University Policies and Procedures

Academic Classification

Undergraduate students are classified based on the number of hours earned through the preceding academic term. The following schedule dictates classification:

  • 0-29 semester hours: Freshman
  • 30-59 semester hours: Sophomore
  • 60-89 semester hours: Junior
  • 90 or more semester hours: Senior

Applied Music

Students who wish to register for a course in Applied Music must obtain permission from the School of Music. Once obtained, a course reference number will be assigned, allowing the student to register through AppalNet.


Students who audit a course must be regular in attendance. A "Request to Audit" form is available in the Registrar's Office. It must be completed by the student, approved by the faculty member teaching the class, and submitted to the Registrar's Office by no later than the last day to add the course in that term.

Class Attendance

It is University policy that a student is expected to attend every meeting of his or her classes. If an absence from class should prove necessary, regardless of the reason, the student will be held accountable for all academic activities missed due to the absence. A faculty member may, at his or her discretion, include class attendance as a criterion in the determination of final grades. NOTE: A STUDENT WHO DOES NOT ATTEND A CLASS DURING ONE OF ITS FIRST TWO MEETINGS MAY LOSE HIS OR HER SEAT IN THAT CLASS. (IF A CLASS MEETS ONLY ONE TIME PER WEEK-E.G., A LAB OR AN EVENING CLASS-THE STUDENT MUST ATTEND THE FIRST CLASS MEETING OR RISK LOSING HIS OR HER SEAT.)


A student can, without limit or penalty, add courses, drop courses, or change the sections of courses through the published "Drop-Add" period-i.e., through the first five days of a fall or spring semester. Note: during the summer, the "Drop-Add" period is defined as the first two days of classes within an academic term.

An undergraduate student is allowed to drop a cumulative total of no more than four (4) courses after the published "Drop-Add" period. (The phrase "cumulative total" should be understood to mean a total of four drops over the student's undergraduate career at Appalachian State University, excluding summer terms.) A student who wishes to drop a course after the published "Drop-Add" period must do so by no later than the ninth week of the fall/spring semester.

A course can be added after the published "Drop-Add" period only for exceptional circumstances, and requires the written permission of the instructor, chairperson and dean.

Graduate Level Classes for Undergraduates and Non-Degree Seeking Students

Only undergraduates with senior standing (90 or more earned hours) and a cumulative GPA of 3.0+ are permitted to enroll in classes numbered 5000 or above for undergraduate credit. Non-degree seeking students must have a bachelor's degree to enroll for undergraduate credit in classes numbered 5000 or above. Students who meet these requirements should contact the Graduate School, located in John E. Thomas Hall, for a permission form. The completed form must be submitted to the Graduate School, during the appropriate registration period, for enrollment in the course.

Summer Academic Policies

The Summer Sessions at Appalachian State University are operated under the same academic policies that govern the regular academic year. Students are responsible for policies and procedures as set forth in the Undergraduate Bulletin. This publication is available and should be used for reference.


Undergraduate and graduate students who expect to complete degree requirements in a certain term must file an application for graduation (and teacher certification, if applicable) in the term before they will complete all requirements for that credential. Graduation applications can be submitted via AppalNet. Note: students receiving federal loans through the University must attend an "exit" interview prior to graduation. Information regarding the "exit" interview will be mailed to the student during the academic term in which he or she plans to graduate.


The State of North Carolina requires, by statute, a record of immunizations for every student enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution. New students at Appalachian State University have been sent the appropriate medical form with their acceptance letters. Returning students, if uncertain about whether a record of immunizations is on file, should contact the University's Student Health Services (telephone number: 262-3100). FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE UNIVERSITY WITH THE REQUIRED RECORD OF IMMUNIZATIONS WILL RESULT IN BEING ADMINISTRATIVELY WITHDRAWN FROM THE FALL SEMESTER.

Incomplete Grades

When a student receives a grade of incomplete, he or she has, at the discretion of the instructor, a period of up to one semester to complete the coursework.

Maximum Academic Load

In the Fall and Spring, Undergraduate students may register for more than 18 semester hours only with written permission from their dean. A graduate student may register for no more than 15 semester hours; a graduate student with an assistantship may register for no more than 12 semester hours.

In the Summer, Undergraduate students may take a maximum of 12 semester hours during the Summer Semester or a maximum of seven semester hours during a 5-Week Term. No more than one short-term course may be taken during a single period. After the close of registration, no refund of tuition and fees will be made when a person is required to drop excess hours taken without permission.

In the Summer, graduate students may register for a maximum load of six semester hours during a 5-Week Term or the Graduate/Teacher Term. Total credits earned during the summer terms is limited to 12 semester hours. No more than one short-term course may be taken during a single period. Any exception in excess of this limit must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School before registering for the overload. Any student who registers for an overload without permission of his/her dean will be required to drop the excess hours. After the close of registration, no refund of tuition or fees will be be made when a person is required to drop excess hours taken without permission.

Notice Concerning the Inspection and Release of Student Records

Appalachian State University complies with all provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The full statement of the University's policy is available in the Office of the Registrar.

Within the limits prescribed by FERPA, students have the right to inspect and challenge the contents of their education records. Access to education records is coordinated through the Registrar's Office. Students who wish to inspect their records should contact that office between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

The University routinely releases FERPA "Directory Information" to the public. At Appalachian State University this includes: the student's name; local & permanent telephone listing; University post office box number; E-mail address; permanent address; academic classification; enrollment status during a particular academic term (i.e., full-time or part-time); field(s) of study; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight, height, athletic statistics and photographic representations of members of athletic teams. Any student who wishes to have the above Directory Information withheld must complete and sign the appropriate request form in the Registrar's Office. To be effective during any given semester, such requests should be made by the drop/add deadlines. Requests will be accepted after the drop/add deadline but there may be printed publications such as the campus directory which cannot be updated after they are printed.

Annual Notification of Rights

Students' Education Records at General Administration of The University of North Carolina:

Certain personally identifiable information about students "education records" may be maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration, which serves the Board of Governors of the University system. This student information may be the same as, or derivative of, information maintained by a constituent institution of the University; or it may be additional information. Whatever their origins, education records maintained at General Administration are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

FERPA provides that a student may inspect his or her education records. If the student finds the records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights, the student may request amendment to the record. FERPA also provides that a student's personally identifiable information may not be released to someone else unless (1) the student has given a proper consent for disclosure or (2) provisions of FERPA or federal regulations issued pursuant to FERPA permit the information to be released without the student's consent.

A student may file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning failure of General Administration or an institution to comply with FERPA.

The policies of The University of North Carolina General Administration concerning FERPA may be inspected in the office at each constituent institution designated to maintain the FERPA policies of the institution. Policies of General Administration may also be accessed in the Office of the Secretary of The University of North Carolina, General Administration, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC.

Further details about FERPA and FERPA procedures at General Administration are to be found in the referenced policies. Questions about the policies may be directed to Legal Section, Office of the President, The University of North Carolina, General Administration, Annex Building, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC (mailing address P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688; tel : 919-962-4588).


The Pass-Fail option may only be taken by a full-time undergraduate student. During the summer, only one course may be taken on Pass-Fail. Stipulations which limit this policy are: 1) the student must be enrolled full-time, defined as taking a minimum of twelve hours, 2) the student must be classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior, 3) the student must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0, 4) the student will be allowed to choose this option a maximum of six times, and 5) courses which comprise the student's major, minor, or core curriculum requirements cannot be taken on pass-fail. Pass-fail forms must be submitted to the Registrar's Office prior to the close of drop-add.

Reduction of Class Schedule

If a student reduces their class schedule (i.e., drop part, but not all of their classes), during the published "Drop-Add" period, one hundred percent (100%) of the difference in tuition and fees between the original and revised schedule can be credited to their account. Note: during the summer, the "Drop-Add" period is defined as the first two days of classes within an academic term. Students who reduce their class schedule after the "Drop-Add" period will NOT be eligible for a refund.

Refund Policy

The term "refund" should be understood to mean either: a) the repayment of money received by the University for tuition and fees, or b) a reduction of charges if tuition and fees have not yet been paid.

Repeat Policy

Please see the Repeat Policy page for more information.

Release of Grades

Grades can be obtained at the end of each academic term through AppalNet. It is a policy of the State of North Carolina, however, that the University cannot release a transcript or diploma to a student with an unpaid account. In order to comply with this policy, the University will audit the account of every enrolled student approximately two weeks prior to the end of each academic term.

Students with unpaid accounts will be so notified and expected to clear the account by the end of that academic term (defined as the last day of examinations). If a student fails to clear the account, the University will, in accordance with State policy, release neither a transcript nor (if applicable) a diploma. (Please note that a charge made against a future term - i.e., a charge made for "early registration"-does not constitute an "unpaid account" in this context.)


Service-learning combines the experience of community service with an academic course. Integrated with traditional teaching methods, classes with a service-learning component allow students to serve local non-profit and/or community-based organizations.

While students apply course theory and gain hands-on experience, these organizations benefit from the work that students provide for them. Note: Grades are awarded based on the academic coursework associated with the service-learning experience (i.e., papers, presentations, etc.). For more information about service-learning, please contact the Service-Learning Coordinator at 262-2193, or visit the ACT website at

Special Course Registration

Certain categories of courses-i.e., instructional assistance, specified internships, a master's thesis, independent and individual studies-require a special form for registration. If you intend to register for this type of course, contact the Registrar's Office for the appropriate form, obtain the required signatures, and submit the form during "early registration." The form must be submitted by no later than the last day to add a class.

Student Grievance and Appeal Policies and Procedures

If you are taking any Appalachian State University courses, and you have a complaint about your experience with App State, you have two options:

  • You can follow App State's process for student complaints, which is located here. You may also contact The Southern Association Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which is App State's regional accrediting agency.
  • If you are residing outside of North Carolina while attending App State, in many cases you can file a complaint in the state where you are residing. As required by federal regulations, we direct you to a list of resources here, compiled and updated by the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

Visiting Students

A person enrolled at another post-secondary institution must submit an application, official transcript and a letter from that institution stating that the credit earned at Appalachian State University will be accepted for transfer.

Withdrawal from the University

If a student withdraws from the University (i.e., formally notifies the Registrar's Office that he or she is no longer attending classes during an academic term), a prorated refund will be made based on the date of notification. The refund rate for a Summer term can be obtained by contacting the Registrar's Office at (828) 262-2050. Failure to notify the Registrar's Office will result in a grade of "Withdrawal Failing" in all courses for which the student is enrolled.