Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Affairs

Dr. Olufunke A. Fontenot, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
Suite 349, C. V. Troup Building

Declaration of Major

All students enrolled at Fort Valley State University (FVSU) must declare a major. For newly admitted students, the major is determined to be the intended major as indicated on the student’s application for admission to the university. Freshman students are required to declare or choose a major not later than the preregistration period for their second year of enrollment by completing the Declaration of Major form. Students may, at any time, change or declare a new major by completing the Change of Major form. The form must be completed with the academic advisor in the University College or academic department.

Students desiring to pursue a double major (i.e., two separate majors in the same baccalaureate degree) must complete all requirements for each of the majors and all requirements for the degree. FVSU will allow a student to count the same course twice (i.e., once for each major) to fulfill the restricted and free electives requirements only. All students pursuing double majors must complete a minimum of 30 additional credit hours in the upper division (i.e., 3000 or 4000 level courses) above the original major.

Academic Load Policy

The average load for normal academic progress is 15 credit hours per semester. A maximum of 20 credit hours may be attempted in any one semester, including credit hours in progress through web courses, campus-based courses, and weekend courses. During the summer, the credit hour load may be reduced. Exceptions are to be made only by permission of the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs upon the recommendation of the academic dean of the student’s major. The maximum semester load permissible for students on academic probation shall be 12 hours. The number of credit hours possible is governed by the following:


Load Limit

1.99 or less

14 semester hours


18 semester hours


20 semester hours

Changes of Schedule (Drop/Add)

Changes in a student’s degree program, courses or schedule, must be made within the first five class days of each semester or as announced for the summer term. Deadlines for schedule changes are printed on the academic calendar each semester. To revise a course schedule, the student must confer with his/her academic advisor. Signatures are required by the student and academic advisor. 

No-­Show & Attendance Verification

FVSU has a no-show and attendance verification procedure. This procedure is to comply with federal financial aid regulations. Financial aid recipients at FVSU may become ineligible for funds by not attending at least one class session per enrolled course. A student who fails to attend at least one class session are not entitled to keep their financial aid award. The established no-show and attendance verification procedure will enable FVSU to adjust financial aid awards before refunds are issued to a student.

The Registrar will notify the faculty when the attendance verification process has opened. 

Course Attendance Policy

Courses are expected to begin promptly. Due to state and federal agency regulations governing course attendance, faculty members should maintain an accurate record of each student’s course attendance. The institutional policy on course attendance states that students are expected to attend each class session. Should an absence occur it is the student’s responsibility to contact the professor. Policies governing the course will be presented to students within the syllabus at the beginning of the semester and will be on file in the department office. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, students may be absent from courses the number of times equivalent to the credit hour value of the course. For example, students are permitted:

  • One absence for a one-credit hour course
  • Two absences for a two-credit hour course
  • Three absences for a three-credit hour course
  • Four absences for a four-credit hour course

Students whose absences exceed the allowed number of absences will receive a reduction in their final course averages as determined by the faculty member. Conditions warranting approval of excuse from such absences include cases involving death in the family, illness of the student or his/her immediate family members, or for military duty. It is the student’s responsibility to provide official documentation of excused absences to the professor(s) of the courses involved. Other reasons for absences not covered here must be cleared with the appropriate college dean.

University Approved Activities

Students representing FVSU in approved activities may be excused from classes. Prior approval for these activities must be obtained from the appropriate university official. Students are responsible for notifying their instructors in advance and arranging to complete all work assignments missed while representing the University.

NCAA Regulations Regarding Missed Class Time

Student-athletes are permitted to miss class to participate in home or away athletic contests during the championship segment of their sport. No class time shall be missed for practice activities except when a team is traveling to an away-from-home contest and the practice is in conjunction with the contest. Student-athletes from the team representing the University at a conference or National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship shall be permitted to miss class time to attend practice activities in conjunction with the event. This applies when teams compete in Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA championship events.

In team sports, no class time shall be missed for competition including activities associated with such competition (e.g., travel and other pregame or postgame activities) conducted during the non-championship segment.

Course Withdrawal Policy

A student is allowed a maximum of 18 semester hours of course withdrawals (drops) while completing his/her undergraduate degree program requirements. This maximum does not include changes in one’s schedule that take place prior to the schedule change deadline. A complete withdrawal from all courses because of documented extenuating circumstances is not included in the 18-hour limit. After reaching the 18-hour limit, the student will receive a grade of WF for any course withdrawal, regardless of the date withdrawn. In other words, the period for receiving the W grade is rendered invalid.

Withdrawal from the University

A student desiring to withdraw from the Univeristy may do so online by logging into MyFVSU (Banner Web) and completing the withdrawal form on the Student Services menu.  A student who withdraws from the University prior to the midpoint will receive a grade of W in all courses in which he/she is enrolled.  A student who withdraws from the University after the midpoint will receive a grade of WF.  Once the withdrawal has been initiated by the student, the student will have until 5:00 pm the following day to stop the process by submitting an email to registar1@fvsu.edu.  

Involuntary Withdrawal

Students are expected to observe all policies governing a class. Faculty members will state the policies in the course syllabus each semester. A faculty member is eligible to involuntary withdraw a student after the midpoint of the semester if the student is in violation of one or more of the class policies (e.g., missed required assignments or excessive absences). A grade of WF will be assigned and is treated as an F for grade point average calculation purposes. Students are responsible for withdrawing up to the semester midpoint deadline and be eligible for a grade of W unless the student has exceeded the limit of withdrawals (i.e., 18-hours of course withdrawals). Faculty members who involuntary withdraw a student after the midpoint must complete an Involuntary Withdrawal Form and submit for final approval by the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs. The involuntary withdrawal will be processed by the Office of the Registrar and the student and faculty member submitting the request will be notified by email. Students involuntary withdrawn are ineligible for a refund.

Medical Withdrawal Policy

A student may be administratively withdrawn from the University when, in the judgment of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and after presentation of medical documentation, it is determined that the student suffers from a physical, mental, emotional or psychological health condition which: (1) poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the student or to the person or property of others or (2) causes the student to interfere with the rights of other members of the University or its personnel or (3) causes the student to be unable to meet institutional requirements for admission and continued enrollment, as defined in the Student Code of Conduct and other publications of the University.

Except in emergencies, a student shall, upon request, be afforded an appropriate hearing prior to a final decision being rendered regarding his/her continued enrollment at the University.

Military Withdrawal  

A student who is on active duty or is a military reservist (including members of the National Guard) may withdraw from the University if called for active duty or reassignment. The student must officially withdraw and submit official orders to active duty to the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management within three weeks of actual receipt of orders. The student is not eligible for a military withdrawal in any course in which the student has completed the course requirements (e.g., taking the final exam or submitting the final paper) and/or a final grade has been assigned. Students who withdraw and receive a full tuition refund will receive a grade of military withdrawal (i.e., WM) for all courses from which the student has withdrawn.

Unofficial Withdrawal

Students who stop attending all classes without officially withdrawing and students who fail to earn hours in a semester are considered unofficially withdrawn from the University. Upon submission of final grades for a term, faculty members are required to indicate the last day of attendance for students in which grades of I, IP, F or U are recorded. In compliance with Title IV regulations for unofficial withdrawals, students who received grades with no earned hours in all classes will be considered as unofficially withdrawn from the University and reported as such. A Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation must be completed by the Office of Financial Aid. Based on the student’s last date of attendance provided by the Office of the Registrar, the student will be responsible for any funds due back to the U.S. Department of Education.

Enrollment Policies and Procedures

Enrollment in Sequential Courses

All courses which constitute a two or three-term sequence shall be taken in sequence. A passing grade must be earned in the first part of the course sequence before permission is granted to enroll in subsequent courses that are part of the course sequence.

Concurrent Enrollment

Any student desiring to enroll for credit courses at another institution while enrolled at FVSU must request and secure approval from his/her academic advisor for concurrent enrollment status. The required form is available in the Registrar’s Office.

Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Seniors with a 3.5 grade point average or better who are within six hours of fulfilling all requirements for a bachelor’s degree, or who have completed all requirements for the bachelor’s degree except a laboratory field experience for seniors, such as student teaching, may be permitted to enroll in entry-level graduate courses (see the Graduate Catalog for a specific listing of courses).

Independent Study

Upon approval of the department chair and the dean of the college in which the course is offered, a student may enroll in an independent study course. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required. Students are limited to two independent study courses while studying for a bachelor’s degree. Activity courses and courses that require a lab are not available through independent study. Other opportunities for independent study may be obtained online at www.gactr.uga.edu/usgis/index/htm.

Credit Hours

FVSU’s policy defines a credit hour as one hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and one hour and 40 minutes of out-of-class student work each week for 15 weeks in a semester. This equates to a minimum of 750 minutes of class and 1,500 minutes of out-of-class academic engagement per semester credit hour. An equivalent amount of work is required in educational activities that are out of the classroom or do not include direct faculty instruction and equates to a minimum of three hours of student engagement per week, per semester credit hour or a minimum of 2,250 minutes. These equivalencies are provided for use in online and hybrid courses. This policy is published in the academic policies section of the undergraduate and graduate catalogs and covers all courses regardless of type of course, term length, or delivery mode.

Other Policies

Disclaimer of Accident Liability

The University assumes no liability for injuries sustained by students either while engaged in class or extra-class activities, except in the case of athletes who are participating in or practicing for regularly scheduled athletic events. Insurance information is available through the health services to all students who desire general health and accident coverage.

Children in the Workplace Policy

Pursuant to its mission and philosophy, FVSU encourages everyone to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that the University offers. However, in the interest of personal safety, persons who are younger than 16 years of age should not be on campus on a regular or prolonged basis. To this end, such underage persons are not allowed in classrooms, laboratories, instructional support, or student life areas except in the context of programs or activities designed and conducted for the inclusion of the public.

Grading Policies

Using the policies outlined in this section, the faculty member of each course establishes how grades will be calculated. The syllabus for each course will explain the method used for arriving at the grade for that course 

Uniform Grading System

Consistent with the uniform grading system within the University System of Georgia, the University utilizes a four point grading scale. The following approved grades are used to determine the student’s grade point average:


Quality Points

A - Excellent


B - Good


C - Satisfactory


D - Passing


F - Failure


W - Withdrew


WF - Withdrew Failing


WM - Withdrew Military


I - Incomplete


S - Satisfactory


U - Unsatisfactory


IP - In Progress


V - Audit


K - Credit


NG - No Grade Reported


Students who earn grades of D or F in major, minor or professional education courses must repeat these courses. The following symbols are also approved for grading purposes but do not carry quality point value. They are not included in the calculation of grade point averages. A student requesting a course in audit status cannot subsequently request a grade for a course that was audited.

The following grades are not included in determining the grade point average.

  • I: This symbol indicates that a student was doing satisfactory work but, for nonacademic reasons beyond his/her control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. The I grade may be given only when the student has no need of further class attendance and has satisfactorily completed most of the course requirements as determined by the instructor. The assignment of an I must be documented via a Reason for I Assignment form to be approved by the department chair, the dean, and the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs. If an I is not satisfactorily removed by midterm of the student’s next enrolled term (not including summer), the symbol I will be changed to the grade F by the Registrar.

 Guidelines for Submitting I Grade

A student may receive the grade I if

  • Legitimate extenuating circumstance(s), such as a severe illness, prevent the student from attending class and completing the requirements of the course by the end of the academic year.
  • The instructor was informed of the extenuating circumstance and a request for I grade was initiated immediately.
  • The instructor is provided with necessary documentations from acceptable authorities.
  • The request for I grade is initiated after the deadline for withdrawal.
  • The student attended the class regularly and had satisfactory performance on the work completed. An I grade may not be given to the student who has done unsatisfactory work.

The I grade will not be given to a student:

  • Who is not passing the course (i.e., who had unsatisfactory performance on the work completed).
  • Who has record of poor attendance
  • As a substitute for a failing grade
  • To provide an opportunity for doing additional work after the submission of final grades to improve the grade in a course
  • IP Indicates a continuation of work beyond the term for which the student signed up for the course. The use of these symbols is approved for dissertation and thesis hours and project courses. This symbol cannot be substituted for an I.
  • W This symbol indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty. Withdrawals without penalty will not be permitted after the midpoint of the total grading period (including final examinations) except in cases of hardship as determined by the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • WM Board of Regents policy for military service refunds. The use of this symbol indicates that this student was permitted to withdraw without penalty at any time during the term.
  • S This symbol indicates that credit has been given for satisfactory completion of degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs.
  • U This symbol indicates unsatisfactory performance to complete degree requirements other than academic coursework. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs.
  • V This symbol indicates that a student was given permission to audit this course. Students may not transfer from audit to credit status or vice versa. Students may register, however, on a credit basis for a course that has previously been audited. The symbol of V is placed on the final grade roster once the course has been approved for audit basis.
  • K This symbol indicates credit for the course via a credit by examination program approved by the faculty of the University. A K grade may be assigned for courses that have previously been audited if institutional procedures for credit by examination are followed.
  • NG This symbol indicates no grade reported by the professor.

Grade Reports

As grades become available at midterm and at the end of the semester, students can access their grades through MyFVSU. As a part of the University’s renewed focus on student retention and completion, mid-semester grades must be submitted for all students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

At the end of each semester, a full report of the student’s academic performance showing courses taken, grades earned, quality points awarded, and grade point average may be obtained via MyFVSU. Once the semester or summer session has been completed and final grades have been entered into the system, a student’s registration for that term and billing based on that registration schedule is considered complete. No additional schedule adjustments can be made. Grade reports will not be mailed to students and academic suspensions or dismissals will not be waived due to the student’s failure to review their grades in MyFVSU

Information and directions to access MyFVSU can be obtained online from the Registrar’s Office webpage located at www.fvsu.edu/registrar .

Grade and Academic Appeals

Students have the right to appeal a grade or other academic action if they believe that the faculty member violated stated grading policies in a course or other academic policies of the University. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to include specific grading and other academic policies for each course. These policies must be provided to students in the course syllabus during the first day of class. Should a faculty member make changes to the previously distributed syllabus, the change must be provided to students in writing and be applied uniformly, with ample notification to students.

In the event that a student believes that his/her grade is unfair and wishes to appeal a grade or other academic action, every attempt must be made to resolve the matter at the lowest possible level and the following procedures will apply:

  1. The student must first attempt to resolve the matter with the faculty member.
  2. If there is no resolution with the faculty member, the student must appeal to the department chair.
  3. If the student remains unsatisfied, he/she may file a written appeal, with supporting documentation, to the dean of the college that houses the class within 30-days from the end of the semester in which the action occurred. The dean will provide a written response to the student. If the faculty member involved is a department chair, the appeal should be filed with the dean of the college. If the faculty member is a dean, the appeal should be filed with the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  4. If the dean or Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs finds that the student has reasonable cause for an appeal, a hearing committee will be appointed consisting of three faculty members.
  5. Both the faculty member and the student have the right to an advisor to assist in preparing and arguing his/her case.
  6. The hearing will proceed in accordance with the rules and procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.

Deans’ List

At the end of the fall and spring semesters, the Deans’ List recognizes students who achieved a 3.5 grade point average in 12 or more graded hours for that semester. Learning support courses and courses with grades of S or K do not count toward the 12 graded hours required for eligibility for the Deans’ List. 

Academic Forgiveness

Effective fall 1998 (not retroactive), FVSU implemented a forgiveness policy which allows students to repeat courses without limits in courses where a student earned a D or F grade. The last earned grade shall be calculated in the student’s institutional grade point average. All previous attempts will be marked as excluded and can no longer be used towards meeting degree requirements. However, to meet honors and other requirements, the Regents’ grade point average which is computed on all credits attempted, is used. Please note that repeating classes may have an impact on your ability to receive financial aid. Students must consult a financial aid advisor before attempting to repeat a class.

Academic Renewal

The academic renewal policy allows University System of Georgia (USG) degree-seeking students who have experienced academic difficulty at a USG institution to have one opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree at a USG institution after an absence of three calendar years from any postsecondary institution. Upon reenrolling, a student must petition for academic renewal within three academic semesters or within one calendar year, whichever comes first. Please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar1@fvsu.edu for additional information.


  • Academic renewal can be granted only once.
  • Academic credit for previously attempted completed coursework will be retained only for courses in which an A, B or C grade was earned. Retained grades will not be calculated in the academic renewal GPA but will be counted in academic renewal hours earned.
  • Courses with D or F grades must be repeated at FVSU if they are required in the degree program.
  • Following the granting of academic renewal, all remaining courses for the current degree must be completed at FVSU, unless the student receives prior approval to take a course at another institution.
  • To earn a degree, the residency policy at FVSU after acquiring academic renewal status must be met.
  • Applicability of retained credit to degree requirements will be determined by the degree requirements currently in effect at the time academic renewal status is processed. In addition, all institutional program requirements must be met.
  • After receiving academic renewal status, all work completed toward a degree must be calculated in the GPA for a student to be eligible for academic honors at graduation.
  • The granting of academic renewal does not supersede financial aid policies regarding satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
  • The granting of academic renewal may supersede the admissions requirements of certain programs which require a specific minimum grade point average based on all course work. Therefore, the dean of the college will be responsible for the evaluation process for admissions. Re-entry into any program is not automatic.
  • An academic renewal GPA begins when resuming coursework following the three-year period of absence once academic renewal is granted. A statement will be placed on the transcript indicating academic renewal status.
  • The academic renewal GPA will be used for determining academic standing and eligibility for graduation.
  • Transfer credits earned at another institution can be granted for coursework completed during the absence from FVSU if applicable to the students’ degree program.
  • Academic credit from a previously attended institution can be evaluated for academic renewal, if there is no enrollment for three calendar years from the previously attended institution(s).
  • The renewal GPA begins with the semester following re-enrollment and the renewal GPA will include all course work taken since re-enrollment.
  • If a student is denied academic renewal and subsequently does not re-enroll, he/she may resubmit an academic renewal application.

Any academic suspensions which occurred in the past shall remain recorded on the student’s permanent record. If a suspension - either first or second - is on the record and the student encounters subsequent academic difficulty after having been granted academic renewal, the next suspension would subject the student to dismissal.

Definition of Terms for the Purpose of these Procedures:

Suspension is a temporary separation from an institution. A suspension may be (a) for a specified period of time or (b) indefinite. Upon expiration of the period of suspension, the student is eligible to re-enroll. A student must submit a letter of petition, complete a re-admit application and submit to the Registrar’s Office.

Dismissal is a separation of the student from the institution for one academic year. Upon expiration of the period of dismissal, the student must submit a letter of petition, complete a readmit application available online at www.fvsu.edu/registrar and submit both documents to the Registrar’s Office.

Computation of Grade Point Averages

There are two grade point averages (GPA) computed on a student’s academic transcript. They are the student’s institutional GPA and the Regents’ GPA. The institutional GPA is used to determine whether students are to be placed on probation, suspension or dismissal and for graduation. The student’s academic performance reflected by the institutional GPA is only of interest at FVSU. The Regents’ GPA appears on the student’s transcript and is used for computing honors and awards, scholarship eligibility and decisions regarding overload. The Regents’ GPA is used by graduate schools and prospective employers to determine the student’s academic competitiveness relative to other applicants.

The institutional GPA is computed using the Forgiveness Policy. Only the most recent attempts of courses taken at FVSU in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F or WF has been earned are used in the computation. The Institutional GPA is computed by dividing the hours attempted, using the forgiveness policy for courses attempted since fall 1998, into the number of quality points earned on these credit hours. However, the Regents’ GPA, which is recorded on the student’s transcript, is computed using all hours attempted.

Academic Classification

Students are classified on the basis of earned semester hours completed as follows:


Students who completed less than 29 credit hours.


Students who completed 30-59 credit hours.


Students who completed 60-89 credit hours.


Students who completed 90 or more credit hours.

Course Numbering System

Course numbers beginning with 0: Learning Support or remedial courses.   These courses do not carry credit toward a degree. Course numbers at the 1000 level or above are considered collegiate level courses. These courses carry credit toward a degree. 

Course Numbering

  • Learning Support Courses-0097-0099
  • Undergraduate Courses-1000-4999
  • Graduate Courses-5000 & above


FVSU converted from the quarter calendar to the semester calendar effective fall 1998. Credit at FVSU is recorded in semester hours.

Academic Standing

FVSU requires academic progress of its students. Students are considered to be in good academic standing if they maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. When a student’s academic standing approaches standards that are not acceptable for continued enrollment, i.e., a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0, a warning notice will be sent by the Registrar’s Office to the student.


Minimum GPA


Academic Credits Attempted





1-29 credit hours





30-59 credit hours





60-89 credit hours





90 or more credit hours


  • Academic Probation. A student is placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative GPA falls below the lowest point of the range indicated by the classification listed above.
  • Academic Suspension. A student is placed on academic suspension when his/her cumulative GPA remains below the lowest point of the range listed above. When suspended, the student is expelled for a minimum of one academic semester – not including the summer semester. The suspended student must apply for reinstatement. If reinstated after the lapse of a regular semester, the student must earn a semester GPA of 2.50 for classes taken during re-enrollment or raise his/her cumulative GPA to the level required to achieve good standing.
  • Academic Dismissal. After being reinstated following suspension, a student is subject to dismissal actions if he/she fails to achieve the minimum academic GPA to remain in good academic standing. The period of dismissal is for one calendar year. Any student who has been dismissed for academic deficiencies for the second time may petition the Admissions Committee in writing for permission to re-enroll.
  • Readmission Following Suspension/Dismissal. The privilege of applying for reinstatement after the lapse of one semester of suspension or one calendar year of dismissal does not carry with it an obligation on the part of the University to reinstate the student. The University reserves the right to reinstate any student on the merits of the individual case. The University also reserves the right to indicate conditions under which the student may be reinstated. The University reserves the right to deny reenrollment permission following academic suspension or dismissal. Petitions for readmission must be submitted one semester in advance of the desired enrollment date.

If readmission approval is granted, it will be conditional subject to the student’s academic performance during the semester. At the end of one semester, subsequent to re-enrollment, the student must maintain a term GPA of 2.5 and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in order to achieve good academic standing. Failure to achieve and maintain good academic standing within two semesters and in subsequent terms will subject the student to immediate dismissal.


Students currently enrolled at FVSU who wish to take courses at another institution for credit are considered transient students. Students must consult with his/her academic advisor to complete a transient request form. Students that are approved to take courses at another institution must have an institutional GPA of 2.0 or higher and must be confirmed by the Registrar. A maximum of 15 transient credit hours may be accepted in fulfillment of degree requirements. Credits taken without prior permission or approval by the student’s advisor and confirmed by the Registrar will not be accepted. 

If approved, students are responsible for requesting a transcript to be forwarded back to FVSU at the end of the transient semester and before enrolling for the next semester. Transcripts can be forwarded electronically or by mail to Office of the Registrar, Fort Valley State University, 1005 State University, Fort Valley, Georgia 31030.


Final Examinations

Final examinations are scheduled at the end of each semester. A printed schedule of final examinations is released about one-month in advance of the first day of examinations each semester. Final examinations in all subjects must be given within the final examination period as outlined on the academic calendar. Faculty members must adhere to the final examination schedule that is published and distributed by the Registrar’s Office. Any deviation from the published schedule must be approved by the appropriate dean and the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Proctored Examinations for Online Classes

Students enrolled in online classes are likely to be required to take a proctored examination either at a pre-arranged test site or via technology such as an externally monitored webcam. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain the requirements of the course and arrange the proctored examination. Fees usually are required, either for an offsite testing center or for the externally monitored use of technology. Fees are not assessed for FVSU online course tests administered to FVSU students at the on-campus testing center.

Major Area Assessments and Examinations

Each major degree program has identified assessments which students must complete prior to receiving a baccalaureate degree from University System of Georgia institutions. The first major are examinations are administered during the spring and fall semesters to graduating seniors. Depending on the requirement of the particular major academic area, a standardized test may be required. Each academic unit administers these examinations on a common date during the spring and fall semesters.

Advanced Placement

Students who score a three or above on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) tests are granted college-level academic credit for applicable coursework. Such credits are applied at the time of admission to the University.

Credit by Examination

Certain undergraduate degree requirements may be satisfied using credit by examination, including advanced placement tests, proficiency examinations, or the standardized College Level Examination Program. The maximum number of credits by examination that a student can receive is 30-semester hours. There is a 10-semester hour credit limit for major area courses at the 3000/4000 level. Students must be currently enrolled at the University to be eligible for credit by examination. Students who transfer with any combination of acceptable credits by examination will be subject to the same credit hour limits.

College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is the primary means for awarding credit by examination. The CLEP examinations are administered on campus by the Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental in specific academic areas.

The awarding of credit via the CLEP will be determined by the academic department or college. The recommendations of the American Council on Education will be followed as guidelines for local interpretations.

In a course typically involving laboratory work, the academic department may construct an instrument for the laboratory portion while the lecture portion of the examination may be met using a standardized test. If the student fails either part of the examination, he/she must take the course through regular enrollment. No CLEP exam shall be administered after the mid-semester period.

General Guidelines for Taking CLEP Examinations

  1. Application for CLEP examinations must be made at least three-weeks prior to the date of administration of the examination. The student must secure a Request by Examination form from the Registrar’s Office to initiate the action to obtain credit by examination.
  2. There is only one administration of a CLEP exam in a given semester.
  3. A student is limited to one administration of a CLEP examination for a specific course.
  4. All CLEP examinations must be administered prior to or during the period designated as the week of the mid-semester period.
  5. Students who pass the CLEP exam shall receive full academic credit for the coursework.
  6. A student is not allowed to take the CLEP exam for a course in which he/she has been previously enrolled (e.g., a student enrolled in college algebra, who then failed or withdrew, or makes a D, then is ineligible to take a CLEP exam for college algebra).
  7. A student may use the CLEP exam to earn a maximum of 10-semester hours in a major area and 30-semester hours at the University. The residency requirement for graduation must be met. Should the student change his/her major after receiving these allowable 10-semester hours by CLEP examination, he/she is not allowed to use the CLEP examination to satisfy coursework in the new major.
  8. A student enrolled for the last semester of his/her senior year is limited to a maximum of two courses through the credit by examination process.
  9. A $10.00 administration fee will be assessed for each CLEP.

Proficiency Examinations

Credit may be earned using locally constructed proficiency exams administered by the department in charge of the discipline. Only when an examination is not available through CLEP is the department authorized to develop and administer a local examination. Priority must be given to using the standardized examination in the course of study. A student may use the proficiency examination test for up to 10-semester hours in a major area. A student who changes majors after obtaining the allowable credits may not test for any additional credits.

Regents’ Test

FVSU does not require its students to pass the Regents’ Test as a requirement for the conferral of an undergraduate degree and participation in graduation ceremonies. Past enrollees who did not meet the requirements for degree conferral due to failure to pass the Regents’ Test are now eligible to graduate.

Academic Profile

The academic profile is administered to history classes once during the academic year, usually in the fall of the year. The information is utilized primarily as baseline data for outcomes assessment. The results are sometimes used by faculty members to modify instructional practices in order to meet the identified needs of certain cohorts.


All students enrolling in Fort Valley State University for the first time, not having taken freshmen English or mathematics courses, are required to take a placement examination before registering for classes. These tests are administered at the beginning of each semester during the registration period. Persons meeting College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) and the minimum SAT/ACT admissions’ requirements will take ACCUPLACER tests in math and English comprehension on computer. A separate essay examination will also be administered.

Independent Study Test Administration

FVSU does administer independent study test(s) for other institutions. Examinees are required to set up an appointment and pay an administration fee that is assessed by the hour. The administration fee is waived for currently enrolled FVSU students who take the test during regular business hours (i.e., Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm).

Student Instructional Report II (SIR II)

The Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental facilitates students’ evaluation of instruction via the Student Instruction Report II (SIR II) instrument copyrighted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). SIR II evaluations are conducted during the fall semester of each academic year. Only classes and labs with at least one-credit hour and that have five completed surveys returned to ETS by the deadline will be evaluated. No valid conclusions can be made about classes with less than five surveys. Another evaluation option for the aforementioned faculty member and class(es) is an observation conducted by senior faculty, department chair and/or dean.

Guidelines For Testing (Additional guidelines may be required for specific tests. Consult the testing admission’s packet before the test date for details.)

  • Current picture ID is required. Photo identification with a signature is preferred.
  • Bring pens and sharpened #2 pencils. The Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental Instruction, usually will have additional pens and/or pencils but is not required. No pencil sharpeners will be available.
  • Bring a jacket in the event that the testing room is cold. Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental Instruction cannot alter the temperature in the buildings in which it tests.
  • Examinees are required to remain for the full test session unless given other directions by the Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental Instruction staff.
  • All electronic devices must be turned off.
  • Testing aids are not permitted unless stated in the directions by Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental Instruction staff.
  • Cheating of any type is not permitted.
  • Behaviors that disturb other test takers are not permitted.
  • Examinees may be dismissed for failing to follow the instructions of Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental Instruction and all applicable fees still apply.
  • Testing accommodations will be provided when accompanied by documentation from the Differently-Abled Services Office or the testing company for which FVSU Office of Assessments, Tutorials & Supplemental Instruction acts as a test site. Only documented accommodations will be observed as long as they meet specific disability guidelines for the specific test. Documentation must be provided to testing services at least two-weeks before a test date.
  • For examinations given outside of the regular work days, a fee will also be assessed. Regardless of the scheduled time, a fee will be assessed for examinations given to non-FVSU students.

Requirements for Graduation

Students are responsible for knowing and fulfilling requirements for graduation. Accordingly, students should carefully read the catalog and curriculum requirements. FVSU cannot assume responsibility for failure of students to fulfill catalog and curriculum requirements. 

The Academic Residency Requirement for the award of a degree from FVSU requires students to complete a minimum of 25% of the hours required for the major degree program in academic coursework that is offered at the upper division level (3000 or 4000 level).

Academic credits such as that received from: transfer coursework; proficiency or Advanced Plancement examinations; military training coursework; student abroad or exchange courses; dually-registered coursework; international baccalaureate credits; or experiential learning, are not eligible credits for use in meeting the academic residency requriement at FVSU.

To graduate with a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 123 semester hours of coursework is required, including institutional requirements for orientation to the University, military science, and/or physical education coursework. Major programs requiring more than the 123-hour minimum are so designated. The minimum required cumulative GPA for graduation is 2.0. Some academic majors may require a higher GPA for graduation. For questions about degree requirements, students should consult with their academic advisor, department chair and dean prior to applying for graduation. 

Additional Requirements for Graduation

  1. An institutional grade point average of 2.0 (i.e., C average) on all coursework attempted with the exception of learning support courses and courses with no earned hours (I, U, V and W)
  2. A candidate who has completed considerable coursework at another accredited institution must spend a full academic year (i.e., two semesters) of residency at FVSU or the equivalent in summer sessions. During this term of residency, a student must earn at least 30-hours in courses designated at the junior/senior level at FVSU with an average grade of C (i.e., 2.0 GPA) or better excluding internships and practicums. Certain restrictions apply for courses taken through extension, correspondence, independent study, and other means.
  3. A candidate for graduation must be enrolled at the University during the semester that he/she completes academic requirements for graduation.
  4. All courses in the major and all professional courses in education, for students in the teacher training curricula, must have been completed with a minimum grade of C. Each candidate for graduation must have completed ENGL 1101  and ENGL 1102  with a minimum grade of C.
  5. By Georgia legislative action in 1923, 1953 and 1976, each student is required to take and pass a course or an examination on the history of the United States, the History of Georgia, and the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Georgia. Satisfactory completion of Political Science 1101 American Government, will meet the requirement on federal and state constitutions; and satisfactory completion of HIST 2111  or HIST 2112 , United States History, will fulfill the national and state history requirements.
  6. Each candidate for graduation is required to file with the Registrar’s Office, an Application for Graduation by the announced deadline for spring, summer, or fall graduation conferral dates. This application requires the payment of a non-refundable graduation fee. A new application is required if the applicant fails to meet all degree requirements during the semester for which the original application was filed. The fee will roll to the next semester if the student meets the application deadline for filing an application for graduation. An application received after the application deadline will incur a late fee. An application for graduation will not be accepted after the final application deadline.

Candidates must apply for graduation by the following deadlines:

*Application Deadline:

Spring – November 15

Summer – February 15

Fall –July 15

Final Application Deadline:

Spring – January 15

Summer – April 15

Fall –September 15

  1. Students who fail to complete an Application for Graduation by the published deadline will be assessed a penalty of $35.00 until the final deadline date, after which no additional applications will be accepted.
  2. Each candidate for graduation must achieve a required score on his /her major exit examination or other required examinations for the major. All required assessments must be completed.

Students who fail to complete their degree requirements during the final semester must complete all degree requirements before the University confers a degree. 

Graduation with Honors

Honor graduates are identified on the basis of a student’s institutional and cumulative GPAs calculated through the previous semester before commencement. Students who complete the requirements for a baccalaureate degree and earn at least 30-hours of residency at the junior/senior level are eligible for graduation with honors. To graduate with honors, the following overall (i.e., institutional and cumulative) GPAs apply:


Cum Laude (with honor)




Magna Cum Laude (with high honor)




Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor)



Awarding of Posthumous Degrees

Fort Valley State University may award a posthumous undergraduate or graduate degree to a student if the Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs deems that the student met the following conditions:

  • Was in good academic standing;
  • had no disciplinary sanctions pending, and;
  • whose death was not the result of illegal behavior on the part of the student.

In addition, the student should have successfully completed 75% (i.e., 94 semester hours) of the degree requirement. Graduate students must be within 90% of successful completion of coursework and research/thesis. A student who does not meet the 75% or 90% completion rate may be granted a certificate of attendance along with a letter of condolence from the University.

If approved, the Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs will make arrangements to award the degree posthumously at the appropriate time.

Students who fail to complete their degree requirements during their final semester must complete all degree requirements before the University confers a degree. The University will observe three degree conferral dates–May, August and December. 

  • May conferral date: Students who complete all graduation requirements by the end of the spring semester will have a May conferral date on their diplomas.
  • August conferral date: Students who complete all graduation requirements by the end of the summer semester will have an August conferral date on their diplomas.
  • December conferral date: Students who complete all graduation requirements by the end of the fall semester will have a December conferral date on their diplomas.

The awarding of a degree is based on grades of record at the time the degree is awarded. Once a degree has been awarded at the baccalaureate or master’s level, all grades used to award the degree are final and may no longer be appealed or changed.   

Students’ Rights and Grievance Procedures

FVSU promotes the fair exercise of due process for students. Students should attend class. While every effort should be made to encourage students to be prompt in arriving to class, students cannot be excluded from class attendance owing to lateness alone. Faculty members are referred to the policy which equates tardiness with absenteeism.

Committees for student grievances are established annually at the University to hear cases related to academics and other student grievances resulting from actions of faculty and staff members. Examples of these grievances are listed in the Student Handbook. The University encourages resolution of grievances at the lowest administrative level and in the most equitable way possible, recognizing that the burden of proof rests with the complainant. Some common concerns among faculty members may be:

  • Student Academic Dishonesty. Expulsion or suspension from the University or any lesser sanction may be imposed for the commission of offenses involving cheating or defraud on examinations. Examples of such offenses include giving assistance not authorized by the instructor in the preparation of an essay, laboratory report, examination or other assignment included in an academic course; taking or attempting to take, steal, or otherwise procure in an unauthorized manner, any material pertaining to the conduct of a class, including but not limited to examinations, laboratory experiments, and roll books; and plagiarizing. All instances of accusations of academic dishonesty will be resolved within the division of Academic Affairs.
  • Plagiarism. The appropriation of someone else’s ideas, passages arguments, interpretation of events or factual information, in either hard copy or electronically, demonstrates a lack of integrity and is unacceptable at FVSU. Other examples of plagiarism include submitting someone else’s work/assignment as one’s own, submitting purchased papers as one’s own, and submitting papers from the Internet as one’s own.

Students who are guilty of plagiarism are subject to disciplinary action. Acts of plagiarism must be reported to the department chair and/or dean.

Student Conduct and Sanctions. FVSU is dedicated to excellence in learning and to the advancement of knowledge, but also to the development of ethically sensitive and responsible persons. It seeks to achieve these goals through sound educational programs and through policies governing student conduct. Such policies encourage independence and maturity. The University may apply sanctions when student conduct directly and significantly interferes with the University’s mission and responsibilities. A faculty member should attempt to resolve disruptions within the classroom prior to engaging the department chair. Disruptions of a magnitude which threaten individual safety or significantly disrupt instruction should be brought to the immediate attention of campus safety, if not resolved otherwise. Sexual or physical harassment should be brought to the attention of the next level supervisor immediately and/or reported to the dean, the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, and/or the Title IX representative.

Steps Toward Redress. A student who feels that he/she has a grievance should first seek to resolve this by discussion with the faculty or administrative staff member involved. When the informal means fail to resolve the problem, the student may file a grievance according to guidelines published in the Student Handbook.