Undergraduate and RN Options Academic Regulations and Student Responsibilities

Health Requirements

Upon admission, all undergraduate students including RN Options students in the School of Nursing are required to have a health examination that includes specific laboratory tests. A Hepatitis B vaccination is also required (unless student signs special waiver) as recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The costs of the examination, tests, and vaccine are the responsibility of the individual student. Also, nursing students are required to have medical and hospitalization insurance in addition to the coverage provided through the University Student Health Service.

Due to the fact that UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) requires hepatitis B vaccination and all students complete clinical rotation at various UPMC facilities, it may be problematic if a student decides to not obtain this immunization. It is strongly recommended that the student discuss this issue with their private health care delivery professional.

Each student enrolled in the School of Nursing, where exposure to human blood or other potentially infectious materials is probable or possible, must carry health insurance that will cover payment of treatment and follow-up procedures, and must be prepared to provide validation of this coverage each term to the program coordinator or designated staff.

Please note this program requires that you complete the clinical rotation at a facility(ies) external to the university, and such facility(ies) will or may require a criminal background check, an ACT 33/34 clearance (if applicable), and perhaps a drug screen to determine whether you are qualified to participate in the clinical rotation.  Additionally, in order to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.

Liability Insurance

All nursing students are required to participate in the blanket professional liability coverage offered through the University. The annual cost has been $12 per year, but is subject to change. This policy covers all students acting within the scope of his/her duties as a student in the School of Nursing.  (See Policy #364)

Transportation to Agencies

Students must assume responsibility for all transportation to clinical practice sites, community health agencies, and field trips.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Students are expected to meet current CPR certification requirements prior to the beginning of each clinical course. (See Policy #363)

Withdrawal from a Course

After the add/drop period and prior to the end of the ninth week of the term (fourth week of a session), a student may withdraw from a course. After that date, a student will be permitted to withdraw from a course or from all courses only in extraordinary circumstances and with permission of the Associate Dean of the School of Nursing (or designee). There is no tuition adjustment associated with a course withdrawal.  (See Policy #311)


The full time credit load in the School of Nursing is 12-18 credits for each 15-week term. Permission for credit overload must be obtained from the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (or designee) prior to registration and will be based upon the student's grade point average (GPA), course load, personal responsibilities, travel time, etc. Credit overload will not be honored without approval. (See Policy #36)

New Grading System

Grades for School of Nursing courses will be reported according to the following scale.  (See Policy #60)

Level of Attainment

A+ 4.00 97 to 100  
A 4.00 94 to 96 Superior Attainment
A- 3.75 90 to 93  
B+ 3.25 87 to 89  
B 3.00 84 to 86 Meritorious Attainment
B- 2.75 80 to 83  
C+ 2.25 77 to 79  
C 2.00 74 to 76 Adequate
C- 1.75 70 to 73  
D+ 1.25 67 to 69  
D 1.00 64 to 66 Minimal
D- 0.75 60 to 63  
F 0.00 less than 60 Failure
G     Unfinished class work (due to extenuating circumstances beyond student's control)
H     Honors -- exceptional completion of course requirement (See H/S/U grading)
I     Incomplete Research, work in individual guidance courses, clinical work or seminar
N     Noncredit audit
R     Resignation from University
S     Satisfactory (see H/S/U  grading)
U     Unsatisfactory (see H/S/U  grading)
W     Withdrawal without grade affecting the students scholastic average

H/S/U Grading

  • Students are permitted to carry one elective non-nursing course per term on an H/S/U basis. 
  • No student may change the grading of the course to an H/S/U basis after the normal add/drop period. 
  • The H or S grades will not be used in computing the GPA, but will be counted as credit toward graduation. 
  • The U grade will not be counted as credit toward graduation and will not be used in computing the GPA.
  • Once an H/S/U card has been submitted, a change to the letter grade system will not be permitted.

Satisfactory/Audit Grading System (S/N)

  • The Satisfactory/Audit system provides an alternative to letter grades to encourage students to enroll in elective courses they would not ordinarily select.
  • The S grade is awarded for satisfactory completion of course requirements
  • Satisfactory completion is defined as a C grade or higher. If less than satisfactory work is done, an N grade is recorded on the transcript.
  • Less than satisfactory performance is defined as a C- grade or lower.
  • Courses for which an S grade is received are counted toward graduation but not computed in the GPA.

Students who choose this grading option must do so by submitting a Grade Option form to your advisor by the end of the third full week of classes during a term (second full week of classes during the Summer Sessions). This decision may not be changed. Grade Option forms are available in the Student Affairs & Alumni Relations, Room 240, Victoria Building.   (See Policy #61)

Incomplete Grades

The incomplete grade, G, may be given at the option of the instructor when seriously extenuating circumstances do not permit the student to complete course work. University policy 09-01.05 requires "G" grade course requirements to be completed no later than the year after the term or session in which the course was taken. After the deadline has passed, the student is required to re-register for the course if it is needed to fulfill requirements for graduation.

If the G grade is given in a prerequisite course, the G grade must be removed before the end of the add/drop period or the student cannot continue in the subsequent course. To remove the G grade, the student must obtain a grade change authorization card (from the School of Nursing Student Affairs & Alumni Relations Office) which is given to the instructor. The instructor then records the grade change. Except in unusual circumstances, a G grade that is not removed within the designated time period will remain on the student's academic record. If the course is needed to fulfill requirements for graduation, the student will have to re-register for the course. (See Policy #313)

Grade Point Computation

Students should keep track of their own term and cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Each credit carried is awarded grade points that are computed according to the following scale:

Grade Grade Point Value per Credit
A+ 4.00
A 4.00
A- 3.75
B+ 3.25
B 3.00
B- 2.75
C+ 2.25
C 2.00
C- 1.75
D+ 1.25
D 1.00
D- 0.75
F 0.00

To calculate the term GPA, divide the total number of grade points earned that term by the total numbers of credits carried (excluding credits for courses for which the grades G, H, N, R, S, U, or W are given.) The cumulative GPA is calculated in the same manner using the grade point and credit totals for all work completed. Any course can be repeated providing class space is available. When a course is repeated, only the most recent grade, credits, and grade points will be used to determine the GPA and, therefore, the student's scholastic standing. For more information, please see University Policy 09-01-01.

Although the credits allowed for transfer students count toward fulfillment of quantitative graduation requirements, the grades earned in such courses are not included in grade point computations. Dean's List, graduation honors, and probation depend only on the official GPA.

Class Designation

Class designation is based upon successful completion of course requirements for each year of the curriculum.  (See Policy #46)

Acceptable Academic Status

All students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 (C average) or better throughout the program. Any undergraduate student whose cumulative GPA falls below a 2.00 is subject to academic action. The school has the right to change the grading system and policies governing academic status.

Warning, Probation, and Dismissal

A  student who has received a term GPA below 2.00 will be sent a letter of warning. There may be an unlimited number of warnings. The warning will not be recorded on the transcript.

After completion of 12 credits, a student whose term GPA falls below 1.50 or whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 will be placed on academic probation.  To be removed from probation, a student's cumulative GPA must be at least 2.00 after the completion of 12 additional credits. A student may be on probation no more than two terms during the total program.

Unless extenuating circumstances exist, undergraduate students will be dismissed from the school if: (1) their cumulative GPA falls below 1.00 after the completion of 12 credits or below 1.75 after the completion of 24 credits; (2) their cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 after two terms on probation; (3) they earn an unacceptable grade for a second time in specified courses; or (4) they fail more than two specified nursing/science courses.

Students may also be placed on probation or dismissed for (1) illegal or unethical professional conduct or (2) a pattern of unsafe or incompetent clinical practice.  The publication, Guidelines on Academic Integrity, and the school's policies on academic integrity shall be the references for appropriate procedures for adjudication. See section, Academic Integrity.

Policies governing warning, probation, and dismissal are subject to change. The same system of warning and probation that exists for full-time students will be applicable to part-time students each time they complete the equivalent of one full term (12 credits).  (See Policy #65)

Repeating of Courses

A student may repeat certain designated nursing courses only once if an unsatisfactory grade has been earned. Only the final grade earned is counted in computing the credits earned and the GPA. To register to repeat a course, the student must obtain permission on the appropriate form, which is available from the School of Nursing Student Affairs & Alumni Relations. Re-examination or extra work cannot be used as a basis for a change of grade.  (See Policy #48)


Students must register during the official registration period each term. Permission must be obtained from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Alumni Relations or designate to register after the designated period, but the student will be charged a late registration fee.

Students who need to add or drop courses can do so only during the designated add/drop period, usually the first two weeks of the term. Students must consult their advisor in the School of Nursing and complete the appropriate form.  (See Policy 36)

Degree Requirements

To earn the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the student must demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement in required course work prescribed by the curriculum with an overall academic achievement of a minimum GPA of 2.00.  (See Policies #46 and #65)

Statute of Limitations

Degree requirements must be fulfilled within a period of ten years. After the ten-year period, re-evaluation of credits will be required.  (See Policy #68)

Courses Taken Elsewhere

Students may attend a summer or special session of another accredited institution in order to supplement their program. To receive credit for such study, students must submit a Permission to Enroll at Another University form in advance from the Student Affairs & Alumni Relations and request approval from the Associate Dean of Affairs & Alumni Relations. Undergraduate Programs. After completion of the course, an official transcript from that institution must be submitted to the Student Affairs & Alumni Relations. Students will be given credit only for courses in which a C or better was earned.   (See Policy #33)

Cross Registration

Cross-college and cross-university registration is a program designed to provide for enriched educational opportunities for undergraduates at any of the ten institutions that comprise the Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education (PCHE): Carnegie Mellon, Carlow College, Chatham College, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, Point Park College, La Roche College, Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and the University of Pittsburgh. Under the terms of this program, full time students at any one of these institutions are granted the opportunity to enroll for one class per semester/term at any of the other institutions. Courses must be selected from those regularly accredited toward baccalaureate programs, and a student registering for them must meet all prerequisites. Priority in registration goes to the students of the host college. Full credit and grades are transferred.  Students interested in cross registering should consult their Student Advisor. Cross registration is not permitted in the Summer Term.

Application for Graduation

The application for the degree must be filed at least three months before the degree is to be conferred (and the student must be enrolled in the term in which the degree is conferred). Students must be in good financial standing with the University to receive their diploma. Unless a student specifies otherwise, the diploma along with a complimentary official copy of the final transcript, will be mailed to the permanent address at no charge approximately six weeks after the end of the graduation term.  Each student should check this transcript carefully and bring any discrepancies to the attention of the Registrar's Office immediately. Candidates are encouraged to appear in person at commencement exercises.

For more information please contact Student Affairs & Alumni Relations, sao50@pitt.edu