Feb 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Courses and Course Credit

Course Load

Maximum course loads are established to encourage students to think carefully about the amount of time they will need to devote to each class. The following policies are in place so that students are better able to meet their course obligations successfully.

  • A standard undergraduate course load during the fall and spring terms is 15 to 16 semester credit hours, or five courses. Twelve semester credit hours are considered the minimum full-time load.
  • Students who are employed 40 hours per week should take no more than two courses, or six credit hours.
  • Students who wish to enroll in 20 credit hours or more in a fall or spring term must receive approval from the assistant or associate dean of their college.
  • The standard load for one summer session is six to eight credit hours.
  • Students who wish to enroll in nine hours or more in a single summer session or in two overlapping summer sessions must receive approval from the assistant or associate dean of their college.

For information on the graduate course load, consult specific master’s degree coordinator.

Part-of-Term (PoT)

Effective Fall 2011, UHD began utilizing shorter sessions, termed “Part-of Term” (PoT) within full terms. For more information about these offerings, please review the posted academic calendars on the UHD website (uhd.edu).

Schedule Changes

Schedule changes are made online, and may require approval by an academic advisor. Registration instructions for Schedule Changes are found in on the UHD Registrar’s Office website and the dates for Schedule Changes are found in the online Academic Calendar.

Discontinued (Cancelled) Classes

The university reserves the right to discontinue classes or otherwise alter the class schedule. Whenever possible, enrollment in an alternate course is completed through an administrative change form initiated by the department responsible for discontinuing the class.


Undergraduate classification is determined by the number of credit hours which have been completed: 0-29 semester hours: freshman; 30-59 semester hours: sophomore; 60-89 semester hours: junior; and 90 semester hours and above: senior. Graduate classification is determined by admission status.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all class sessions. The responsibility for dropping a course lies with the student. Departments and faculty members may have additional attendance policies for their courses.

Transfer Credit-Undergraduate

Acceptance of Transfer Credit

Transfer students must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended as a part of the admission process. Transfer credit evaluations will be performed during the admission process to the university. Course work transferred or accepted for credit toward an undergraduate degree must be accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association and represent collegiate course work relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in the institution’s own undergraduate degree program.

Workforce Education course work, both vocational and technical, may be accepted by some programs, depending on the specific program, provided these courses are from an accredited institution that is recognized by THECB.

Transfer courses determined to be substantially equivalent to a UHD course will be transferred as the UHD course equivalent. Courses taken at other colleges that do not correspond to courses offered by UHD may transfer as elective credit. The number of hours credited for a transferred course will be calculated as UHD equivalent hours. In the case that the number of transferred hours for a course is less than the number of hours required by UHD, the missing hours must be fulfilled under the electives area of the degree plan.

With the consent of the appropriate dean, the chair of the department in which a student is majoring will make the decision concerning application of transfer credit to the degree program. Therefore declared majors should obtain approval from their degree-granting college before taking courses from a community or junior college which they wish to transfer to UHD.

In general, UHD does not award transfer credit for vocational courses that are not considered part of a standard college curriculum. Students may petition the academic dean of the college in which they are seeking their degree, who may agree to award credit for such courses in exceptional circumstances.

Students should direct questions concerning transfer credit to their academic advisor or degree program coordinator.

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

Transcripts will be evaluated for institutional transfer credit upon completion of the admission application process.

For a course taken more than once, the highest grade will be transferred. Courses that have an F or W will not be accepted for transfer. Grades from the transfer institution, including any other university in the UH System, do not count toward the student’s UHD GPA. Developmental courses do not transfer for credit but may allow the student to move forward.

Transfer work will be further evaluated for applicability to the student’s chosen degree plan by the degree-granting college once the student has been accepted into the college as a declared major.

Students who apply to UHD while they are attending another institution must submit two official transcripts. The first should be sent at the time of application and should reflect the student’s current enrollment. A second must be sent as soon as grades are available for those classes.

Transferring Credits from Other Countries

Students applying for admission with college credits from other countries must submit an evaluated transcript from a credential evaluation service recognized by the university. Credits will be granted based on the recommendations of the evaluating service with respect to University of Houston-Downtown degree requirements at the time of enrollment.

Information and brochures from evaluating service agencies are available at the Office of Admissions and online at www.uhd.edu/admissions.

Transfer Credit Dispute Resolution Procedures

Students who receive written notification from Office of Admissions that a lower-level course taken at another Texas public institution of higher education has not been accepted may challenge denial of credit by UHD. To initiate a dispute action, a Transfer Dispute Resolution form must be completed. The form and instructions for its completion are available on the Office of Admission website.

Credit by Examination

UHD accepts up to 24 hours of credit by examination. Credit by examination may be obtained on the basis of several types of examinations. Nationally recognized standardized examinations such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the College Board’s Advanced Placement program, and International Baccalaureate (IB) may be used. Examinations widely used within a professional field and locally designed examinations also may be used. Students planning to take CLEP exams should do so before their final semester.

Nationally standardized examinations are administered through Testing Services; all other examinations are administered through the responsible department.

If credit is not awarded, a period of six months must elapse before application for re-examination will be considered. Appropriate fees are charged for each examination. No student may attempt the exam for a particular course more than twice. Credit may be granted for professional certification and training received from armed forces and service schools. With consent of the appropriate dean, the chair of the department in which the student is majoring will make the decision concerning the applicability of such courses to the degree program.

Credit received by examination does not fulfill residency requirements for graduation.

No grade is awarded for courses for which credit has been obtained by exam, nor are hours received for such courses included in the calculation of grade point average for graduation. Listed below are the subject examinations for the Advanced Placement Program and the College Level Examination Program.




Credit for Military Service

It is the policy of the University of Houston Downtown to award transfer credit for military courses and/or military service based on the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE)’s Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services. Credit for military courses and/or credit is available to all admitted undergraduates. Either elective or direct course credit will be awarded based on ACE recommendations.

Credit for Military Service (HB 269)

HB 269 makes military veterans who enroll in Texas universities and who meet certain requirements eligible to receive undergraduate college credit for the time they spent in the service. Eligible veterans receive college credit for all the required physical education courses needed for their degree and up to an additional 12 semester hours of elective coursework.

To be eligible to receive credit under HB 269, veterans must have:

  • Graduated from a public or private high school accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization or from a high school operated by the United States Department of Defense.
  • Completed at least two years of service in the armed forces (or discharged because of a disability)
  • Been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces.
  • Credit awarded under HB 269 is awarded for having served, not for college-level courses that might have been taken while in the military.

Acceptable forms of documentation include:

  • AARTS Transcript (Army ACE Registry Transcript)
  • CCAF Transcript (Community College of the Air Force Transcript)
  • SMART Transcript (Sailor/Marine ACE Registry Transcript)

Elective Credit

Directed Studies Courses

A directed studies course allows students to work directly with a faculty member on an individual basis. This type of study is intended to expand the curriculum and may not duplicate an organized course. A directed studies course requires a term paper, research study or comparable project.

The student must be in good academic standing

Students wishing to enroll in a directed studies course must be in good academic standing, must have instructor approval to enroll in the course. The academic department of the course or college may have additional prerequisites or requirements for enrollment in a directed studies course.

Procedures for enrolling in directed studies courses are available in UHD Policy Statement 03.A.17- Directed Studies. Degree requirements may limit the number of hours of directed studies that may be applied.

Auditing Courses

To audit a course is to enroll in a course on a noncredit basis. Audit students pay the regular tuition and all other applicable fees as set for the current academic year. Senior citizens 65 years or over may audit for free on a space-available basis. A change to credit status may not be made after the student has registered to audit a course. Changes from credit status to audit status in a course must be made prior to the end of the business day of the Official Day of Record. A Request for Audit form must be processed in the Registrar’s Office by the Official Day of Record for the appropriate term along with Instructor approval. Students wishing to audit courses should contact the Registrar’s Office for further details http://www.uhd.edu/registrar/documents/audit_form.pdf.

Grading System and Standards

Academic Honesty

The Academic Honesty Code is embraced by all members of the University of Houston-Downtown academic community and is an essential element of the institution’s academic credibility. The Honesty Code states “We will be honest in all our academic activities and will not tolerate dishonesty.” The purpose of the Academic Honesty Policy is to deal with alleged violations of the Honesty Code in a fair and consistent manner. The policy is administered jointly by students and faculty. It is each student’s responsibility to read and understand the Academic Honesty Policy. It may be found in the Student Handbook (www.uhd.edu/student-resources/handbook).

Grading System

The following grades are included in the calculation of grade point averages:

Grade Grade Points  
A Superior 4.0  
B Above Average 3.0  
C Average 2.0  
D Below Average 1.0  
F Failure 0.0  

The following grades are not included in the calculation of grade point averages:

A* Non-credit grade
B* Non-credit grade
C* Non-credit grade
I Incomplete
IP In Progress
AU Audit
S Satisfactory (Passed)
U Unsatisfactory (Failed)
W Drop
CA Credit Awarded

I (Incomplete)

An incomplete grade is given only when an unforeseen emergency prevents a student from completing the course work and only with the instructor’s approval. A grade of I will be changed to a passing grade if the missing work is completed satisfactorily by the deadline set by the instructor but no later than the end of the long semester immediately following the term in which the grade was received. An incomplete grade that is not removed by this deadline becomes an F. Repetition of a course for which an incomplete grade was received does not affect resolution of the original grade. An incomplete grade earned in a student’s graduating semester is computed as an F in determining grade point average.

IP (In Progress)

The grade of IP may be given in some developmental courses. In the calculation of grade point average, a grade of IP is treated as a W. To receive credit for a course in which an IP was assigned, a student must register for the course again and earn a passing grade.

AU (‘Audit)

In accordance with PS 03.A.03 - Auditing Courses, a grade of AU may be assigned only in those courses officially approved for such designation. Grades of AU are not included in calculating the GPA.

S (Satisfactory)

The grade of S may be earned in field experience courses and certain other courses. Credit received with a grade of S is not part of the grade point average calculation.

W (Withdrawal from Courses)

Students will not receive a grade for a course if they drop the course by the Official Day of Record (see Academic Calendar ).Students automatically receive a grade of W for any course they drop after the Official Day of Record up to the drop/withdrawal deadline as listed in the online Academic Calendar. Official Day of Record and drop/withdrawal deadlines are published in the University Calendar online at www.uhd.edu/AcademicCalendars.

Class days are defined as days on which the university normally has one or more classes scheduled; not the days for which an individual student is scheduled for his/her particular classes. For purposes of determining academic calendar dates, class days during the Fall, Spring, May and Winter terms are Monday through Friday while class days during a summer term are Monday through Thursday.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average is a measure of a student’s academic achievement. Grade point averages are computed by multiplying the grade point value by the number of credit hours in each course, and then dividing the sum of all grade points obtained by the total number of hours attempted. The following formula represents the method of computing grade point average:

  Total Number of Grade Points Earned
Total Number of Semester Hours
= Grade Point Average


The number of grade points earned for each course equals the hour credit value of the course multiplied by the points awarded for grades received. Grades of I, S, U, IP, CA, AU and grades marked with an asterisk (*) in the table above are not counted in the calculation of the grade point average. Grades of I will be calculated as F grades in determining grade point average for graduation.

In calculating the Grade Point Average (GPA) to determine honors for students who have earned all their credits at UHD, the UHD GPA, as it appears in the student record system, is used. For students who have completed some portion of their college work at other institutions, the UHD GPA is combined proportionately with the Transfer GPA earned at those other institutions to determine eligibility for honors.

Undergraduate students must meet a graduation requirement of a minimum 2.0 grade point average calculated on all grades earned at UHD. Some departments may specify more stringent requirements, such as a 2.5 grade point average in the major or a 2.5 grade point average in all upper-level courses.

Graduate students must meet a graduation requirement of a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Appeal of Grades

If a student believes a course grade to be in error (i.e., if it appears to be a miscalculation, or if it appears that grade was not calculated and/or evaluated according to the course instructor’s stated procedure) a student may file an appeal by proceeding in the following sequence: (1) appeal first to the course instructor, (2) if the appeal is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, then appeal to the appropriate department chair, (3) the final level of appeal would be to the appropriate dean.

If a student does not appeal a grade within one calendar year after the close of the semester in which the grade was received, the grade is final and no appeal will be heard.

The responsible party at each level has 14 academic calendar days to respond to students in writing with their decision regarding the appeal, unless granted an exception by the Dean of the college in which the original grade was awarded.

Appeals must be submitted in writing. Students bear the responsibility for providing documentation related to the grade appeal. If the appeal reaches the chair or dean and it is determined that there is evidence of a grading error, the chair or dean will consult with the course instructor before making a final decision. Final decisions must be communicated in writing to all concerned parties.

When the appealed grade is from a course that is housed in a multidisciplinary or multi-college program, all appeals will be handled within the course’s “home” department and college. A student may file an appeal by proceeding in the following sequence: (1) appeal first to the course instructor, (2) if the appeal is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, then appeal to the chair of the department in which that course is housed (for courses in programs that do not have a department chair, the appeal is initiated with the program director), (3) the final level of appeal would be to the dean of the college in which that course is housed.

An instructor may appeal the chair’s decision to the Office of the Dean.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List recognizes students who have achieved superior academic performance during the fall or spring semester. To be included on the Dean’s List for a specific semester, a student must, during that semester, complete at least nine semester hours of college-level work, earn at least a 3.5 grade point average, and receive no grade of I or F. The Dean’s List is published by each college at the end of each fall and spring semester.

Grades for Repeated Courses

When a UHD course is repeated at UHD, only the highest grade will be used in computing the UHD grade point average. If a course taken initially at UHD is repeated later at another institution for credit, only the UHD grade is included in the UHD grade point average. However, the course with higher grade will be used to complete degree requirements.

Academic Probation and Suspension


Academic probation is a warning to the student that his or her academic record has been unsatisfactory. A student who is not making satisfactory progress toward meeting graduation requirements may be placed on academic suspension if this record does not improve.

A student is placed on academic probation at the end of any term in which his or her cumulative UHD GPA falls below 2.0. The cumulative UHD GPA for academic probation is computed on grades earned at UHD. Grades of I, IP, S or W are not counted. See the Grading System and Standards section of the catalog for additional details on grades that count toward the UHD GPA.

All students on probation must consult with an academic advisor before registration to discuss their plans, academic progress and GPA repair, and available academic support.

Students on probation must maintain a UHD term GPA of 2.0 or above in each term in which they are enrolled until their cumulative UHD GPA reaches 2.0 or above. Students on academic probation will be placed on continued probation at the end of any term in which they fail to earn a minimum term GPA of 2.0. Failure to earn a term GPA of 2.0 or above while on continued probation status will result in academic suspension. Only courses taken at UHD will remediate the cumulative UHD GPA. A student returns to regular academic standing after his/her cumulative UHD GPA reaches 2.0 or higher.

Suspension and Dismissal

Suspension means that a student is ineligible to register or remain in classes. Students on continued probation status will be suspended at the end of any term in which their cumulative GPA falls below the specified minimum cumulative UHD GPA unless they earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 in that term.

Any registered coursework for the next term will be administratively dropped by the Records Office. A student’s suspension is in effect for that term, pending readmission. The student may appeal the suspension to the student’s academic dean or the dean’s designated representative. For an appeal, students must provide clear and compelling evidence of potential academic success, for example, academic success at other institutions. The final decision for readmission rests with the academic dean or dean’s designated representative.

If a student’s appeal is approved, the student will be placed on extended probation. The student must meet with a dean’s representative or designated advisor to discuss how to improve their academic performance and make satisfactory academic progress. The student may be required to agree to a contract of actions likely to result in improved academic performance. Students must maintain a term GPA of 2.0 or above in each term they register until achieve a cumulative UHD GPA of 2.0. Failure to maintain a term GPA of 2.0 will result in academic dismissal from the university. This academic dismissal will be permanent unless the student appeals to their academic dean or dean’s designated representative for readmission or readmits under Academic Amnesty.

*Academic probation and suspension will be noted on the student’s official undergraduate transcript.

Academic Amnesty

A student returning to UHD after a minimum of a two-year absence may petition for application of the academic amnesty policy. To be eligible, the student must not have attended UHD for the two-year period immediately preceding his/her return to UHD. The student must also complete 24 semester credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 following readmission to UHD. If academic amnesty is granted, all courses with grades of F or D earned prior to readmission are ignored in applying credit toward fulfillment of degree requirements and in future computations of the student’s grade point average. The amnesty provision applies only to the application of credit toward a degree and computation of the student’s grade point average. No grades on the student’s permanent record are altered or deleted.

Student Records


Requests for official UHD transcripts are made online through the MyUHD portal via Student eServices and are processed by the Registrar’s Office. All requests for official UHD transcripts will be processed within 2-3 business days, with the exception of transcripts that include coursework completed at South Texas Junior College, which may take up to 10 business days for processing.

Effective September 1, 2013, a transcript fee of $10 will be charged for each printed official transcript. Transcripts requested to be sent electronically through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to other institutions of Higher Education or as a PDF through our chosen partner Scrip-Safe will not incur an additional cost.

  • Electronic transcripts (EDI or PDF): no additional cost
  • Printed transcripts (mail or pick-up): $10.00 per transcript (non-refundable)

Official transcripts from other institutions which are submitted to the Office of Admissions as part of the admissions process become the property of UHD and will not be rereleased to the student unless the request is covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Additionally, UHD does not include completed transfer coursework on the official UHD transcript.

Unofficial transcripts, also known as the online grade history, are available through the MyUHD Portal, under the My Transcript & Grades option in Student eServices.

NOTE: Grades for Part of Term (PoT) courses ending prior to the close of the full term will be available online on the dates listed in the Academic Calendar. Part of Term (PoT) official grades will be displayed on the official transcript when grades for the full term are made available. See the Academic Calendar for grade posting dates at www.uhd.edu/academic/calendar.htm.

Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement

Effective October 1, 2013, Texas Senate Bill 1107 has been amended by Senate Bill 62 and requires all students (under age 22) entering an institution of higher education (public and private) and enrolling into courses which meet face-to-face on campus to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination before classes start. For additional time-sensitive information about this requirement, please visit: uhd.edu/meningitis.

Release of Student Records

UHD has a policy in conformity with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) covering the release of student records. Student rights include the following:

  • Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives the request.
  • Students have the right to request amendment of their education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading.
  • Students have the right to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • Students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Directory Information

At its discretion the University of Houston-Downtown may provide directory information to the general public without student consent. Directory information is defined by University of Houston-Downtown (within the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) as follows:

  • Student’s name
  • Mailing Address Primary Telephone number
  • University Assigned e-mail address
  • Classification
  • Enrollment Status
  • Major and minor fields of study
  • Degrees, certificates, awards and honors received
  • Dates of attendance
  • Graduation Date
  • Expected graduation date
  • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

Students may request that directory information be withheld from the public by contacting the Registrar’s Office at any time during the semester. Such requests must be made in writing and will remain in place until the student directs the office in writing that it is to be removed. The Confidentiality Request Form is available online, visit the Registrar’s Office website for more information.

Disclosure of Education Records

In accordance with FERPA and at its discretion, UHD will disclose information from a student’s education records without the written consent of the student to school officials who have a legitimate educational or administrative interest in the records. A school official is defined as a person employed by the University who holds an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including the University’s police department and health care staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her official duties. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities

Custodian of Records

The following individuals are designated by the University as custodians of records: Registrar’s Office, Room N330; Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Room S330; Director of the Career Development Center, Room S402; Director of Counseling and Health Services, Room S445; Dean of Students, Room S380; Dean of each College.

Procedure for Inspecting Education Records

A student has the right to inspect his or her education records and challenge the contents. To review records, a student must make a request in writing to the Registrar’s Office. The request must clearly and specifically identify the record or records he or she wishes to inspect plus the purpose of the request. The request must be signed and dated by the student. The University will respond to the student’s request within a reasonable time. A request to inspect (review) education records is not considered the same as a request for copies of the records.

Procedure for Amending Education Records

If a student believes the information in his or her education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, the student should submit a written and signed request for amendment to the Registrar’s Office. The written request should clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. The University will notify the student within a reasonable time regarding whether or not the record will be amended. If the university denies the student’s request for amendment of his or her record, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment. This procedure does not govern grade appeals.

Change of Name and Address

An official change in name must be reported to the Registrar’s Office and when applicable to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Original legal documentation must be presented along with a copy of the Social Security card when requesting a name change or correction (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree, naturalization certificate, etc.) A copy of your state issued driver’s license or government issued photo ID will also be required. Mailing addresses may be changed online through the MyUHD Portal’s Student eServices at www.uhd.edu/eservices under “My Personal Profile & Emergency Alerts.” Currently enrolled students requesting a name change should refer to the Student Information Change form for important information regarding updates to GatorMail and Blackboard.

Graduation Requirements

General Degree Requirements for Graduation

A bachelor’s degree contains a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. For degree completion, at least 25% of the semester credit hours must be earned through instruction offered by UHD.

In addition to completion of specific degree requirements, all students must meet the requirements described below. At least 30 semester credit hours of course work toward the degree must be taken at the University of Houston-Downtown; 18 hours must be at the upper level and be approved by the student’s major department. Only the appropriate academic dean may waive any portion of these requirements and only upon petition by a student who has extraordinary reasons.

The University of Houston Downtown limits academic residency to no more than twenty-five percent of the degree requirements for all degrees for active-duty service members. Academic residency can be completed at any time while active-duty service members are enrolled. Reservist and National Guardsmen on active-duty are covered in the same manner.

A minimum grade point average of 2.0 calculated on all grades earned at UHD is required for graduation. In addition, a grade point average of 2.0 is required for all courses taken at UHD that apply toward the degree.

Students enrolled in any degree program at UHD who wish to take courses at another college or university, including any other university in the UH System, and apply the credits earned toward his degree, must have prior approval of the appropriate officer of the student’s degree program. Courses taken without such approval may not be counted toward the fulfillment of degree requirements. A student taking courses under these provisions is responsible for having his official transcript from the second institution, including any other university in the UH System forwarded to the registrar’s office at UHD and for requesting that an official evaluation of this transcript be made and reported to the appropriate officer of the student’s degree program

Double Majors and Dual Degrees

A student can earn two different degrees by simultaneously completing the requirements for two academic programs of study that award different Bachelor’s Degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Bachelor of Science (BS), a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology (BSET). With each degree, students will also select a major and, thus, will graduate with two majors as well as two degrees. However, the fact that each major is awarded with a different degree establishes students on this path as students seeking a “dual degree.”

A UHD GPA of 2.5 is required to declare a dual degree or double major, and the declaration must be made before students submit any applications for graduation. Students may not pursue more than two degrees or majors simultaneously.

A student can earn a double major by simultaneously completing two academic programs, both of which award the same degree. Examples of majors include English, History, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, and Computer Science. The majors may or may not be housed in different colleges. Double majors awarded under the same degree (e.g. Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts) establishes students as seeking a “double major,” except for major pairings offered in the College of Business, which qualify as dual degree programs.

A bachelor’s degree contains a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. Students in a dual degree program must complete all courses required for each degree. Each degree must consist of at least 30 unique hours taken in residency at the University of Houston-Downtown, with a minimum of 18 of the unique hours in each program being upper-level and applicable to the upper-level requirements of the degree. Students seeking a double major must complete at least 18 upper-level hours in residency at the University of Houston-Downtown for each major. These 18 hours must be unique to each major and must be applicable to the upper-level requirements of each major.

Students should be aware that the state has imposed a limit of 120 hours for all degrees. Students who attempt more than 30 hours above this enrollment cap may be charged out-of-state tuition for the excess hours.

If students declare both degrees or majors at the same time, they must indicate which will be the primary degree or major and which will be the secondary degree or major. The college housing the primary degree or major is the academic home of record.

If the second degree or major is declared after the student has already been accepted into one program, the first degree or major is considered primary. Students wishing to have the second declaration considered the primary degree or major must seek permission from the dean of the college housing the new primary degree or major.

Students deciding not to continue pursuing a dual degree or double major may opt out of one degree or major by notifying in writing the dean of the college housing that degree or major before graduation is certified.

Students who will not be able to meet all of the requirements of one of the degrees or majors by the time of certification will be notified by the dean’s representative in their home college. At that point, such students have three options and must state the preferred option in writing to that representative:

  • to get certified in only the completed degree or major
  • to change the uncompleted degree program or major into a minor, if a minor in that area exists
  • to delay any certification until both degrees or majors are completed

Honors of summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude will be calculated by an official in the college of the primary degree for dual degrees and the primary major for double majors. The college of the primary degree is responsible for forwarding the needed documentation to determine honors in the secondary degree to the college responsible for the secondary degree plan. College Honors will be determined by an official in the college of the primary degree for dual degrees or the primary major for double majors. The college of the primary degree is responsible for forwarding the needed documentation to determine honors in the secondary degree to the college responsible for the secondary degree plan.

Students who successfully complete a dual degree will receive two diplomas, and both degrees and any majors within those degrees will be noted on their transcripts. The transcripts of students who successfully complete a double major will indicate both majors.

Additional Bachelor’s Degree

To qualify for a second UHD bachelor’s degree after having been already certified in one bachelor’s degree, a candidate must

  • meet the general and specific requirements for each degree.
  • take at least 30 unique hours, including 18 hours needed for the major, in residency for each degree at the University of Houston-Downtown, with a minimum of 18 of the unique hours in each program being upper-level and applicable to the upper-level requirements of the degree.

Graduation under a Specific Catalog

A student usually graduates under the degree provisions of the catalog in effect at the time of his or her first completed term of enrollment or any subsequent catalog.


  • No catalog more than ten years old may be used.
  • The program of students whose enrollment is interrupted for more than two consecutive long semesters for reasons other than military service shall normally be governed by the catalog in effect at the time of the students’ reenrollment in the university. Students have the option of graduating under the provisions of this catalog or any subsequent catalog.
  • A student whose enrollment is interrupted by military service must reenroll within one year from date of separation from the service and no more than five years from the beginning of military service in order to remain under the provisions of the catalog in effect at the time of original enrollment at the university.
  • Students forced to withdraw for adequate cause before the completion of the degree may, upon readmission, petition the appropriate academic dean to graduate under the catalog in effect at the time of original enrollment.
  • The program of students who change their major shall be governed by the catalog in effect at the time of the change of major.

Application for Graduation

All degree candidates must file an application for graduation with their college and pay the $50 graduation fee by the Official Day of Record for the term of intended graduation. The graduation fee covers the costs of processing the graduation application, printing the diploma and mailing it to the graduate, and other costs associated with the commencement ceremony. If students fail to complete all degree requirements during the term in which they applied for graduation and paid the graduation fee, then they must apply for graduation and pay the graduation fee again when they become eligible to graduate.

Candidates must also place a diploma order, which specifies how they want their name to appear on the diploma, with the Registrar’s Office.

Commencement Exercises

To participate in commencement exercises, students must be enrolled in the courses needed to complete all degree requirements and must file an application for graduation with their college, and pay the graduation fee by the second Monday after the last day to drop a course without a grade (the Official Day of Record) for the term of intended graduation. The final decision on eligibility for graduation and participation in commencement exercises rests with the appropriate academic dean.

Commencement participants with honors are so designated in the commencement program and wear special insignia with their academic regalia. As commencement occurs prior to the posting of final grades, the designation of honors for May and December commencement participants reflects only grades earned prior to the final semester. Designation of final honors on the transcript and diploma, however, is based on all work attempted.

Arrangements for obtaining academic regalia may be made through the university bookstore. Deadlines for ordering and paying for regalia are announced for each commencement.

Graduation with Honors

Current Policy effective until Graduation Candidates for Summer 2017
Students who complete bachelor’s degree requirements with exceptionally high grade point averages receive degrees with honors.

  • a cumulative grade point average of 3.75-4.00 graduate summa cum laude,
  • a cumulative grade point average of 3.50-3.74 is required for magna cum laude.
  • a grade point average of 3.25-3.49 is needed to graduate cum laude.

In the computation of this average, both the cumulative UHD grade point average and the grade point average over all college level work will be computed; the lower of the two averages will be used as the basis for determining honors.

Students not eligible for cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors may be eligible for College Honors. Students who have earned a GPA of 3.50 or greater in their last 60 hours attempted at UHD, including at least 30 upper-level hours, are eligible to receive the designation, “College Honors.”

Effective for Graduation Candidates in Fall 2017 and beyond

Students who complete bachelor’s degree requirements with exceptionally high grade point averages receive degrees with honors. University honors will appear on the student transcript and diploma. To qualify for University honors consideration students must have earned 42 credit hours or more at UHD of which 24 credit hours must be upper level course work. In accordance with the Grading System Standards, all UHD credit hours are used in the GPA calculation. Only credit hours at UHD are considered; transfer credits are not used in the GPA calculation for university honors.

For consideration of university honors, the university will look at two different UHD GPA calculations:

  • the UHD GPA calculated from the student’s last 42 credit hours taken at UHD and
  • the UHD GPA calculated from all courses taken at UHD.

The higher of the two UHD GPAs will be considered for university honors categories below:

  • a cumulative grade point average of 3.80-4.00 is required for summa cum laude.
  • a cumulative grade point average of 3.60-3.79 is required for magna cum laude.
  • a grade point average of 3.40-3.59 is required for cum laude.

Designation of university honors in the commencement program for graduates will reflect only grades earned prior to the final semester. University honors also will be calculated after final semester grades post and final honor status is reflected on the transcript.

Students not eligible for cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors may be eligible for College Honors. Each college will set its own GPA requirements for College Honors. College honors will be calculated after final semester grades post. College honors will be reflected only on the student’s final transcript.