During the January 2015 Administrative Council meeting, a change was approved related to the University’s General Baccalaureate Degree Requirements policy. Specifically, the portion related to the University’s major and minor GPA policy was changed. The following information is listed to highlight this change and address questions related to this change in policy. The revised complete policy will be published online effective October 2015.
The current policy contains the following specific requirements:
- Attained at least a 2.00 GPA on all courses attempted at Missouri State that are required in the major and all other courses bearing the prefix of the major.
- Attained at least a 2.00 GPA on all courses attempted at Missouri State that are required in the minor and all other courses bearing the prefix of the minor.
Revised Policy as of October 1, 2015
The new policy replaces the above two requirements with the following:
- Attained at least a 2.00 GPA on all courses that are required in the major.
- Attained at least a 2.00 GPA on all courses that are required in the minor.
What does the policy change mean? Below are three items that will change from the current policy.
- Transfer grades will be included in major/minor GPA.
- Additional electives beyond the minimum courses needed to fulfill the major/minor requirement will not be included in major/minor GPA.
- A course will not automatically count towards a major/minor just because it starts with one of the department’s prefixes.
What was the rationale behind changing this policy?
- Eliminates a potential disadvantage to students who are taking major or minor coursework at MSU. For example, a student who is just short of meeting a major/minor GPA could improve their GPA in two ways. Through MSU, the student needed to repeat a lower grade (like a “D) and earn a higher grade. Through transfer, the student could have repeated the same course and earn the same “D” grade in transfer, but would have improved their major/minor GPA because transfer grades did not count. Therefore, the student had to earn a higher grade if the course was taken at MSU to improve the major/minor GPA.
- Excluding the “all other courses bearing the prefix of the minor” eliminates a roadblock to students taking more challenging major electives. There are cases where students have avoided such courses due to fear of impacting major/minor GPA and/or creating a graduation problem in their major/minor GPA by taking extra higher-level coursework in preparation for graduate school.
- It makes the policy easier to understand. It can be confusing to understand that transfer grades for required courses did not count while grades for non-required courses did count just because they start with a certain prefix. The major/minor GPA will be made up of the courses used to fulfill the respective major/minor GPA requirement. This is consistent with the way the general education GPA works.
When will this go into effect?
This will go into effect on October 1, 2015. This date was chosen as it coincides with the expected go-live date for DegreeWorks, which is the degree audit system that will be replacing the current DARS degree audit.
What students will be effected by this change?
All undergraduate students will go under this policy regardless of catalog term. The reasons for this are as follows:
- It will eliminate confusion for advisors and students to have to remember multiple major/minor GPA policies.
- Multiple GPA policies will not have to be built into DegreeWorks.
What happens if this policy change causes a current student to rise above the new 2.00 major/minor GPA policy when the student previously was below the old 2.00 major/minor GPA policy?
In this case, the student will benefit from the new GPA policy and will be evaluated accordingly for graduation eligibility.
What happens if this policy change causes a current student to fall below the new 2.00 major/minor GPA policy when the student was previously above the old 2.00 major/minor GPA policy?
The Office of the Provost will authorize the Office of the Registrar to work with students/advisors in such situations on an individual basis to adjust degree audits accordingly. This will be done by “adding” the previously applied electives to the major/minor requirements on an individual student basis, which will cause the courses to apply to the major/minor GPA. If transfer work inclusion is the problem, the GPA requirement would be adjusted enough to offset the problem created by the transfer work inclusion. The student/advisor would send an email request related to the problem to Registrar@missouristate.edu. The Office of the Registrar would verify the accuracy of the claim and if determined to be accurate, would adjust the degree audit accordingly.
In summary, no student will be penalized by this change and some will benefit.
If you are a student who has a question regarding how this change may affect you, please contact your academic advisor or email your question to Registrar@missouristate.edu.