FAA Undergraduate Student Handbook: Additional Scholastic Information

Withdrawal from the University

With the exception of medical or disciplinary withdrawals initiated by other divisions, the student must initiate withdrawal from the university at the college office. The student should not stop attending classes in which he or she is registered in the belief that that behavior constitutes withdrawal. Without proper withdrawal procedures, grades of E or F will be recorded and could greatly hamper reentry at a later date. Refer to the schedule established by the Office of the Registrar for the refund period during which a pro-rata refund based on the date on the withdrawal clearance form is issued.

A student who is considering withdrawing from the university during any semester or summer session should be counseled by one of the deans in the FAA Office for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Counsel is also recommended with parents, instructors, counselors, and perhaps an advisor in the Office of Student Financial Aid. If the student decides to withdraw, he or she should obtain a withdrawal form from the FAA Office for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Signatures are required on the form from an FAA academic dean and from the Office of the Dean of Students (Room 300, Turner Student Services, 610 East John Street, Champaign), and the form is then deposited in Room 100 of Admissions and Records (901 West Illinois Street, Urbana). For specific policies regarding withdrawal from the university, please refer to Rule 3-313 of the Student Code.

Cancellation of Registration

Before the end of the last business day before instruction starts, you may cancel your registration and be relieved of all tuition and fee charges. This may be accomplished by dropping all of your classes through Self-Service or submitting your request for cancellation of registration to the Office of the Registrar (Suite 140, 901 West Illinois Street, Urbana, IL 61801) by the deadline.

Proficiency Examinations

Proficiency examinations for advanced standing are usually offered in all university courses normally open to freshmen and sophomores. A student may also obtain the privilege of taking proficiency examinations in advanced undergraduate courses upon recommendation of the head or director of the department and approval of the associate dean in the FAA Office for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. In either case, a student who passes a proficiency examination (grade of C or better) is given credit toward graduation for the amount regularly allowed in the course provided such credit does not duplicate credit counted for admission to the university and is acceptable in that curriculum. For further information on general university policy, please refer to the section on proficiency examinations in the Student Code.

Within the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the following specific policies apply relative to proficiency examinations taken for courses offered by departments in the college.

  • University credit for course work offered by the College of Fine and Applied Arts may be obtained by regular course registration or by proficiency examination. The college encourages capable students who have knowledge or experience in a particular subject, or who desire to obtain that knowledge through independent study, to seek proficiency credit by examination.
  • The type of examination may be written, oral, by performance, in a portfolio, or any combination of the same. The specific type, form, and content of the examination for each course is determined and administered by the appropriate committee or instructor.
  • A student requesting a proficiency examination must apply to the instructor or committee in charge of the examination at least ten days prior to the scheduled examination date and must obtain approval in writing for the examination in accordance with university regulations.
  • A student already enrolled in a given course must take the proficiency examination for that course within the first two weeks of the semester. The examination cannot be taken later.
  • If the student is not enrolled in a course he or she wishes to take the proficiency examination in, the proficiency examination can be given at a time scheduled by the department or at any time during the semester at the instructor’s convenience.

For further information regarding proficiency examinations, please refer to Rule 3-203 in the Student Code.

Auditing Courses

Students wishing to attend a class as listeners or visitors must first obtain an official visitors permit and written permission of the instructor of the class and approval of the dean of the college concerned. Visitors are not permitted in laboratory, military, kinesiology (other than theory), or studio classes.

Credit-No Credit Grading Option

The credit-no credit grading option is designed to encourage student exploration into areas of academic interest that they might otherwise avoid for fear of poor grades. Excessive use of nongrade course work may be detrimental to a student applying to professional or graduate schools.

  • Any lower- or upper-division course may be chosen under the credit-no credit option except courses used to satisfy the university’s general education requirements; courses designated by name or area by the major department for satisfying the major, minor, or field of concentration; or those specifically required by name by the college for graduation.
  • A full-time student may elect a maximum of two courses under this option in any one semester. A maximum of eighteen hours may be applied toward a degree. A grade of C- must be earned to receive credit.
  • A student on probation or undetermined status is not allowed to elect the credit-no credit option.
  • Students may sign up for or withdraw from the credit-no credit option during the first eight weeks of the semester by filling out the credit-no credit form, which requires advisor approval. See Rule 3-105 in the Student Code for more information.

Adding and Dropping Courses

  • New courses may be added only during the first two weeks of the semester or during the first week of summer session 2.
  • Withdrawal from a specific required course must be recommended by an advisor and approved by an academic dean. It is the student’s responsibility to attend class until the approval to drop is obtained.
  • Students may withdraw from a course without penalty during the first eight weeks of the semester, or the first four weeks of summer session 2, provided that the minimum academic load is maintained (twelve semester hours during the regular academic year).
  • Only in the case of extenuating circumstances (such as extended illness) will withdrawal be permitted after the deadline. A petition for a late drop is required along with documentation supporting the absence and a report from the instructor. The petition will be reviewed by a committee of the college.

Rarely should a course be dropped after the deadline. Merely being dissatisfied with the present grade or not wanting to adversely affect the GPA are not considered appropriate reasons for dropping after the deadline. Students should choose courses carefully and are given ample time (eight weeks) to evaluate the course and decide whether to continue in it. If a short-term interruption occurs during the semester and a student is not quite able to catch up, an extension may be appropriate. This situation can be discussed with the instructor or the associate dean. See Rule 3-311 in the Student Code for more information.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is expected of all students at the University of Illinois, but its instructors must reasonably accommodate a student’s religious beliefs, observances, and practices in regard to class attendance and work requirements if the student informs his or her instructor of the conflict within one week after being informed of the attendance or work requirements.

The instructor decides when a student’s absences become excessive and should be reported. If in the opinion of an instructor the attendance of a student becomes so irregular that his or her scholarship is likely to be impaired, the instructor may submit an irregular attendance form to the dean of the student’s college. A copy is forwarded to the student, who should contact the instructor immediately to work out a solution. If irregular attendance continues without excuse, the instructor may request the student be withdrawn from the course. This request for withdrawal would result in a grade of E for the course. Extenuating circumstances will always be considered when supporting evidence is presented. See Rule 1-501 and Rule 1-502 in the Student Code for more information.

Incomplete Grades and Excused Absences from Final Exams

Incomplete grades at the end of the semester are intended to allow the student to have additional time beyond the time when grades are due. This extension is to accommodate an extenuating circumstance, something beyond his or her control, which prevented the student from completing some part of the course. It is not intended to give a student extra time to improve course work (which would be unfair to other students) or accommodate poor time management. Examples of circumstances justifying an I grade are loss of class time due to documented illness or injury, personal trauma, breakdown of equipment critical to a project, or significant absence of the instructor.



  • The student or instructor requests permission from the associate dean, who must authorize the use of the grade I. The instructor may initiate a request to the associate dean as well.
  • If the request is approved, the FAA office sends a letter or email to the instructor, the student, and the records office.
  • The student is responsible for seeing that the work is turned in for evaluation, and the instructor submits a supplemental grade report form to the FAA office. If the grade is not submitted by the due date, it automatically becomes a grade of F (failure).
  • Absence from a final examination is reported as a grade of absent (ABS) in the course and counts as a failure. If, because of extenuating circumstances, a student must be absent from a scheduled final examination, he or she should report this information to the FAA Office for Undergraduate Academic Affairs as soon as possible. If the absence is because of an emergency, the Emergency Dean should be notified in addition to the FAA Office for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

See Rule 3-104 in the Student Code for more information.

Undergraduate Academic Appeals Process

Students may ask for a reconsideration of a college decision or an exception to unit, college, or university academic policies including late dropping of classes, academic drops, and readmission decisions.



  • Decisions on student petitions in the FAA Office for Undergraduate Academic Affairs are based upon codified university, college, and unit academic policies. When asked, office staff members may provide literal information on academic polices, and the academic deans may provide interpretations and explanations.
  • Students seeking a reconsideration of a college decision or an exception to academic policy must submit a signed appeal in writing. Students may fax, mail, or deliver the appeal in person. The student may ask to speak with office staff or the associate dean when delivering the petition.
  • If requested, the office staff or associate dean will conduct the initial appeal interview. An appeal interview will not result in an immediate decision.
  • Students should include all relevant and supportive information available to them in the appeal. The appeal should provide additional or clarifying information regarding the student’s case. Restating a plea or submitting multiple requests will not result in a reversal of a decision as long as the information upon which a decision was based has not changed.
  • Following the submission of the appeal and an intake interview if requested, a decision on an appeal will be made by the FAA Undergraduate Academic Affairs Appeal Committee. The committee comprises the associate dean, the assistant dean, and the college admission and records supervisor. (At the discretion of the associate dean, a quorum may be considered adequate for decisions.)
  • A number of individuals may need to be contacted in order to thoroughly investigate the issues related to the appeal. The student should not expect a response in less than three working days.
  • The student will be informed of the appeal committee’s decision by email or letter.


Students who wish to be readmitted to the College of Fine and Applied Arts should download the admission and reentry chart to determine what basic steps are required for readmission. More specific information on the readmission process is available for download. In addition to these readmission rules governing the college, individual departments and programs may have specific requirements for readmission.

Graduate Credit

Undergraduate students who enroll in graduate courses with the intent to apply these courses toward a graduate degree must follow department and Graduate College guidelines regarding transfer of graduate-level credit.

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