

Grading and the Grade Point System

Effective Fall 2004, UIC adopted a 4.00 grade point system, where 4.00 = A. See chart below:

Grades Equivalent Grade Points per Hour
A Excellent 4
B Good 3
C Average 2
D Poor but passing 1
F Failure 0



The following symbols are used in grading, but are not included in computation of the grade point average.

W Withdrawn. Withdrawn from the course without penalty (no grade).
DFR Deferred. Grade deferred (graduate courses, independent study courses, and certain study abroad courses only).
S/U Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Used in graduate thesis research courses, graduate courses given for zero credit, and some undergraduate courses for which this grade is specifically approved.
S* Satisfactory. Credit earned does not apply toward earned hours or graduation.
CR/NC Credit/No Credit. Used only in courses taken under credit/no credit option. See Credit/No Credit heading in this section of the catalog.
NR Not Recorded. Not recorded grade. The symbol is automatically generated when, for a variety of reasons, no grade is submitted by the instructor.
I Incomplete. Course work is incomplete when a student fails to submit all required assignments or is absent from the final examination. Incomplete course work will normally result in a failing grade if it is not completed within the designated time limit. The I may be assigned in lieu of a grade only when all of the following conditions are met: (a) the student has been making satisfactory progress in the course; (b) the student is unable to complete all course work due to unusual circumstances that are beyond personal control and are acceptable to the instructor; and (c) the student presents these reasons prior to the time the final grade roster is due.

The instructor must submit an Incomplete Grade Assignment report when entering final grades for the I to be recorded. This report is a contract for the student to complete the course work with that instructor or one designated by the department executive officer in the way described and by a time indicated on the report. In resolving the I, the student may not register for the course a second time, but must follow the procedures detailed on the report.

An I must be removed within one calendar year subsequent to the incurrence of the I. When the student submits the course work, the instructor will grade it and change the I to the appropriate grade.

If an undergraduate student fails to meet the stated conditions, an F will be assigned for the final grade.
PS Pass is used for proficiency and special examinations.
F Failure

Credit/No Credit Option

Students may elect to take a course under the credit/no credit option according to the following provisions:

  1. The student must be in good standing as defined by the chosen college.
  2. A maximum of 21 semester hours of credit may be earned at UIC under the credit/no credit option. If a student withdraws from a credit/no credit course before the end of the last day of instruction in the sixth week of the term, the credit hours the course carries will not count toward the total of 21 authorized.
  3. No more than one course per term may be taken under this option.
  4. This option may not be used in any course required for the major, including prerequisite and collateral courses.a
  5. The option may not be used for English 160 and 161.
  6. The credit/no credit option in a course must be elected by the end of the tenth day of instruction of the term.
  7. The credit/no credit option in a course cannot be revoked after the close of the tenth day of instruction in the term.
  8. A college or school may by action of its faculty institute a more restrictive policy for any or all of the above provisions.
  9. Instructors are not informed that the option has been elected but assign a letter grade in the usual manner. The Office of Admissions and Records retains a record of that letter grade in the student records system, but it is not entered on the student transcript, except as hereafter provided.
  10. For courses taken under the credit/no credit option, a grade of CR is recorded on the transcript if a letter grade of A, B, C, or D is earned. If the letter grade F is assigned, an NC is entered on the transcript. Grades of I and DFR are replaced by CR or NC upon completion of the courses or converted to NC if the course completion deadline for an I is not met.
  11. The grades of CR and NC are not used in the computation of the GPA.
  12. Grades of CR and NC are final and cannot be reconverted to letter grades, except under the following circumstances. If, during the student’s final term prior to graduation, it is found that one or more of the courses needed to satisfy major field requirements were completed under the credit/no credit option at UIC (prior to the declaration of the major or prior to intercollegiate or intercurricular transfer), the student may elect that a sufficient number of CR grades be replaced by the originally assigned letter grades to meet major requirements. Only the minimum number of reconversions will be made. If such a minimum can be met by more than one selection of reconversions, the student may indicate a preference. This same policy applies in the case of any additional restrictions instituted by a college or school under Provision 8.
  13. Students must apply at their college office no later than the tenth day of the term (first Wednesday of Summer Session 1 or first Friday of Summer Session 2) to have a course designated for credit/no credit grading option.

a Collateral courses are those courses taken outside the major department that are essential to the major and are defined as such by each college.

Calculating the Grade Point Average (GPA)

Take the grades for each course taken and determine the grade points per hour: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0.

  • Multiply the grade points per hour for each course by the number of semester hours for the course to get the grade points for each course.
  • Add the grade points for each course to get the total number of grade points for the semester.
  • Add the semester hours taken for each course to get the total number of semester hours.
  • Divide total number of grade points for the semester by the total number of semester hours taken.

The following example illustrates how to calculate the GPA.

Grade Points/ Hour
Semester Hours Attempted
Grade Points/ Course
Semester Totals    

The GPA for the example above is 38 divided by 17 or 2.23 on a 4.00 scale (2.23/4.00).

Note: Courses numbered 001–099 do not carry credit toward graduation. Grades for these courses are not calculated in the GPA.

Time Limit on Grade Changes

Changes/corrections to final grades are permitted up to two years after recording the final grade in a student’s academic record so long as the course instructor, department chair/head, and college office approve of the change/correction. No grade changes/corrections are allowed after the two-year time limitation. Colleges are permitted, however, to adopt a more restrictive time limit policy. Students should check with their colleges concerning the time limit policy.

Full- and Part-Time Enrollment Status

Semester Hours Taken Academic Term Enrollment Status
12–18a Fall and spring semesters Full-time status
6–12a Summer session Full-time status
9–11 Fall and spring semesters Three-quarters-time status
5 Summer session Three-quarters-time status
6–8 Fall and spring semesters Half-time status
3–4 Summer session Half-time status
5 or less Fall and spring semesters Less than half-time status
2 or less Summer session Less than half-time status

a Enrollment in more than 18 semester hours in fall or spring, or more than 12 semester hours in summer is considered overload. Overload requires permission from the student’s major college.  

The University uses full- and part-time enrollment in the assessment of tuition and fees. It is also used in determining eligibility for financial aid and the rules governing satisfactory academic progress for renewal of financial aid. In addition, some degree programs require or recommend full-time enrollment.

Probation and Dismissal Rules

The following are minimum UIC undergraduate probation and dismissal criteria that apply to both full-time and part-time students. Colleges or programs may have higher standards.

Probation Rules

  1. A student not currently on academic probation will be placed on academic probation at the end of any term in which the student earns less than a 2.00/4.00 grade point average. This rule applies even for the student with a cumulative GPA of 2.00/4.00 or higher. For such a student, the probation serves as a warning.
  2. An entering transfer student, admitted by petition with a cumulative GPA lower than 2.00/4.00, will be immediately placed on probation.
  3. A student readmitted by petition with a UIC GPA lower than 2.00/4.00 will be immediately placed on probation.
  4. A student readmitted by petition whose combined cumulative GPA from UIC and other institutions is lower than 2.00/4.00 will be immediately placed on probation.

A student on academic probation who earns a GPA of at least 2.00/4.00 in a given term will be removed from probation, provided the student’s cumulative GPA in all work taken at UIC is at least 2.00/4.00. Further, for the student with transfer credit, the combined average of the student’s transfer credit and UIC course work must also be at least a 2.00/4.00.

A student currently on academic probation will be continued on academic probation when the one of the following occurs:

  1. The student meets the GPA required by the conditions of his or her probation but does not raise the cumulative UIC GPA to at least 2.00/4.00; or
  2. The student meets the GPA required by the conditions of his or her probation but does not raise the combined average of the student’s transfer credit and UIC course work to at least 2.00/4.00.

The dean of the student’s college determines the conditions of probation. In addition to specifying the GPA, the dean may require the completion of specific courses, may limit the number of hours for which the student registers, and may exclude the student from taking certain courses while on probation.

Dismissal Rulesa

  1. A student on academic probation will be dismissed from the University in any term in which the student fails to meet the grade point average required by the probation and in which the cumulative GPA in courses taken at UIC is less than 2.00/4.00.
  2. A student on academic probation will be dismissed from the University in any term in which the student fails to meet the GPA required by the probation and in which the combined transfer and UIC grade point average is less than 2.00/4.00.
  3. A student who fails to make progress toward a degree may be dismissed. Examples include failure to complete required courses, accumulation of an excessive number of Incomplete grades, failure to earn credit in any semester, failure to maintain a C average in the major discipline.
  4. In addition to the probation and dismissal rules above, a college or a school may impose criteria for dismissing a student from a curriculum or college without prior probation, may impose other terms of probation, and may specify a minimum lapse of time between a dismissal action and consideration of a petition for readmission. The dismissal rules may be waived when, in the judgment of the student’s college, the student’s overall record warrants such action.

a In other University publications Dismissal Rules are sometimes referred to as Drop Rules.