Registration and Course Load
To enhance Baylor’s learning environment, the university’s undergraduate academic advisors offer services designed to help students formulate academic goals and develop their personal potential. In addition to selecting classes, students work with professional and faculty advisors to review general degree plans and audits, find and develop specific academic plans within a major or program, and achieve personal goals. To assist students in making important life decisions, advisors and mentors also connect students with departmental and campus resources as well as community and professional opportunities.
Students are assigned to academic advisors by classification, major, and program throughout the undergraduate experience. Advisor assignments are available on each student’s BearWeb account under Student Academic Services->Advisement->Advisement Contact Information. Any student who needs assistance concerning advising procedures at Baylor should begin by contacting the Office of University Advisement in the Paul L. Foster Success Center (PLFSC) (phone: (254) 710-7280 or email: University_Advisement@baylor.edu). Students in transition from one college or school to another and those considering a program in another college or school should go to University Advisement.
Advising guidelines and resources are available at www.baylor.edu/advising.
The normal academic load per semester for undergraduate students is five courses. The maximum course load is eighteen semester hours except in the School of Music where nineteen hours are permitted.
Students are expected to carry a normal load unless they must do an excessive amount of outside work or present other reasons acceptable to the appropriate academic dean and advisor. The average student should reduce the load to four courses if he or she works as much as four hours daily. Each student is responsible for limiting his or her program in light of the foregoing statements.
Schedules for more than eighteen hours will not be permitted except in the following situations. One course may be added to the normal load if the student:
- has a “B” average on all courses completed and for the immediately preceding semester,
- has a 3.25 GPA for the preceding semester, or
- is a last-term senior in good standing.
This privilege will be withdrawn if grades drop, or if health seems to be threatened. A desire to graduate early is not, in itself, sufficient reason to request the privilege of a greater than normal load. Occasionally, last-term seniors with a superior average will be permitted to carry a maximum of twenty-one hours if it will permit graduation in that term.
|Level and Term||Full-time Status||Half-time Status|
|Undergraduate Semester||12 semester credit hours||6 semester credit hours|
Exceptions to the minimum credit hours for an undergraduate student may be made when:
A student is registered for internship, practicum, or cooperative education activities that require full-time work and will count toward completion of the student's degree program (upon the request of a student's academic dean).
Summer School at Baylor
Maximum credit for students enrolled in the two traditional summer terms is eight hours per term or sixteen hours total. For students who enroll in the Minimester, a maximum of four additional hours of credit may be earned. Thus, students who take the maximum load for all three terms (Minimester plus two regular summer terms) may earn a total of 20 hours.
Registration Policies and Procedures
Registration is completed according to the procedures and time schedule outlined on the web under “Register for Classes” (http://www.baylor.edu/registrar). Students must be officially enrolled in a course by the fifth class day of a fall or spring semester in order to earn credit in the course.
With the permission of the dean of the appropriate academic unit, a student may elect the option to enroll pass-fail for one standard graded course per term. Such courses may be used for general elective credit only and may total no more than eighteen semester hours toward an undergraduate degree. Business school students may not register for pass-fail credit in any course, including Lifetime Fitness, required under the B.B.A. degree program.
A change in course registration from graded to pass-fail, or from pass-fail to graded, may be made only during the period in which courses may be added.
Students who wish to take a course and not earn academic credit may be eligible to audit the course with the written permission of the dean of the appropriate academic unit. If approved, the Undergraduate Registration Petition form is completed by the student and the dean of the appropriate academic unit and sent to the Office of the Registrar. The fee for auditing a course is $353. There is no additional fee for students paying flat-rate tuition.
Laboratory and applied courses may not be audited. The student is entitled only to listen to lectures and class discussions. Audit enrollment is subject to the instructor’s willingness to have nonparticipating students. Auditors are not permitted in certain courses as specified by the individual departments; they are ordinarily not permitted in seminars or writing and correspondence courses. Auditing a course allows for library access and does not afford the use of other ID accessible facilities.
Courses taken for audit may not exclude a student seeking credit, may not be repeated at a later date for credit, may not be changed in status after the registration period, and are not considered part of the course load.
All post baccalaureate students must follow the same registration procedures as undergraduates, regardless of whether or not they are seeking a second degree (refer to http://www.baylor.edu/Registrar/StepsForRegistration). In order to register through BearWeb for a course that requires a prerequisite, students must contact the department. Students deciding to audit courses must follow procedures for all students as stated in the catalog.
Self-Paced Online Course Registration
A maximum of fifteen credit hours may be completed through self-paced online courses to meet the needs of Baylor students, particularly those who are not residents. In exceptional situations, the dean may allow self-paced online courses for students who are residents.
A student must be a previously enrolled full-time Baylor student, a currently enrolled part-time Baylor student, a graduating senior,* a High School Accelerate student, or a non-degree seeking student before he/she may register. Full-time Baylor students must be in their final undergraduate semester in order to be eligible. Baylor students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. If the Baylor student is on academic probation, he/she must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Baylor students may take no more than three self-paced online courses during one semester. High School Accelerate students may not take more than one self-paced online course during a semester. No self-paced online courses may be taken during the Minimester, summer terms, or during Wintermester.
*a graduating senior is defined as a student with twenty-one or fewer hours remaining and who has filed for graduation with their respective Dean’s Office.
Baylor students may only be registered by the student’s degree-granting unit. High School Accelerate students may only be registered by the Accelerate Advising Office in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Non-degree seeking students must register through the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s office.
The tuition for Baylor students and non-degree seeking students is calculated at the standard tuition rate. Accelerate students will be calculated at their tuition rate.
Courses for Baylor students may begin as early as the 6th class day and must begin no later than the end of the 7th week of the semester. High school Accelerate students must register before the semester begins. Courses must be completed by the last day of final exams.
Post Registration Changes
Changes in schedules may be made through BearWeb at www.baylor.edu/BearWeb through the 12th class day of a fall or spring semester. Beginning the 13th class day, students may drop classes, through BearWeb, once they have approval from their advisor , through the 50th class day (see Academic Calendar for summer dates). Permission from the appropriate dean's office is required to add or register after the fifth class day (see Academic Calendar for Summer dates).
Attendance at class meetings is essential to academic success. Interaction with faculty members and fellow students provides the best opportunity for learning information and for exercising skills necessary to gain competence in the subject. Classroom discussion also enriches understanding beyond the boundaries of the specific course and develops students’ analytical facility and ability to communicate ideas effectively. The University expects each student to take full advantage of his or her educational experience by developing personal responsibility for class attendance.
Student attendance must be recorded through the census date of each term (the 12th class day of the fall or spring terms).
Specific policies for attendance are established by the academic units within the university. Faculty members may establish more stringent requirements regarding attendance, punctuality, and participation. Any attendance requirements and penalties for excessive absences will be set forth in the syllabus for each course. The student bears the responsibility for the effect that absences may have upon class participation, announced and unannounced examinations, written assignments, reports, papers, and other means of evaluating performance in a course.
If a student’s required participation in a University-sponsored activity causes the student to miss class, this is ordinarily considered an absence that is counted against a student in the context of an applicable attendance policy. However, if in this event the student seeks to make arrangements prior to the absence to complete scheduled assignments, the faculty member will work with the student to allow for the completion of missed classwork and assignments.
In the event of serious illness, accident, or death in the family, students should contact their professors as soon as they are able. When such a crisis prohibits the student from being able to make immediate contact, the office of the Chaplain notifies faculty when information is available; the Chaplain does not, however, pursue official verification of such reports. Requests by faculty to verify the nature of an absence should be made to the student upon the student’s return. Students are usually allowed to make up classwork and/or tests missed which result from such crises. As these instances are academic matters, any dishonesty on the part of a student in such a situation is considered a violation of the University Honor Code.
Class absences are one of the early signs that a student may be experiencing academic, personal, or emotional challenges or distress. Resources in the Paul L. Foster Success Center (PLFSC) and Counseling Center are available for students who are experiencing difficulties related to class attendance.
Students Called for Active Military Duty
An enrolled student who withdraws as a result of being called into active military duty (reserves or National Guard) may choose to:
- receive a refund of tuition and fees paid toward the current term, or
- be given full credit of tuition and fees paid toward the current term to apply toward a future term’s charges for enrollment, or
- if late enough in the term, request an “incomplete” so that the remainder of the work could be completed at a later date and receive no refund or credit of tuition and fees.
If the student has met the academic requirements for the term, a grade will be assigned and no tuition refund or credit will be granted.
Board charges are refunded on a pro rata basis on the date of the student’s withdrawal. Room charges are refunded on a pro rata basis based on the date a student officially vacates on-campus housing.
Students having federal/state financial aid will be withdrawn according to the published withdrawal policy. Any refund or credit for a student being called into active military duty who has such financial aid will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Baylor University has established a number of policies that are designed to ensure the quality of courses transferred to Baylor for credit, assist students as they decide which courses to take, and clarify for advisors which courses students should select at Baylor and elsewhere. The policies below are divided into two sections:
- general policies on transfer credit,
- policies specific to course work transferred to Baylor post matriculation (meaning after a student has enrolled at Baylor).
If students intend to take courses at another institution after matriculating at Baylor, they should select courses as similar as possible to what they would experience at Baylor. Students also should not defer basic required courses in the expectation of taking courses elsewhere. Students can best ensure that they will be prepared for subsequent courses at Baylor by completing foundational courses at Baylor as well. However, the University recognizes that there are times when Baylor students need to complete some courses elsewhere. To increase the likelihood that students will succeed in subsequent courses at Baylor and to ensure the quality of Baylor degrees, the University has established the stipulations below.
Transfer credit will only be granted for coursework taken at a regionally accredited institution. All coursework that a student completes at another college or university is evaluated for equivalent transfer credits, not necessarily for degree requirements. The student is responsible for working in conjunction with his or her advisor to determine if the equivalent course applies to a specific degree requirement. In addition to working with an advisor, the student should refer to the Baylor University Undergraduate Catalog and/or the academic dean within the appropriate college or school for additional information on degree requirements.
Equivalent courses are determined based upon a review of the following course characteristics: course description, textbook, course objectives/learning outcomes, assignments, number of credit hours, course prerequisites, and program quality (determined based on a process designed by Institutional Research and Testing in consultation with the relevant department chair and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Institutional Effectiveness). For more information, visit the “Transfer Credit” link on the Office of the Registrar home page at www.baylor.edu/registrar.
Students are responsible for adhering to the policies listed below. If a student fails to abide by these policies, he or she risks losing the proposed transfer credit.
General Policies on Transfer Credit
- A grade of “C”1 or better must be earned in all courses transferred to Baylor; this coursework does not alter the Baylor grade point average.
- A maximum of seventy (70) semester hours may be transferred from a community/junior college (with a maximum of 15 hours post-matriculation; see below).
- A minimum of sixty (60) semester hours must be earned in residence. After a student achieves senior standing (90 earned credits), all upper division courses (3000 or 4000 level) must be taken in residence (or in a Baylor approved study abroad program). A student should plan to be enrolled at Baylor in the semester that he or she is a degree candidate.
- No course at or above the “3000” level may be taken at a community/junior college, and no community/junior college course will be evaluated as an advanced course.
- In fall and spring semesters, course credit will not be given for courses taken at other colleges or universities if a student is concurrently enrolled at Baylor University. During summer sessions, course credits can be earned at Baylor and other institutions as long as the total course load does not exceed 19 semester credit hours for the entire summer. (The University strongly recommends against students being enrolled in greater than 8 hours simultaneously for a term(s) that is fewer than 8 weeks in duration.)
- Courses taken pass/fail1 will not be eligible for transfer.
- Baylor highly values oral and written communication. The University believes that our required English courses provide students with the essential preparation they need to strengthen their writing abilities.
Given the unprecedented circumstances during the Spring 2020 semester as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting provisions implemented by many institutions to convert grading of coursework to Pass/Fail (or a similar grading basis), Baylor University will provide reasonable flexibility with its expectation that incoming transfer credit noted as “Pass,” “Satisfactory,” or a similar notation from Spring 2020 meet the normal criteria of an earned grade of C or better.
Policies Specific to Coursework Transferred to Baylor Post-matriculation
- After matriculation (meaning after a student has enrolled at Baylor), a student may transfer a maximum of fifteen (15) semester hours to Baylor for degree credit.
- After matriculation, a student may transfer a maximum of two (2) courses from any single course prefix (e.g., ENG, HIS, or SPA).
- Some departments may require students who transfer courses at the post-matriculation level from another institution to complete a Readiness Exam prior to beginning a subsequent course for which the transferred course is a prerequisite. A Readiness Exam is only administered to students who have transferred in a prerequisite course and who have enrolled in a subsequent course within that discipline at Baylor. The purpose of the exam is not to determine credit for a course taken at another college or university, but rather to provide students with information regarding their preparedness for the course they intend to take.
- Courses taken in residence may not be repeated at another school for degree credit.