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Frequently Asked Questions
Grade Point Average (GPA)
- How do I calculate my GPA?
Each course taken at Union is assigned a letter grade, which corresponds to quality points.
To determine your GPA, divide the quality points earned by the semester hours attempted. Only classes taken at Union count in your Union GPA; Pass/Fail courses, CLEP test credits and transfer credits are not factored into your Union GPA.
- A-4 quality points per hour of credit
- B-3 quality points per hour of credit
- C-2 quality points per hour of credit
- D-1 quality point per hour of credit
- F-0 quality points per hour of credit
You may also use the GPA calculator tools found on the Study Links page of the Hundley Center's website.
- How do I raise my GPA?
The fastest way to raise your GPA is to repeat courses in which you earned a grade of D or F. The most recent grade is calculated in the cumulative GPA.
- What happens if my GPA drops below a 2.0?
If your GPA falls below a 2.0, you will be placed on academic probation. Once you achieve a GPA of at least 2.0, academic probation status will be removed. You have 2 full semesters and the short term that immediately follows to achieve a 2.0 GPA. Students on academic probation are limited to 14 hours per semester. It is also helpful to repeat courses in which you have earned a grade of D or F.
Retaking Failed Courses
- What do I do if I fail a course?
Don't worry! You can retake the course. It is best to repeat a failed course as soon as possible. Repeating and passing the course at Union will have the greatest positive impact on your GPA if you earn a higher grade. However, students sometimes opt to retake the course at another school or take a CLEP test.
- How does retaking a failed course at Union impact my GPA?
If you retake a failed course at Union, the D or F earned at Union "pops out." The new grade earned at Union replaces the old grade. So, if you repeat a course and earn an A, you no longer have a D or F calculated in your GPA and you have a new A, which improves your GPA dramatically! Stated differently, if you have an F in a course and then retake that course at Union and earn an A, the grade is not calculated as a C. Only the new grade is calculated in your GPA. (The failed course will always appear on your transcript, but now it is not weighing down your GPA.) Note: This is not the case for TELS; both grades are calculated.
- How does retaking a failed course somewhere else or taking a CLEP test impact my GPA?
If you retake a failed class elsewhere and earn a grade of C or higher, the D or F earned at Union "pops out." The new grade earned elsewhere is not transferred but the credits are,
so you no longer have the Union D or F calculated in your GPA, which will improve your GPA! This is a great option for classes in which you do not feel especially strong.
The most important thing to remember when retaking a class elsewhere or transferring in credits is that the course must be approved ahead of time by the Academic Center. This GPA formula calculation is also true if you take and pass a CLEP test for a failed course.
- Next Steps:
- Repeat the failed course as soon as possible, either during a short term (J-term or summer term) or the next full semester.
- If you opt to take the course elsewhere, pick up a Transfer of Credit application from the Academic Center, fill it out to completion, and get approval to take the course to ensure it will transfer.
- What is an "Incomplete?"
If you feel behind in one of your classes because of extenuating circumstances, you may want to ask the professor if he or she will grant you an "Incomplete."
This means that you will have an extension on the amount of time you have to complete the course. Incomplete work must be made up within the first five weeks of the
Fall/Spring semester following issuance or sooner if the professor gives an earlier deadline. Students failing to finish the incomplete receive a course grade which reflects the incomplete work.
Note: Incompletes are granted rarely and are based upon the course material, professor's schedule, and balance of material left to cover. Classes with labs are rarely considered for an incomplete.
- Next Steps:
- Ask your professor if he or she will grant you an "Incomplete."
- Get everything in writing-deadlines, what work you have left to complete, etc.
- Be sure that you complete all course work by the professor's deadline.
- How do I know what classes I need?
All Union students must take the General Core Requirements for All Bachelor Degrees. This list can be found in your Undergraduate Academic Catalogue.
In addition to the General Core, students must complete the requirements for one of the following:
You will also have required courses for your major and minor. This information can be found under the specific departmental information in the
Undergraduate Academic Catalogue. It is important to note if a course is offered every semester or only once per year or once every two years.
It is also important to note if any course has a prerequisite. Your advisor will help you choose the classes you need.
- Bachelor of Arts Degree-there are two options from which to choose
- Bachelor of Science Degree-there are two options from which to choose
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
- Bachelor of Social Work
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering
- When should I take certain classes?
It is wise to balance out your schedule each semester. Some classes may require lots of reading, while others may require a lab. If you are an athlete, it is wise to take lighter-load classes during the season and pick up heavy-reading classes during the off-season. Science courses are good to take during January term (J-term) or during a summer term.
- What are accelerated classes?
Accelerated classes are 8-week, half-semester classes. Fall accelerated classes start in August and October; Spring accelerated classes start in February and April. Most often these accelerated classes meet 1 night per week for 4 hours. If you had to drop a course but need to pick up a course to keep full-time status for the purpose of health insurance, scholarships or financial aid, you may want to look into taking an accelerated course during the 2nd half of the semester.
- Next Steps for Scheduling Classes:
- Make sure your student account balance is $0 and there are no holds on your account.
- Set up a time to meet with your advisor during Priority Registration to schedule classes.
Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS)
- What GPA must I keep to continue receiving the TELS scholarship?
You must achieve a TELS Cumulative GPA of 2.75 for the semesters in which you have a total of 24 and 48 TELS hours attempted.
For the semesters in which you have a total of 72, 96, and 120 TELS hours attempted, you must achieve one of the following:
- Achieve a TELS Cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Achieve a TELS Cumulative GPA of 2.75-2.99 AND a semester GPA of 3.0 or above
- What happens if my GPA does not meet the requirements?
If you lose a TELS Award due to failure to achieve the required GPA, you may regain the award by improving your TELS GPA during a subsequent benchmark semester.
This regain provision may only be used once.
- If I withdraw for a semester, what do I need to do?
You will lose eligibility if you do not maintain continuous enrollment, defined as enrollment in both fall and spring semesters of an academic year.
Exceptions may be made if you are granted a "Leave of Absence" for certain documented medical or personal reasons. You must submit a
TELS Request for Leave of Absence to the Office of Student Financial Planning to obtain approval.
- If I drop below full-time status for a semester, what do I need to do?
You will lose eligibility if you drop from full-time to part-time status within a semester without prior approval.
You should submit a TELS Request for Approval of Change of Enrollment Status to the
Office of Student Financial Planning for approval before dropping to part-time.
- What is the One-Time Repeat Option?
Every grade you earn is counted toward the TELS GPA. For example, if you repeat a failed course and make a B, both the F and the B are counted in your TELS GPA.
The One-Time Repeat Option may be requested and the Office of Student Financial Planning will replace one failed grade in one class.
If the One-Time Repeat Option is not requested, both grades are counted in your TELS GPA.
Office of Student Financial Planning
Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships (TELS) page
Heather Higdon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 731.661.5015
- How do I know if a class transfers to Union?
You'll need to complete a Transfer of Credit application in the Academic Center and attach a copy of the course description from the school where you plan to take the class. The Academic Center will let you know whether the course will transfer via campus mail. If the course does transfer, you'll need to have an official transcript sent to Union as soon as the final grade is posted. You must make a C or higher for the grade to transfer to Union.
- Are there any special steps I need to complete to take a class at another school?
You will need to contact the other school. Oftentimes, students must complete an admissions application to be accepted to the school.
- How does a transfer credit impact my GPA?
Transfer courses do not affect your Union GPA. You earn the credit hours, but the grade is not factored into your GPA.
- Next Steps:
- Pick up a Transfer of Credit application from the Academic Center, fill it out to completion, and get approval to take the course to ensure it will transfer.
- Contact the school to determine if you need to complete an admissions application or other paperwork.
- If the course is transferable, you must make a C or higher and have an official transcript sent to Union as soon as the final grade is posted.
- If I am taking a class at home this summer, what do I need to do to ensure the credits transfer?
Fill out the "Application for Transfer of Credit." This form is to be turned in at the Academic Center to be reviewed. The form indicating approval or denial will either be sent via
campus mail or sent to their home address depending what address is listed on the application. This form must be filled out if you have earned 70 or more credits.
Otherwise, it is filled out for assurance. Please allow 1-2 weeks lead time for the request to be reviewed. So, keep this timeframe in mind so that you will be able to get the
response in time for you to register for classes.
Cross campus registration forms are located in the Academic Center. These forms are not on-line. Instructions will be given at the point the registration for the cross campus
agreement is submitted back to the Academic Center.
- How many CLEP tests may I take?
A maximum of 32 semester hours from CLEP testing may be accepted. Credit-by-exam attempts can be made no later than official reports may be received during the
student's next to last full semester (Fall, Spring) preceding graduation, or if in the Teacher Education Program the next to last semester preceding Student Teaching.
May and Summer graduation applicants must complete all testing attempts before the end of the previous Fall Semester.
December and January applicants for graduation must complete all testing attempts before the end of the previous Spring Semester.
- How do CLEP tests impact my GPA?
CLEP tests do not affect your Union GPA. You earn the credit hours, but the grade is not factored into your GPA. If you fail a CLEP test,
you must wait 6 months before retaking the test. For additional information about CLEP testing, please contact Cindy Shirley, Director of Testing Services at email@example.com.
- Next Steps:
- Ensure that you have not exceeded the maximum limit of 32 semester hours from CLEP testing or other credit-by-exam testing. Note the latest semester you may sign up for a credit-by-exam if you are graduating soon.
- Sign up for a CLEP test
- CLEP test scores are reported directly to Union.
- How do I change my major at Union University?
To change your major, go to the Dean's Office for the new major. A Program of Study Change Request will be completed and your signature will be required.
- How and when will I know who my advisor is?
When you change your major, you will be informed who your new advisor will be. You will also be able to view the name of your new advisor in WebAdvisor.
- When do I need to withdraw?
After you have talked to each of your professors to get a better understanding of where you stand in each class, you can make an informed decision.
If you are too far behind to pull your grades up, you can withdraw from all classes through 11 weeks of the semester, or its term equivalent.
Students who have withdrawn must check with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions regarding reenrollment.
- How do I withdraw?
You'll need to contact the Academic Center in person (located behind Union Station) or by phone (731.661.5040) and complete a Withdrawal Card. You also need to contact Student Financial Planning to determine if you need to complete any paperwork (HOPE scholarship). It is also helpful for you to contact your advisor to let her/him know you are withdrawing. If you plan to return to Union in the future, your advisor can help you figure out a schedule for the next semester.
- Next Steps:
- Talk to each of your professors to determine where you stand in each class. If you decide to withdraw, send an e-mail to each of your professors letting them know your decision to withdraw.
- Contact the Academic Center and complete a Withdrawal Card.
- Contact Student Financial Planning to complete any necessary paperwork for financial aid and/or scholarships.
- Contact your advisor and let her/him know you are withdrawing.
- When you plan to return to Union, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions regarding reenrollment.
Curriculum Maps/Sample Schedules