Academic Policies

 Course Loads

The normal academic course load for all students is 15 credits to 19 credits per semester. The student who completes 15 credits each semester can meet degree requirements in four years for most but not all degrees. The minimum course load is 12 academic credits per semester. Students must have registered for a minimum of 12 credits by the last day to add classes. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of registration. An exception to this regulation is made for seniors who, in their final semester, need fewer than 12 credits to graduate.

In any given semester, when registration opens for the next semester, students may register for as many as 19 credits. After the close of a semester, students who have earned a grade-point average of 3.000 or better on 15 credits or more during that semester may register for as many as 22 credits in the following semester. After the close of a semester, students who have earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.500 may register for as many as 25 credits.

Full-time students with a course load of fewer than 14 credits should realize that they cannot qualify for Dean’s List, they risk falling behind their class level.

Class Status

Class status is determined by the total number of earned credit hours; credit hours for currently enrolled courses are not included. Credit for coursework taken at another institution is included only after the transfer credit approval process is complete.

Freshmen 0-24 earned credit hours
Sophomores 25-56 earned credit hours
Juniors 57-86 earned credit hours
Seniors 87 or more earned credit hours

Course Sequencing

Course at Tulane offerings increase in sophistication and specialty with increasing course number, and usually follow the following conventions:

1000-level Introductory-level undergraduate courses
2000-level and 3000-level Intermediate-level undergraduate courses; may require 1000-level prerequisites.
4000-level Advanced-level undergraduate courses; may require multiple level prerequisites; may be a capstone course.
6000-level Introductory-level graduate or advanced-level undergraduate courses; often open to both undergraduate and graduate students; sometimes cross-listed with 3000 or 4000-level courses.


Intermediate-level graduate courses; not open to undergraduates.
8000- and 9000-level  Advanced graduate-level courses; often independent graduate study or dissertation research.


Students enrolled in Newcomb-Tulane College may register for courses at Loyola University, Dillard University and Xavier University, provided that the same course has not been offered at Tulane University within the past year. Students must be registered for at least nine credits of coursework at Tulane in the semester of Loyola, Dillard or Xavier registration and may not use the Loyola, Dillard or Xavier credits to satisfy core curriculum requirements or school-specific core requirements.  Additional restrictions may apply; interested students should contact the Academic Advising Center.

Auditing Courses

A student registered for a full-time course load (at least 12 credits) may audit one course per semester in addition to his or her full-time course load without credit after completing formal registration and obtaining approval of the instructor for the course. Although credit is not granted for audited courses, such courses are considered part of the student’s semester course load and are recorded on the student’s permanent record. An audit enrollment that results in an overload is not permitted unless the student is qualified for such an overload. An auditor who is absent excessively will be dropped without record. Students who decide to audit a course after initially attending the course as a grade-seeking student must submit the appropriate change form to the registrar following the approval of the Newcomb-Tulane College dean.

Grades/Grading Policy

Federal law prohibits the release of grades or other confidential information to third parties, including parents and guardians, unless the student provides the Newcomb-Tulane College dean’s office with written authorization for release of such information. Such a request may be made by the student at any time.

A student’s progress toward graduation is measured not only by credits earned but also by the grade-point average. The grade-point average is determined by dividing the student’s total number of quality points by the total number of quality hours. Graduation requires a 2.000 grade-point average, equivalent to an average grade of C, in all courses as well as in the major. 






















Satisfactory; not counted in grade-point average but is counted in earned hours











Unsatisfactory; not counted in grade-point average and is not counted in earned hours


Unofficial withdrawal; counts in grade-point average as a failing grade and earns no quality points


Withdrawn failing; counts in grade-point average as a failing grade and earns no quality points



Incomplete; not counted in grade-point average


In progress; not counted in grade-point average


Indicates a repeated course; earns no quality points


Indicates unauthorized repetition of a course


Withdrawn; not counted in grade-point average

Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade, I, is given at the discretion of instructors when, in their view, special circumstances prevent a student from completing work assigned during the semester and with the understanding that the remaining work can be completed within 30 days. Incomplete grades also are given when a student’s absence from a final examination has been excused by the Newcomb-Tulane College dean prior to or within one day following the final examination. Incomplete grades must be resolved within 30 days of the end of the semester or they are changed to Fs. The I will remain on the student’s transcript, accompanied by the final course grade. Extensions of the 30-day deadline must be requested in writing by the student and must be approved by the instructor and the Newcomb-Tulane College dean.

Extensions are approved only when a student has made an attempt to complete the missing work within the original 30-day period but, in the view of the instructor and Newcomb-Tulane College, has been prevented from completing the work by some special circumstance beyond the student’s control. Extensions must be approved before the 30-day deadline expires; extensions are not approved retroactively.

IP Grades

An in-progress grade, IP, is used to show progress during the first semester of a year-long honors or capstone course. When the final semester’s grade for the course is awarded, the IP is changed to reflect that grade and grade points are awarded accordingly.

Nonstandard Grades

The following information pertains to all schools.


Indicates a repeated course covered by the retake course policy; earns no quality points


Indicates a repeated course not covered by the retake policy; earns no quality points


Satisfactory; not counted in grade-point average but      is counted in earned hours.


Unsatisfactory; not counted in grade-point average and is not counted in earned hours.


Unofficial withdrawal; counts in grade-point average as a failing grade and earns no quality points.

Grades of WF are assigned by administrators and are computed in the grade-point average as if they were Fs.

In cases where students are suspended or expelled during the semester, W or WF grades may be assigned at the discretion of the Newcomb-Tulane College. A grade of WF may be assigned for excessive absence from a course and may be assigned for disciplinary penalties in connection with an honor code or conduct code violation. A student who ceases to attend a class but has not withdrawn officially will receive a UW. After the last day to drop without record and before the last day to drop a course, students who drop courses voluntarily will have W noted on their transcripts for each course dropped.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option

Where individual schools permit, students in good standing may elect to take one course on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory (S/U) basis per semester. They may count no more than ten credits from such courses toward degree requirements. The S/U option may not be used to satisfy the writing, foreign language, quantitative reasoning, and laboratory components of the core curriculum, or major or minor requirements. The last date for designating or revoking the S/U option is the deadline for dropping courses. Schools may impose additional limitations on courses that can be taken S/U; please refer to the appropriate school section for more information.

A student electing this option gets academic credit for the course without affecting the grade-point average as long as the work is at the C- level or better. A grade of U is not counted in the grade-point average and carries no credit for the course. Students are cautioned that because a grade of S is not counted in the grade-point average, it will not count toward the Dean’s List honors or towards the 2.000 grade-point average required for graduation.


Tulane University administers final examinations according to a published schedule available on the registrar’s website at the beginning of each semester. The university expects students and instructors to follow this schedule. Instructors must give final examinations within the hours set aside in the examination schedule; the instructor determines the length and time of the examination within the schedule.

Misreading or ignorance of the schedule is not sufficient reason for a student’s absence or tardiness to a final examination. Students are advised to check the schedule before making travel arrangements; such arrangements are not grounds for excusing a student from a final examination.

Students may be excused from final examinations by the Newcomb-Tulane College dean only when there is a serious, incapacitating medical problem or when there is a death in the immediate family. Students who must be absent from the final examination for one of these reasons must present an explanation and appropriate documentation to the Newcomb-Tulane dean’s office before or within 24 hours after the examination. A student with an excused absence will receive a grade of I and a make-up examination; a student with an unexcused absence will earn a grade of F in the course. (See school sections for further information.)

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes unless they are ill or prevented from attending by exceptional circumstances. Instructors may establish policies for attendance and making up missed work in their classes, which are announced at the beginning of the semester. Students who find it necessary to miss class are responsible for obtaining notes on material covered in lectures or other class sessions.

Students are responsible for notifying instructors about absences that result from serious illnesses, injuries, or critical personal problems. Medical excuses are issued by the Student Health Center in the following instances: illnesses or injuries that involve hospitalization, a partial or complete withdrawal due to medical reasons, or a missed final examination for a medical condition being treated by the Student Health Center. In all of these instances, medical information will be released only with the student’s written permission.

Instructors are authorized to lower the grades of students who are absent excessively without a satisfactory excuse or do not make up work missed because of absences. Instructors are authorized to lower the grades of students who are absent excessively without a satisfactory excuse or do not make up work missed because of absences. With the approval of the Newcomb-Tulane College dean, an instructor may have a student who has excessive absences involuntarily dropped from a course with a WF grade after written warning at any time during the semester.

Leave of Absence

Students who voluntarily leave any school of the university and return to that school within one calendar year will be allowed to continue study under the degree requirements in effect for them at the time they left. Any student returning to the university after more than one calendar year will be required to complete the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission. Students taking a leave of absence who wish to receive registration materials and to preregister for classes during the priority period may formally file for a leave of absence for up to one year. Students who are allowed a one-year leave of absence are not required to complete a readmission application; however, they should submit a letter-of-intent to resume study at least eight weeks prior to the semester in which they wish to return. Students who leave a school without formal approval for a leave of absence must file an application for readmission with the Advising Center and will not receive registration materials until after the readmission has been processed. The deadline for applying for a leave of absence is the last day to register or to add courses in the semester after the last regular semester of a student’s enrollment. Students who do not return to Tulane University for a particular term and do not request a leave of absence by the deadline for doing so are not eligible to return without applying for readmission.

Before registering at other institutions, students must consult the Newcomb-Tulane College’s policy on transfer of credit and follow the established procedures. Following such study elsewhere, students must submit a transcript from the other institution showing all courses attempted. Students must have satisfactorily completed their academic programs and must obtain statements of continued good standing from the other institution before being allowed to return. Students who take a leave for health reasons may be required to obtain clearance from the Student Health Center before they are allowed to resume study.

Grade Reports

Tulane University attempts to keep its students well-informed of their academic progress throughout their attendance. All official grades as well as temporary midterm grades are available to the student in written report form (for the current term only) and on-line. Instructions for obtaining grades are outlined in the Schedule of Classes at

Temporary grades are assigned by faculty to first-year students at midterm. For classifications above the first-year level, instructors are encouraged to report unsatisfactory grades (D, F, and U) to both student and the Newcomb-Tulane College Academic Advising Center.

Final grades are assigned in all subjects for all students and become a part of the student’s permanent academic record. Final grades are based on the complete body of a student’s work throughout the semester including the final examination.

Degree Audits

Degree audit reports are available to currently enrolled students on the registrar’s website ( on an overnight basis by student request. The computerized degree audit matches the courses a student has taken against the College’s and schools’ general degree requirements as well as the major requirements and indicates which of the requirements are left to be taken. While advisers are available to discuss degree audits with students, it remains the student’s responsibility to know the exact requirements for the desired degree as stated in this document and to enroll in the appropriate courses to satisfy those requirements.


An official transcript of a student’s record may be sent to any person or institution upon the student’s written instruction. Requests for official transcripts must be sent to the University Registrar. Instructions on the information to include with the request are available 24 hours a day by calling 504-865-5231 or by visiting Transcripts are usually mailed to the receiving party within two working days after the request is received in the University Registrar’s office. Transcripts may be withheld for unpaid financial accounts with the university.

Dean's List Policies

Students who have earned a distinguished record in all of their subjects throughout the semester may be recognized on the Dean’s List of Newcomb-Tulane College.

The Newcomb-Tulane College Dean’s List is prepared after each semester and recognizes superior academic achievement. A 3.500 grade-point average is required of first-year students and sophomores and a 3.667 GPA is required of juniors and seniors. To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must have been enrolled in 14 credits of letter-graded work, excluding courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Quality-of-Work Requirements

Continuation Requirements

Full-time undergraduate students enrolled in Newcomb-Tulane College are degree-seeking students. Those students who are not making satisfactory progress toward a degree are not permitted to remain enrolled at the university.

Students who earn at least 12 credits per full-time semester at Tulane and achieve at least the minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) for good standing are considered to be making progress toward the baccalaureate degree and are in academic good standing. Policies that apply to students who do not meet these scholastic standards are described below. Students experiencing academic difficulty are advised to give particular attention to the appropriate paragraphs of the explanation of the quality-of-work rules that are summarized in the tables that follow. Students should note that the standards are based on both total credits earned at Tulane and total earned hours. 

Options to restore academic good standing

At the end of each spring semester students are reviewed for academic progress. Students who are deficient in either credits earned at Tulane or in cumulative GPA are placed on academic probation.  They have three options to restore academic good standing:

  1. Students may remove their deficiency in Tulane Summer School.
  2. Students who have made more than the minimum required progress to degree (cumulative GPA and Tulane credits earned) but less than that required for good standing may return in the fall on academic probation.  Minimum progress is the specific standard a student must meet to be permitted to return to Tulane on academic probation.  It is NOT good standing.
  3. Students who have not made the minimum required progress to degree are required to sit out for a full academic year (but earn no transfer credit) and may return on academic probation no sooner than the following summer.

Students can return in a fall semester while on probation (either 2 or 3 above) only once. The second time that a student fails to meet continuation standards at the close of a spring semester, he or she must restore good standing by the close of the second summer term or face dismissal from Tulane.

Minimum credits earned at Tulane

Students must earn at least 12 credits at Tulane per full-time semester.  A deficit in one semester can be made up with a surplus in another semester or with credits earned in summer school at Tulane.  Students below this threshold are offered probation if they are lacking no more than 12 credits and their cumulative GPA meets continuation requirements described below.  Students who are deficient more than 8 credits are likely to be required to attend one or more sessions of Tulane Summer School to restore good standing. Those more than 12 credits below the threshold are dismissed for one academic year and are eligible to return the following summer.  The credit hour requirements are summarized in the table below.

Full-time semesters completed at Tulane Minimum credits earned at Tulane to be eligible for Probation Minimum credits earned at Tulane for Good Standing
1 >0 12
2 12 24
3 24 36
4 36 48
5 48 60
6 60 72
7 72 84
8 84 96
9 96 108
10 108 120

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements

Minimum Cumulative GPA thresholds are based on the total number of earned hours (EHRS) that a student has accumulated.  This includes all AP and IB credits and transfer credit.

There are two thresholds, the minimum for good standing and the minimum to be eligible for probation.  Students whose cumulative GPA falls below the minimum required for good standing and at or above the minimum for probation are eligible to return in the fall semester on probation.  Students whose cumulative GPA falls below the minimum for probation are dismissed for one academic year.

The minimum cumulative GPA for good standing is 1.500 (0-12 EHRS), 1.750 (13-24 EHRS), 1.850 (25-36 EHRS) and 2.000 (37 or more EHRS). Students at or above the appropriate standard and earning the minimum credits for good standing described above are in academic good standing.

The minimum cumulative GPA to be eligible for probation is 1.000 (0-12 EHRS), 1.250 (13-24 EHRS), 1.500 (25-36 EHRS), 1.750 (37-72 EHRS), 1.800 (73-96 EHRS) and 1.850 (97 or more EHRS).  Students at or above this minimum and below the good standing threshold are offered probation.  Students not meeting this minimum are dismissed for one academic year and are eligible to return on academic probation the following summer (or fall).  The GPA requirements are summarized in the table below. 

Total Earned Hours Minimum Cumulative GPA for Probation Minimum Cumulative GPA for Good Standing
0 to 12 1.000 1.500
13 to 24 1.250 1.750
25 to 36 1.500 1.850
37 to 72 1.750 2.000
73 to 96 1.800 2.000
97 or more 1.850 2.000

Probation and Dismissal

Students who are placed on academic probation or probationary leave of absence are ineligible to obtain a letter of good standing, study at another institution and transfer the credit to Tulane University. Students who have been academically dismissed from Newcomb-Tulane College are not allowed to re-enroll. Academic dismissal is noted permanently on the student’s transcript.

Summer School Attendance

Students may attend Tulane Summer School for the purpose of enriching their academic programs or accelerating their graduation. Students on academic probation at the close of spring semester must attend Tulane Summer School and remedy their deficiencies if they are to return to academic good standing and be eligible to enroll in the fall semester.

Full credit is given, without special approvals, for Tulane Summer School courses offered by the full-time undergraduate schools at Tulane. Other Tulane Summer School courses may be taken within the nine-credit limit for School of Continuing Studies courses. Candidates for a degree may count 15 credits of summer work at Tulane among the final 30 credits that must be earned in residence. Students should consult with their academic advisers regarding the proposed Tulane Summer School program during the registration period in the spring.

Newcomb-Tulane College students may register for no more than 18 credits in Tulane Summer School during a single year. Students who earn a GPA of 3.000 on 15 credits to 18 credits completed in Tulane Summer School but fail to meet the continuation standards at the close of the summer may petition the Committee on Academic Requirements for continuation of their probationary status in the fall semester. The final decision on the academic status of these students is made by the committee.

Students in academic good standing may attend the summer school of any regionally accredited, four-year institution. To ensure that credits earned at another institution will transfer to Tulane, students should consult the “Transferring credit to Tulane University” section of this catalog. Students must obtain prior approval of their choice of institution and proposed summer program no later than the end of the final-examination period in spring semester. Grades earned at other institutions are not computed in the student’s grade-point average; therefore, a student cannot make up a grade-point deficiency at Tulane by attendance at another institution. Students may apply up to six credits of approved coursework from another institution toward the senior residency requirement.

Transferring Credit to Tulane University

Transferring credit earned prior to enrolling at Tulane University

Incoming first-year students planning to enroll in courses elsewhere during the summer prior to arriving at Tulane must consult with the Academic Advising Center for approval.

College credits earned while a student was in high school will be considered for transfer to the university only if the courses meet the following requirements:

In order to process transfer credit for college courses taken prior to enrolling in Tulane University, Newcomb-Tulane College requires:

Following submission of these items to Newcomb-Tulane College’s Academic Advising Center, the courses will be evaluated, and if found to be equivalent to Tulane University coursework, the student’s Tulane transcript will be adjusted to reflect the academic credit awarded in transfer. Grades are not transferred with the credits.

Transferring credit earned after matriculation at Tulane University

Continuing or returning students in academic good standing are eligible to apply for transfer credit from other regionally accredited four-year institutions within the United States. Prior approval is necessary in order for currently enrolled students to take course(s) for transfer credit to Tulane University. To be eligible for transfer credit from study-abroad programs, students must have at least a 2.700 cumulative grade-point average at Tulane and obtain approval for the program abroad from the Center for International Studies. The transfer credit policy for the university is as follows.

In order to process transfer credit for these courses, the Newcomb-Tulane College requires:

Following receipt of the transcript, the student’s Tulane transcript will be adjusted to reflect the academic credit awarded in transfer. Credit for acceptable work is transferred in the amount recorded on the official transcript of the other institution. Credits earned on a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis do not transfer unless the transcript states that P or S is equivalent to a grade of C or better. Grades are not transferred with the credits; therefore, a student cannot remedy a grade-point deficiency at Tulane by attendance at another institution.

Retake Course Policy

A course completed with a passing grade of D-, D, or D+ may be repeated. When a course is repeated, both grades are included in the GPA. In order to repeat a course, the student must be enrolled in a full-time course load (a minimum of 12 new hours) in addition to the repeated course. No more than one course may be repeated in any semester. The student will receive credit once for the course, and both grades earned will be used to compute the GPA.

Students may repeat courses in which they have earned an F or WF. If a failed course is a required course, it must be repeated with a passing grade. The initial failure remains on the record and continues to count in the student’s cumulative grade-point average. If a course is failed, repeated, and failed again, only the initial failure (F but not WF) is calculated in the grade-point average; however, all subsequent failures remain on the transcript. The grade penalty for a WF is never removed from the GPA.

Commencement Policies and Procedures

A student expecting to receive a degree in May must register as a candidate for graduation in the Newcomb-Tulane College’s Academic Advising Center by October 1 of the previous year. Students expecting to complete their degree requirements at any other time should consult the Academic Advising Center for appropriate information. The commencement ceremony is held only in May. Students completing degree requirements in August or December may, however, participate in the ceremony held the following May. All graduates who will not attend the commencement ceremony should request at the Newcomb-Tulane Academic Advising Center that their degree be awarded in absentia. All financial obligations to the University must be cleared before the Registrar will release a diploma or a transcript.

Graduation With University Honors

To be eligible for university honors, a student must have completed a minimum of 60 credits (75 for dual degree candidates) while enrolled at Tulane University; this may include enrollment in Tulane’s year-long and semester programs abroad and Washington Semester. Only Tulane credits are computed in the cumulative grade-point average for honors candidates. A student completing two degrees may be awarded university honors for both degrees. Eligibility for honors for each degree will be determined by grades earned in all course work counting toward the respective degree.

Cum Laude

A student who at the time of graduation has achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.400 is awarded the degree cum laude.

Magna Cum Laude

A student who at the time of graduation has achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.600, has completed the requirements of the Honors Program, and has fulfilled the requirements for departmental honors is awarded the degree magna cum laude.

Summa Cum Laude

A student who at the time of graduation has achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.800, has completed the requirements of the Honors Program, and has fulfilled the requirements for departmental honors is awarded the degree summa cum laude.

Graduate With Departmental Honors

Requirements for departmental honors are included in the various school sections.

Honor Societies

Tulane University has chapters of many honor societies. For example, Omicron Delta Kappa is a junior-level and above honor society for students with exceptional abilities in scholarship and leadership, the Society of Sigma Xi stimulates scientific research, Phi Beta Kappa recognizes outstanding scholarship among graduating seniors. There are also honor societies for students with special academic and professional interests.


Through a number of awards and prizes, Tulane University recognizes students who, by achieving academic excellence, embody the highest goals of the institution. Students who are not in good standing will not be considered for these awards and prizes.

Academic Policies

The University reserves the right to change any of its rules, courses, regulations, and charges without notice and to make such changes applicable to students already registered as well as to new students. Students should review material provided for them, including their on-line degree audit, and seek aid and direction from academic advisers, faculty advisers, and deans and. However, each student must accept full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the policies of Tulane University and its schools and for the fulfillment of requirements for the course of study selected.