Academic Record

Applying for In-State Residency

The residency status of undergraduate students is determined at the time of admission to Plymouth State University, and may be changed only by applying for reclassification. Undergraduate students who are currently enrolled may either obtain information from the Office of the Registrar or read the residency information posted in the Residency section of the Registrar’s Website:  http://www.plymouth.edu/office/registrar/academic-policies/residency/.

Applications for reclassification for a fall semester are due no later than September 1 of the semester.  Applications for a spring semester are due no later than January 1 prior to the beginning of the semester.
If the student is successful in his or her application for reclassification, the change will be effective at the beginning of the semester.  Re-classifications do no occur mid-semester.

Catalog Policy

To plan a curriculum, students should use the Academic Catalog printed the year they entered the University or any subsequent Catalog. It is the students’ responsibility to use this Catalog to outline course requirements in their curriculum. The University reserves the right to add, change or delete curricular offerings.

The Catalog to be used to determine graduation requirements may be no older than the academic year of official admission, nor more than seven years old. Readmitted students seeking teacher certification need to follow the most current catalog to satisfy state teacher certification requirements. Readmitted students, in programs other than teacher certification, may use the catalog of original admission if the catalog is less than seven years old and if it is possible for students to complete the degree before the seven-year limit on that catalog expires. If these two conditions do not exist, a more recent catalog must be used. Readmitted students will receive a Catalog Memo from the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies, at the time of readmission, stating the catalog to be used to determine graduation requirements.

Note: Students who entered in 2003-2004 or earlier, but elect to follow the 2005-2006 or subsequent Catalog for their major requirements, must fulfill the General Education requirements of the 2003-2004 Catalog. Students who entered in 2004-2005, but elect to follow the 2005-2006 or subsequent Catalog for their major requirements, must fulfill the General Education requirements of the 2004-2005 Catalog.

Students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree at Plymouth State University and who are readmitted after an absence of seven or more years may wish to exercise their option to declare academic bankruptcy. The full academic files of non-graduated students are kept for seven years; transcripts are always available.

Changing to Full-Time Status

Part-time matriculated students who wish to change to full-time should make their request in writing to the Registrar.  The deadline is the end of the first week of classes in the term in which the change is to be effective.  Students should include the following information: name (printed) student ID number, date, current address, current phone number, statement of request, term to be effective, and signature.  For currently admitted matriculated students, an on-time request to change to full-time status is automatically granted.  Students not currently admitted to the University should the Office of Admission regarding readmission.

Changing to Part-Time Status

Full-time matriculated students who wish to change to part-time status must request a change of status in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.  This request must be made by the end of the add period in the semester in which the change is to be effective.  Students should consult the Schedule of Classes, either online or the printed copy, or the Web calendar for the add deadline.  A change to part-time status may affect a student’s eligibility for financial aid, on-campus housing, and intercollegiate athletics,  as well as eligibility for loan deferments, insurance and the like.  Full-time tuition and fees will be charged to all students identified as full-time when admitted.
All matriculated students (full-time and part-time) must be enrolled in at least one-credit in each regular semester, spring or fall, or they will be withdrawn from the University.  All matriculated students (Full-time and part-time) who have been withdrawn but wish to return to a degree program must contact the Office of Admission to apply for readmission.

Changing Your Address of Telephone

The principal student address file is maintained by the Mail Center in the Hartman Union Building.

To change an address or telephone, students should access the “Personal Information” option in myPlymouth, Banner Self Service. Students may apply the new address to one or more of the following: home address, local address, billing address and parents’ addresses.

Please note that students must not set their home or local address to their HUB mail box. In particular, it is university policy that students living off-campus must provide a physical location at which the student may be contacted in an emergency.

Changing Your Academic Advisor

To change advisors, students should go to the Undergraduate Studies Office or Undergraduate Advising Center after securing the approval of the new advisor. No forms are required.

Changing Your Name or Social Security Number (SSN)

If a student’s legal name or social security number has changed, he or she should officially notify the Office of the Registrar so that academic records can be updated to reflect the correct name and/or SSN. A Change of Name or SSN may be printed from the web or picked up at the Office of the Registrar.

When presenting this form, students should have some official or legal document which shows their new name or SSN — such as a driver’s license, marriage certificate, SSN card, or military ID or orders.

Declaring Majors/Minors and Options

Students may declare an academic major when applying for admission to the University or they may enter without having chosen a specific major. In the event that a student chooses a major or changes a major after being admitted to Plymouth State University, the student needs to file a Declaration or Change of Academic Major and/or Option form with the Registrar’s Office. This form requires the signature of the Department Chair of the new major. Once this form is complete, the student should return the form to the Registrar’s Office for processing. Typically, a new advisor from the new major department is either chosen by the student or assigned.

Major/Option Declaration forms are available outside the Registrar’s Office or may be downloaded from the forms section of the Registrar’s Web site.  Major/Option Declaration forms are also used to declare options within a major. Options must be chosen within some majors while in others, the options are entirely elective. In either event, the procedure for completing the form is the same as that outlined above in regard to declaring the major itself. Where there are several options available within a major, it is advisable for students to choose the one that best suits their interests rather than to pursue several overlapping options jointly. If a student does choose to pursue a second or subsequent option, at least 12 credits must be different from the first option. To complete an option a student uses the same catalog as the major. The completion of options is noted on students’ transcripts.
To declare an academic minor, the student needs to file a Declaration of an Academic Minor form. This form requires the signatures of the student’s advisor and an appropriate representative of the department or council offering the minor. Completed forms are returned to the Registrar’s Office.

To drop an academic minor or option, students should submit to the Registrar’s Office a Request to Remove an Academic Minor or Option form.

Degree Requests

Plymouth State University graduates students three times per year; December, May and August. Diplomas are printed three times a year; December, May and August. Students who are completing their degrees need to file a Degree Request and Commencement Participation form. The deadlines for submitting the Degree request are listed below:

Degree Requests will be accepted up to one month beyond the deadline; however, there will be a $50.00 late fee. Degree Requests received after this time will be interpreted as requests for graduation in the subsequent year.

A final audit will be completed by the Degree Auditor after the student’s last semester grades have been posted.

Previous degree audits for readmitted students are no longer valid; a new audit will be conducted when a student files a new Degree Request. The official degree audit of a student who does not graduate expires when that student’s Catalog expires. The Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies, the Registrar, and the Chair of the major department will consider appeals for exception to this policy.

Students completing their
degree in
Submit their Degree Request
no later than
May November 1st
August November 1st
December April 1st

Dual Majors, Dual Degrees, and/or Second Degree

Students may pursue two Bachelor of Science or two Bachelor of Arts majors as long as they meet the requirements of both programs. To accomplish this goal, within the minimum number of credits required, requires close communication with advisors from both majors.

It should be noted that the major requirements of one program will satisfy the upper division general education requirements for the other program and vice versa. This is true in the case of dual majors, dual degrees or second degrees.

If the student wishes to receive two different degrees (i.e., a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree), the student needs to complete at least the equivalent of 30 credits of coursework beyond those required for the first degree. The degrees must be from different disciplines, i.e.; students may not earn both a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Mathematics. To ensure that the student can adequately handle the increased demands of seeking two different degrees, it is strongly suggested that the student consult with advisors within the Undergraduate Studies Office.

If a student already holds a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree from Plymouth, students may apply for readmission for the purpose of retroactively adding a major to that degree; they will follow the Academic Catalog current at the time of readmission. The idea of retroactively adding a major pertains to Plymouth graduates whose second program is a degree program of the same type (i.e., a second major in a Bachelor of Science program or a second major in a Bachelor of Arts program). If the second major is in a different degree program (i.e., a Bachelor of Arts major degree program when they already hold a Bachelor of Science degree or vice versa), students must meet the following requirements. The student must complete at least 30 credits of coursework at Plymouth subsequent to the completion of the first bachelor’s degree. All of the requirements of the second degree program, including general education requirements that were not fulfilled in the first degree program, must be fulfilled. At least half of the courses in the new major must be completed at Plymouth.

Students, who already hold a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree, from any other college or university, are allowed to pursue any of Plymouth’s degree programs once admitted. At least half of the courses in the new major program must be taken at Plymouth and the student must complete a minimum of 30 credits while at PSU. Students who already hold a degree from elsewhere are allowed to transfer in credits just as any other students are allowed to do (see ‘Transferring Courses to Plymouth’ below).

Plymouth graduates may also apply for readmission for the purposes of retroactively adding a minor or option. Students seeking a new minor will follow the catalog current at the time of readmission. Since options are based on major degree programs, students will follow the original catalog whenever possible. When it is not possible, they will follow the catalog current at the time of readmission and will have to complete any outstanding major and general education requirements.

Privacy and Disclosure of Information

A federal law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (popularly known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA), establishes certain rights for students with regard to their education records. In brief, the Act provides students the right to inspect their personal education records (with some exceptions), the opportunity to contest the contents of their records and protection from unauthorized disclosure of their education records to third parties outside the University. Basically, the University is not permitted to disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education record without the prior written consent of the student, or only under acceptable disclosure provisions in FERPA.

Access without prior approval of students is permitted to University faculty and staff with a need to have access to educational information, to appropriate federal and state officials with statutory authorization, to accrediting agencies and educational testing organizations, to the parents of dependent students and in an emergency, to other appropriate persons acting to protect the health and safety of the student and others. At Plymouth State University, the education records of students are released to parents only upon written request by students or by the parents of dependent students with proof of dependency. The student would be notified if such a request is made.

Some educational records maintained by the University are not open to access by students: these include confidential letters of recommendation to which the student has waived access, the financial records which parents have submitted to the University, medical and counseling records used in providing treatment to the student, the records of the University Police Department, records containing information on more than one student and records in the possession of the maker which are not accessible to other individuals. This last exception includes, for instance, the grade books of instructors and the desk files of faculty and administrators.

The University is permitted to release the following “directory information” without the prior consent of the student: name, place and date of birth, enrollment status, most previous educational institution attended, campus address, e-mail address, phone number, degree, field of study, grade level, participation in recognized activities and sports, and height and weight of athletic team members. Grades are considered “directory information” to the extent of publishing honor rolls and in selecting students to honor sororities or to receive academic scholarships. Students have the right to restrict disclosure or release of “directory information.” Request must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Student Affairs within 10 class days after the beginning of fall or spring term. See the current Student Handbook for further information: plymouth.edu/stulife/handbook/handbook.html. Important information regarding judicial records is also included in the Student Handbook: plymouth.edu/stulife/handbook/judicial/records.html.

Transcripts

The University transcript is the student’s permanent academic record. Ordinary transcript notations list courses taken and grades earned, as well as semester and cumulative grade point averages. Transcript notations are explained in the previous Grading System section.

Transcripts are provided without charge, though some restrictions apply. A statement of the transcript policy is posted at the Registrar’s Office and on the Registrar’s website. A transcript order form is available at the Office of the Registrar or may be downloaded from the web. Transcript orders must be in writing, or by fax, (603) 535-2724, and must include the following: full printed name, former names (if any), Student ID, Social Security Number, approximate dates of attendance at Plymouth State, address(es) to which the transcript should be mailed, current address and phone number, and the student’s signature.

Transcripts cannot be faxed; they will be mailed to the address(es) students provide or students may pick them up. Official transcripts are sealed and stamped ‘Official Transcript — Void If Opened’. The use of official transcripts is usually restricted to the transferring of credit from one institution to another or to the formal verification of a student’s academic career at Plymouth State University for some official purpose. If students merely wish to see their transcript for their own purposes, they may print an informal copy at any time using myPlymouth — a computer-based student information system described in the Academic Resources section.

Please note that an official transcript cannot be sent if a student has a financial hold. If this is the case, the student will be notified by mail of the hold and the proper office to contact to clear the hold.

Transferring Courses to Plymouth

The University allows transfer credit from regionally-accredited degree-granting institutions for courses that are graded C or above or its equivalent (a grade of P in a Pass/No Pass course). Courses deemed by Plymouth State University or the transferring institution to be either developmental/remedial or vocational are not transferable. Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given. A grade of C- or CD is not equivalent to a C. Only the credits will be transferred. Credits earned as quarter hours or other units are converted to semester hours. Grades from other institutions will not appear on the PSU transcript nor will they be included in the student’s grade point averages. The only exception to this is a PSU course taught through Granite State College within the University System of New Hampshire system (translocated course). When translocated courses are transferred into the University, these courses are placed on the PSU transcript and treated as non-transferred courses. Grades earned in PSU courses, taught through GSC, are averaged into student’s grade point averages at PSU, regardless of grade.

Students entering Plymouth State University with transfer credits shall have their cumulative grade point average established by their PSU grades only. Transfer students are subject to the academic standards for satisfactory performance.
A maximum of 65 credits taken at a two-year college or 90 credits taken at four-year institutions will be accepted toward the baccalaureate degree. If students take a course at PSU, for which they have already received equivalent transfer credit, they will be notified. Their PSU enrollment will be changed to audit; they may request to drop the course.

A course from a two-year college transfers to PSU as lower level only. A course from a two-year college may transfer as upper-level only if equivalency to a PSU upper-level course can be demonstrated. Students will have to supply course syllabi, sample texts, and other documents for evaluation by the appropriate department chair.

No Plymouth State University course for which credit was received may be repeated at another institution. Only a course failed at PSU may be repeated elsewhere. The transfer course must be equivalent to the course failed at PSU. Upon receipt of the transfer credit, the PSU grade of F will be removed from the grade point calculation.

Transfer Credit Approval Forms are available from the Undergraduate Studies Office. A transfer course database (TCOURSE) is available on the University’s Web site. This database shows all courses that have been transferred into PSU from other colleges/universities and the way that that those credit have been applied to University’s degree programs. If a course appears in the Plymouth State University database, as having transferred in and applied in the way the student wishes to apply it, the Transfer Credit Approval Form merely provides a way to link the incoming transcript to the student’s request.

In the event the course has never been transferred into Plymouth State University, or in the way the students desire, the Transfer Credit Approval Form provides an opportunity for that course to be evaluated by PSU prior to students taking it. A copy of the catalog course description must accompany the approval form. The department sponsoring the major determines the applicability of transfer credits to a student’s major.

Earning Credits

  • Credit-by-Examination: Credit-by-Examination is a way that students may earn a maximum of 30 credits. The examinations may be nationally standardized examinations or ones composed by Plymouth State University faculty. When students earn credit by examination, a notation is made on students’ transcripts next to the pertinent credits.
  • The nationally standardized examinations recognized by PSU are the AP (Advanced Placement), CLEP (College Level Examination Program), and DANTES examinations (see Appendix). AP exams are typically given to juniors and seniors in high school. CLEP and DANTES exams can be taken on or off the University campus at official testing sites. If Plymouth State University is specified as a school to receive an official grade report, no further action is required of the student. In the case of AP exams, the appropriate academic department(s), acting in conjunction with the Undergraduate Studies Office, will determine whether credit and/or placement in advanced courses is to be granted. Scores on CLEP and DANTES exams will be assessed to see whether the standards for the conferring of credit have been met. If they have, credit will be given for courses in which students have not already received university credit.
  • Students who believe they have adequate background in a particular subject may seek to obtain credit by taking an appropriate examination determined by Plymouth State University Faculty. The faculty member(s) and the academic department involved determine whether or not a course is open to credit-by-examination. They are responsible for administering, assessing and reporting the results to the Registrar if such an examination is given. Grades are not awarded. A credit-by-examination fee (see Tuition and Fees section) is required.
  • Students may earn credit applicable to Plymouth State University degree programs by taking courses at PSU or by taking approved courses at other colleges/universities and transferring in the earned credits as outlined above. Alternately, students may earn credit through examination, independent study or individual enrollment.
  • Independent Study: Independent Studies are upper-level (4910), special, individualized projects; students may earn one to four credits in any given Independent Study. This opportunity is intended to provide a capstone experience for upper-level students. Independent Study Forms are available at the Registrar’s Office and online. Completing the form involves receiving approval of the professor, appropriate department chair, and advisor. Once all signatures have been obtained, the student must bring this form in person to the Registrar’s Office to register for the credit.
  • Individual Enrollment: Individual Enrollments are a way for a matriculated (degree-seeking) student to be able to take a required course not currently being offered during any given fall or spring semester. The student must demonstrate extenuating circumstances as to why the course could not be taken in the regular sequence. No individual enrollment will be granted for a course currently being offered. Individual enrollments are not available to non-matriculated continuing education students. Individual Enrollment Forms are available at the Registrar’s Office. Completing the form involves procuring the approval of the professor, appropriate department chair, advisor, and the associate Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies (or designee). Once all signatures have been obtained, the student must bring this form in person to the Registrar’s Office to register for the course. Credits earned are treated exactly as conventional classroom courses in regard to tuition and fees. There will be only one course offered by individual enrollment per faculty member in the fall and spring semesters; in Winterim and summer an individual enrollment comprises part of a faculty member’s teaching load.
  • Service in the Armed Forces: All veterans applying for admission to the University must submit a copy of their separation papers (DD 214) as part of the entrance requirements.  Veterans who have served on full-time duty for more than one year (12 consecutive months) in the armed forces may receive two physical education credits.