Course Policies & Procedures

Dancing at Drytown, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois. Photo by Darrell Hoemann.

Dancing at Drytown, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois. Photo by Darrell Hoemann.

Course Policies


Rights & Procedures:

Incomplete Grade

A grade of incomplete allows you to have additional time beyond the end of the semester to finish assignments. This extension is granted to assist you under specific circumstances—a lengthy illness for example—and is not intended to provide extra time to improve your work on assigned material. An incomplete grade is given only with the instructor’s approval. A qualifying student should submit the request for I grade form to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Grade Replacement

Under certain circumstances you can repeat a course to replace a low grade. Please note that a replacement grade does not remove the previous grade from your transcript. It changes your cumulative GPA only. You may replace up to 10 hours of credit or four courses. Check section 3-309 of the Student Code for more information. If you wish to use the grade replacement option, you must meet with an advisor or academic dean to discuss grade replacement. You then must file a grade replacement form during the first half of the term in which you are repeating the course. For example, you must indicate your desire to use the grade replacement option by the eighth week for a full-semester course or by the fourth week for a half-session course.

Credit/No Credit

To select a course as credit/no credit, you must submit the credit/no credit option form during the first eight weeks of the semester. Detailed information on the process is available in section 3-105 of the Student Code.

Late Course Additions

Courses may be added only during the first two weeks of the semester or during the first week of summer session 2. If you want to enroll in courses after the deadline, you must obtain approval from the department offering the course and submit the late course change form to the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Course Drop

Students may choose to drop a course in Self-Service before the published academic deadline. Please be aware that a change in credit hours may impact financial aid, visas, or progress toward a degree.

Only in rare instances will you be permitted to drop a class or elect for credit/no credit grading after the published academic deadline. Poor performance in a course is not a justifiable reason for a late course drop or a change to credit/no credit grading. You must be able to demonstrate that extraordinary extenuating circumstances, particularly those after the official academic deadline, have impacted your academic ability.

Students who seek to drop a course or elect for credit/no credit grading after the academic deadline are encouraged to meet with a departmental advisor and submit a student petition to request a late drop or credit/no credit grading.

For full consideration, please follow these instructions for your submission:

  • List the course and the specific term it was taken in your student petition
  • Provide a detailed explanation of your situation and the impact on your academic performance
  • Include supporting documentation (for example, a letter from a health professional, legal paperwork, or an obituary)
  • Adhere to student petition deadlines

Late drop or late credit/no credit request (after the academic deadline and before the last day of class): The student petition must be submitted by the last day of class during the relevant term.

Retroactive late drop or late credit/no credit request (after the term has ended): These student petitions are reviewed only after grades have been submitted for the term. There is no deadline for submission of the student petition and the accompanying materials.

Special Topic Courses and Open Seminars

Special topic courses and open seminar courses—most often sections of 199 courses—generally count as elective credit toward a degree. If you wish to substitute credit from a special topic course for a required class, you must submit a student petition. Only 12 hours of credit from these courses may be used to fulfill graduation requirements.

Course Substitution

Any exception to the published major requirements for a catalog year will require a course substitution. The College of Fine and Applied Arts does not waive requirements or total hours toward a degree. Course substitutions are granted in rare and unusual circumstances only. Students who seek a course substitution must first consult with an academic advisor to initiate this request. The course substitution form must be filed by an academic advisor and must provide evidence of special circumstances that would warrant approval of the request.

Dancing at Drytown, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois. Photo by Darrell Hoemann.

Dancing at Drytown, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois. Photo by Darrell Hoemann.

Rights & Procedures

Academic Integrity

The College of Fine and Applied Arts is committed to fostering an open and honest educational community. Each person should be treated with respect and have the freedom to learn, express opinions, and search for truth.

All students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of integrity in their work in classrooms, studios, performance spaces, and all other areas of their intellectual and creative life on campus. Academic integrity infractions include but are not limited to

  • Cheating
  • Plagiarism
  • Fabrication
  • Bribes
  • Academic interference

Students who violate university policy may receive a warning, have a grade lowered, or be dismissed. The full academic integrity policy is available in section 1-402 of the Student Code.

Student Petitions

To request an exception to a college requirement, you may submit a student petition. The form should state the exact nature of the request and include any appropriate supporting documentation. You will be notified by email or letter when the final decision has been reached.

A student petition should be used for the following situations:

  • Late credit/no credit (requires the credit/no credit option form)
  • Late drop/retroactive late drop
  • Retroactive withdrawal (not related to a medical withdrawal)
  • Other exceptions


Any student may ask for reconsideration of a college decision or an exception to unit, college, or university academic policies. To make an appeal, you should submit the academic decision appeal form. The appeal should provide additional or clarifying information. Restating a plea or submitting multiple requests with no new information will not change the original decision. Only one appeal will be considered for each petition.


If you have a conflict about an academic matter and feel you have been treated unfairly, you are entitled to file a grievance or a report. It may be helpful to consult with your advisor or an academic dean to determine your best course of action.

Capricious grading is one example of a situation that might lead to a formal grievance. If you feel you were held to more difficult or demanding standards than other students in the same class on an assignment or for the entire course, you may wish to submit a complaint. See section 3-107 of the Student Code for an overview of the general grievance process.

If you wish to report behavior that negatively affects the climate of inclusion and belonging on campus, consult the Campus Belonging Resources.

For other grievances related to teaching, advising, and administrative affairs, follow these procedures:

  1. Seek informal resolution of the issue with the faculty or staff member directly involved.
  2. If you cannot find a satisfactory solution informally, contact the immediate supervisor of the faculty or staff member. This is typically the FAA unit’s executive officer (the head of the department or the director of the school). Try to resolve the manner informally with this supervisor. If you are unable to do so, inform them that you would like to file an official grievance with the unit’s committee that oversees grievances.
  3. Follow the formal grievance process. Each unit has specific procedures, and the executive officer can outline those procedures for you.
  4. Once you have the decision, you are entitled make an appeal at the college level. A formal statement outlining the problem and the resolution sought must be provided to the senior assistant dean or associate dean in the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. It is also recommended that you meet with a dean in the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs before submitting an appeal.
  5. All grievance appeals will be addressed promptly, and a final decision will be made after a review of all relevant information by deans in the FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
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