Academic policies for undergraduates

Students majoring in biomedical, chemical and life science, computer, electrical or mechanical engineering must attain a minimum grade of C in all major courses taken. If a student receives a grade below C in any major course, that course must be retaken until the student receives a minimum grade of C. Department chairs may also identify other vital courses (i.e., math, physics) within the major for which a minimum grade of C must be achieved.

School policy of reasonable progress

Minimum major grade point average: Upon completion of 36 or more credit hours at VCU, any student whose major GPA falls below 2.0 will be placed on in-school academic probation and will have an advising hold placed on his/her account. The student must meet with the student advising office and their faculty adviser to determine the courses to be taken the next semester. From that point forward, the student must maintain a semester minimum major GPA of 2.0. Upon failing to meet that standard, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Course failures and withdrawals: A student may attempt to complete each required major course a maximum of three times. When a student does not earn a minimum grade of C on the second attempt to complete the same major course (this will include instances in which the student withdraws from a class), the student will be notified and a hold will be placed on his/her account, prohibiting him/her from registering for classes. The student must meet with the student advising office and his/her faculty adviser to determine the courses to be taken the next semester.

If a student earns any combination of three D, F or W grades in a single required major course (including a grade excluded from the GPA calculation), then the student will be immediately dismissed from the program. A student may appeal one grade within seven business days after grades are posted. This appeal will be considered by a department committee, and a decision will be rendered before the last day of add/drop of the subsequent semester. In the case of exceptional circumstances, the committee may grant the student a fourth attempt to complete the course with a minimum grade of C. If the student does not earn a minimum grade of C on the fourth attempt, he or she will be immediately dismissed from the program.

All departments in the School of Engineering follow the above general policy of reasonable progress, unless they choose to replace them with more restrictive rules. These rules would be described in the “Special requirements” section of the individual curriculum outline.

Because of the rotating nature of higher level technical electives in the computer science program and the student’s planned graduation date, computer science students may not be able to take advantage of the repeat course option offered by the university. Students should be aware of this rotating schedule and plan accordingly.

In some cases, students may be required to take foundation courses as the result of placement tests in order to prepare themselves to enter the required courses in mathematics, sciences or languages. Credit received for these foundation courses does not count toward the baccalaureate degree.

Graduation requirements

Students in the majors of biomedical, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering must complete a minimum of 130 credit hours to be eligible for the bachelor’s degree.

Students in chemical and life science engineering with a concentration in chemical engineering must complete a minimum of 126 credit hours to be eligible for a bachelor’s degree.

Students in chemical and life science engineering with a concentration in life science engineering must complete a minimum of 127 credit hours to be eligible for a bachelor’s degree.

Students in computer science must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to be eligible for the bachelor’s degree.

Requirements for the bachelor’s degrees offered by the School of Engineering (engineering disciplines and computer science) include university undergraduate requirements (refer to the Academic Regulations and General Degree Requirements section in this bulletin), general education requirements and program-level degree requirements.

Students seeking the bachelor’s degree for any of the programs within the School of Engineering (computer science or biomedical, chemical and life science, computer, electrical, or mechanical engineering) are responsible for understanding the specific and unique requirements of the individual programs and must complete all of them to be eligible for the granting of the degree sought.