Miami University: Documents and Policies: General Bulletin

Academic Calendar

Important academic dates and deadlines are published in the Academic Calendar. The calendar is in the front of this Bulletin and in other publications, and online here.
Miami ID Card

University registration includes the issue and validation of your student identification card. ID cards are issued in 119 Campus Avenue Building and in 115 Shriver Center.

Before you register for courses, consult your adviser to make sure you are meeting your degree requirements.

Course offerings are listed online here and in The Course Planning Guide and Course Schedule booklet. The Course Planning Guide, published each year by the Registrar's office, contains important registration information. It is updated each semester with a Course Schedule booklet as courses are adjusted according to student demand and departmental resources. Both publications are available from the Registrar's office.

You can register, confirm, and change your schedule with BannerWeb online here or by dialing MUCARES (513-529-1717).

For Oxford campus courses, two registration options are available: Advance Registration and Registration/Change of Schedule. For Hamilton and Middl;etown courses, registration takes place during Registration/Change of Schedule.

Advance Registration

Advance Registration is your best opportunity to receive a full schedule for first and second semester Oxford campus courses. Register in advance (partway through the preceding semester); dates are noted in the Academic Calendar. Choose your course requests and alternatives online here or from the Course Schedule and register online. The scheduling process, by computer, occurs after Advance Registration closes. Priority in Scheduling is determined by the primary major and number of credit hours earned. All requests are matched against courses available, and a non-conflicting schedule is produced for you.
Registration/Change of Schedule

For Oxford campus courses, Registration/Change of Schedule takes place after Advance Registration ends. Specified dates are published in the Course Schedule. During Registration/Change of Schedule you can register for Hamilton and Middletown courses, summer courses, or Oxford campus courses, and change your schedule. This can be done by dialing MU CARES (513-529-1717) or online here.

Although you can register as late as the fifth day of the term, most students have registered by that time. Registering late limits your choice so that you may not get all the classes you need.

Course Sections

Courses with large enrollments are divided into sections. Sections are identified by letters, for example ART 171A, and a course code. A five-digit CRN (Course Reference Number) also identifies a course section.
Sprint Courses

Also called accelerated courses, sprint courses meet for less than the full 15-week term. Several departments offer sprint courses; you can take more than one each semester. Double letter sections, starting with T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z, indicate sprint courses in course listings.
Changing Your Courses

Before each semester begins, you will receive your course schedule and information about changing courses, and an assigned date and time when you can begin Change of Schedule. You can do this online here or by dialing MU CARES (513-529-1717). You can make changes anytime after your assigned beginning time.

Adding a Course

Online or by dialing MU CARES, you can add open courses to your schedule during Change of Schedule, which ends the first week of each semester or the second day of each summer term.

After Change of Schedule ends, you can add a course if an exception is made for you by the instructor and the department chair. (Any instructor can refuse to accept a student into class if, in the instructor's opinion, too much subject matter has already been covered.) You must have signatures from the instructor and the department chair on the Change of Schedule form.

Dropping a Course

You must officially drop each unwanted course. Non-attendance does not avoid a grade of W, WP, or WF. You drop a course online or with MU CARES during Change of Schedule, which ends the first week of each semester or the second day of each summer term.

After Change of Schedule ends, you can still drop a full-semester course without a gradeuntil the third week of the semester (for summer and sprint courses, before 20 percent of the class meetings have elapsed). After Change of Schedule ends, you must have the instructor's signature to drop a course.

If you drop a course between the third and sixth weeks of the semester (or between 20 and 40 percent of the class meetings), you will be given a grade of W. W is not figured in your grade point average.

If you drop a course after the sixth week (or after 40 percent of the classes have met), you will receive WP if you were passing the course with a grade of A through C-. You will receive WF (withdrawal failing) if you were earning a grade of D+ or less in the course.

If you fail to officially drop a course, you will receive a grade of WF.

If you are found guilty of academic dishonesty in a course and drop the course before the deadline with less than a C average, you will receive the grade WF(AD) for the course.

The grade WF is counted as an F in your grade point average unless you petition to your academic adviser and, via that petition, receive permission from the Interdivisional Committee of Advisers to drop the course or change the grade to a W or WP in accordance with the academic regulations.

Course Section Change

To change sections, you must drop the section in which you are currently enrolled, then add the new section. Because many students may be competing for availible space in the same course, there is significant risk that you will lose your place in the course altogether.

Credit Hour Loads

To be considered a full-time student, you must register for at least 12 hours.

Most students take between 15 and 18 semester hours each term or six hours in a summer term. To take more than 20 hours in a semester, or more than eight in a summer term, requires permission of your divisional dean. This must be obtained before you register.

Repeating a Course

You can repeat any course for which you have not received credit. You can also repeat a course once for which you have received credit (the hours will count only once toward your graduation requirements, but both grades will be figured into your grade point average).

Some departments offer courses that can be repeated up to a maximum number of hours--courses, for example, in which the content varies from term to term.

For information on repeating credit/no-credit courses, see the Grades chapter.

Student Classification

Freshmen: Students who have attempted fewer than 30 semester hours.

Sophomores: Students who have attempted or earned 30 semester hours.

Juniors: Students who have earned 64 semester hours.

Seniors: Students who have earned 96 semester hours. You need at least 128 semester hours to graduate.

For the purposes of academic actions--probation, suspension, and dismissal: any student who has attempted or earned 30 or more semester hours is subject to the regulations that apply to upperclass students. See the Grades chapter for more information on academic probation, suspension, and dismissal.

Graduate Level Courses for Seniors

For seniors who wish to earn undergraduate credit in a 600-level course, approval of the course instructor, department chair, and the dean of the Graduate School is required.

Seniors may apply for permission to take 500- and 600-level courses for graduate credit. To apply, you must have 112 semester hours toward a bachelor's degree, a cumulative grade point average of 2.75, and a g.p.a. of 3.0 in the concentration area of the graduate course. Up to 10 semester hours may count toward a graduate degree. Credit from these graduate courses will not count toward a bachelor's degree. Approval must be granted by the course instructor, your academic adviser, and the Graduate School. Application forms, available in the Graduate School, should be submitted at least one week before classes begin. There are additional fees for graduate-level courses.

Course numbers 700 and above are restricted to graduate students.

Greater Cincinnati Consortium

Full-time Miami students can take courses through the Greater Cincinnati Consortium during the academic year and summer. This association can provide courses that are not generally available at the institution where the student is enrolled.

Members of the Cincinnati Consortium include the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Athenaeum of Ohio, Chatfield College, Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, College of Mount St. Joseph, Hebrew Union College, Miami University, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, The Union Institute, University of Cincinnati, Wilmington College, and Xavier University.

The Registrar's office can provide you with additional information.

Right to Privacy and Access:
Student Records

The Registrar's office maintains records on all Miami students that include academic and demographic information. To protect our students' privacy, and to ensure that their records are accessible to them, Miami has designed a policy for maintaining and administering student records.

Miami's policy is in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The complete policy is included in The Student Handbook, but general guidelines are listed here. More information on FERPA is available from the Registrar's office.

  1. Educational records are defined as those educational records, files, and documents that relate directly to the educational progress of the student. These may include academic records, advisement records, discipline records, and placement records.
  2. You have the right of access to your records after presenting proper identification (your student ID card).
  3. After reviewing your files, you have the right to challenge anything you perceive to be inaccurate or misleading. See The Student Handbook for the procedure for a hearing.
  4. The university has a responsibility to protect students from the release of information about them to others without the student's consent. An exception to this is public information or directory information, which may be released without the student's consent. This includes the student's name, age, date of birth, home and local address, telephone number, dates of attendance, current enrollment, degrees and awards, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of the athletic teams.
  5. If you do not want information about you included in the Miami University Directory, published at the beginning of each academic year, you can restrict it by notifying the Registrar's office in writing. This must be done each academic year.
Electronic Directory
Miami University's electronic directory, like those of other institutions, is accessible worldwide across the Internet. To preserve the privacy of students, faculty, and staff, the following data is ONLY accessible WITHIN the Miami University community:
  • University-supplied data:
    Spouse name (staff, faculty; if authorized)
    Division (staff, faculty)
    Office address (staff, faculty)
    Home address and telephone number
    (students, staff, faculty; if authorized)
    School address and telephone number (students)
  • Optional individual-supplied data:
    Pager telephone number and e-mail address
    Mobile telephone number
    Office hours
    High schools attended
    Other colleges attended
A student who wants to be excluded from publication in print and electronic directories must complete a request form at the Office of the Registrar; this must be done every academic year.

Under provisions of the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA, Buckley Amendment), students entering Miami for the first time (freshmen, transfer, and graduate students) are automatically excluded from the electronic directory until September 10 to give them opportunity to visit the Registrar's office. If a student wishes to release their information before September 10, an option is available online here.

Subsequent exclusion requests are reflected in the electronic directory approximately 24 hours after being processed by the Registrar's office. Emergency exclusions, requested by the Miami University Police or the Office of Student Affairs, are processed as soon as possible by the IT Services Network Applications Group (

Changes in Policy

Changes in any academic policy included in this Bulletin will be included in The Student Handbook. The Student Handbook, published each year in August, is available from the Registrar's office. You are responsible for knowing about any changes in these policies that may affect you.
Registration Glossary
Academic record:
A record of courses taken, grades received, and degrees earned by each student while attending Miami. It includes transfer credit, advanced placement credit, and other credit awarded or earned.
Accelerated course:
See sprint course.
Admission prerequisites:
See "High School Preparation" in theAdmission chapter. If you did not complete these units in high school, you must complete additional courses at Miami. These courses count toward graduation and many fulfill other requirements. You must complete these units within your first 64 semester hours (normally, during your first two years). Questions about prerequisites should be directed to the Office of Admission.
Advance registration:
A time prior to each term when you can register for Oxford campus courses for the following term. This allows departments to adjust their course offerings.
Alternate course:
A substitute course for registration in case your original request is closed or doesn't fit into your schedule. This increases your chance for a full schedule.
Associate degree:
Two-year degree, generally offered only on regional campuses.
You attend classes, but do not receive credit or a grade. The instructor may require you to take exams and participate in class discussion. Since not all courses can be audited, you must have the instructor's written permission to audit. A course can be changed from credit to audit or audit to credit up to 40 percent of the class meetings. See the Grades chapter for more detail.
Bachelor's degree:
A four-year degree. Basic requirements include: (1) at least 128 semester hours--32 must be from Miami; (2) at least a 2.0 cumulative g.p.a.; (3) fulfillment of the Miami Plan; (4) fulfillment of divisional and major requirements.
Your online source at for course
registration, change of schedule, financial aid information,
grades, and DARS.
If you do not pay your fees on time, your schedule will be cancelled. You will need to re-register.
CAS-A, B, etc:
Abbreviations for sections of the College of Arts and Science requirement. See The College of Arts and Science chapter.
Certificate program, graduate:
A specialized program that enhances a graduate degree. Availible to students that have been admitted to the Graduate School and have met the program prerequisites.
Certificate program, undergraduate:
Program that requires about half the amount of course work as an associates degree; offered on regional campuses only.
Change of schedule (or drop/add):
A specific time (Published in the Course Schedule) when you can make changes in your courses for that semester. Regional campus and summer course registrations can also be scheduled during this time.
Class standing:
Freshmen have attempted or earned 0-29 semester hours; sophomores have attempted or earned 30-63 hours; juniors have attempted 64-95 hours; seniors have attempted 96 or more hours. For purposes of academic actions--probation, suspension, and dismissal: if you have attempted 30 or more hours at Miami or elsewhere, you are subject to regulations that apply to upperclass students.
When maximum enrollment in a course has been met, no more students can be accommodated.
Courses that must be taken during the same semester. Corequisites are indicated in General Bulletin course descriptions and in the Course Schedule.
Course level:
(See Course number below.) 100-level courses are generally introductory; 200-level more advanced; 300 and 400-levels for juniors and seniors; 500 and above for graduate students.
Course modifier:
A letter or numeric symbol designating a different content within a general course.
Course number:
Three-digit number that follows a departmental abbreviation used to identify a course, for example ENG 111. The course number is an indication of course level.
Course Planning Guide:
See Course Schedule below.
Course Schedule:
A newspaper guide to classes offered each semester. Published by the Registrar's office, it contains the Academic Calendar and lists courses as well as sections, times, instructors, course codes, etc. Printed each spring for the following academic year as the Course Planning Guide, it is then revised as the Course Schedule for each semester.
No grades are received for these courses. You will get credit for a C or better; you do not get credit if your grade is lower. Credit/no-credit courses are not figured in your g.p.a. You can only take one-fourth of your course work on credit/no-credit basis, and usually you cannot take courses in your major this way. Freshmen may register for courses on a credit/no-credit basis, providing they are enrolled for 12 semester hours for grades. After 20 percent of the class meetings, you cannot change from credit/no-credit to a letter grade or from a letter grade to credit/no-credit. See the Grades chapter for more detail.
CRN (Course Reference Number)
A five-digit code used to identify each section of a course for registration. It is in effect only for the current term.
Degree Audit Report (DARS):
A report of your completed course work and current registration matched with degree requirements of your declared major; it also identifies deficiencies and lists courses to satisfy specific requirements. DARS are availible online here. You may also request a DARS at the Commencement Office.
An academic part of the university with its own requirements. Miami has seven divisions: College of Arts and Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Richard T. Farmer School of Business Administration, School of Education and Allied Professions, School of Fine Arts, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate School.
See Change of Schedule.
Permission to add a course which is closed. A form, available from department offices, must be signed by the instructor and chair.
See Semester hour.
Incomplete grade:
Unfinished course work indicated by an I and computed as an F until you finish for a grade. You must have the instructor's permission; you have 12 weeks to complete the work after your next enrollment.
Late registration:
If you were unable to advance register, this is a later time for you to sign up for classes. Late registration is held just before the new term begins.
Late start classes:
Usually graduate education courses that start about one week later than normal, therefore they meet less than a full 15-week term.
Lec., Lab.:
Lecture and laboratory abbreviations in course descriptions to indicate contact hours in each (for example, 3 Lec. 1 Lab.).
Your primary field of study, such as botany, economics, etc.
Miami Plan (MP):
Miami's liberal education requirement. See the Miami Plan chapter.
Miami Plan Capstone Experience abbreviation used in course descriptions. Indicates that the course fulfills that requirement.
Miami Plan Foundation course abbreviation used in course descriptions. Indicates that the course fulfills a part of that requirement. Additional abbreviations to MPF (for example, MPF IIA, IIIB) indicate which foundation area(s) that course fulfills.
Miami Plan Thematic Sequence abbreviation used in course descriptions. Indicates that the course fulfills a part of that requirement.
Miami University's Call and Register Easily System. (513-529-1717) This is a touchtone/voice-response system students may use for Registration / Change of Schedule, grades, and financial aid information.
Non-traditional credit:
College credit given for a non-academic learning experience, such as knowledge you have acquired from a military service or your own study. For information, contact the Registrar's office.
Open course:
One that can accommodate more students. Open courses are available online here and by dialing MUCARES (513-529-1717).
PIN (Personal Identification Number):
Your six-digit PIN consists of your birth date in MMDDYY format. Change your PIN to secure your record. Your PIN and student ID number are required to access your records online and with MU CARES. To be reminded of your PIN, bring a picture ID to the Registration office, 102 Campus Avenue Building.
Placement exams:
Offered in foreign languages, mathematics, chemistry, and physics to help you enroll in an appropriate first course for your skills level.
A course you must complete before enrolling in a more advanced course. This is indicated in a course description.
Priority scheduling:
Refers to Oxford campus Advanced Registration only. Because many students want certain courses in business, English, political science, and communication, requests are scheduled in this order: (1) required courses by departmental primary majors of record, (2) required courses by non-departmental primary majors of record, (3) elective requirements, (4) when total credits requested are 18 or fewer, (5) when total credits requested are 19 or more. Within this order, priority is by total hours earned, for example, seniors are scheduled before juniors.
Proficiency exams:
Tests used to obtain credit in subjects for which you have adequate preparation. Each department administers its own test, and credit applies toward graduation. You must pass the test with a C or better to earn credit. You are charged for the tests according to credit hour; see the Fees and Expenses chapter.
One class of a course. Courses with large enrollments are divided into sections. Sections are identified by letters, for example ART 171A, ART 171B. The CRN also identifies a section.
Semester credit hour:
Unit used to measure course work. The number of credit hours is usually based on the number of hours per week the class meets; for example, a three-hour course typically meets three times a week for 50 minutes each time. One credit hour is usually assigned for two or three hours in laboratory and studio courses.
Sprint courses:
Meet for less than the full 15-week term. Double letter sections, starting with T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z, indicate sprint courses in course lists.
Student number (social security number):
Identifies you in processing university information.
Time conflict:
Both Advance Registration and Change of Schedule check for time conflicts and will not permit you to add courses that meet at overlapping times.
A copy of your academic record.
Variable credit hour:
Range of credit hours for some courses (usually independent study, special topics, thesis hours). Indicated with cumulative maximum in course description; for example (2-8; maximum 16).

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