UNM Los Alamos

General Academic Regulations

General Academic Regulations

Students are responsible for complying with all regulations of the University, their respective colleges and the departments from which they take courses, as well as for fulfilling all degree requirements. Students are responsible for knowing and complying with all academic regulations.

Change of College

Undergraduate students who desire to gain admission to a degree-granting unit or to change their enrollment from one degree program to another within the University must meet with an advisor. A change in degree program after the third week of the semester will not be effective until the following semester. 

Class Hours and Credit Hours

A class hour consists of 50 minutes. One class hour per week of recitation or lecture throughout a semester earns a maximum of 1 credit hour.

Course Numbering System

Courses offered at the University of New Mexico are numbered from 001 through 799:

  1. 001 to 100 courses may or may not carry credit, but they are not applicable toward a baccalaureate degree.
  2. 1000 to 1999 courses, lower division, normally are open to freshmen.
  3. 2000 to 2999 courses, lower division, normally are open to sophomores.
  4. 300 to 499 courses, upper division, normally are open to juniors, seniors and graduates
  5. 500 to 999, graduate and professional, normally are open only to students enrolled in the graduate degree programs, the School of Law or the School of Medicine.

NOTE: Undergraduate or non-degree students without a degree may not enroll in any graduate programs (courses numbered 591, 592 and 593) for undergraduate credit. Freshmen may in some instances qualify for courses numbered in the 200s. Courses numbered 300 and above are not open to lower division students (freshmen and sophomores) except in rare instances and then only with the approval of the Bachelor and Graduate Program staff. When appropriate, students may be disenrolled from courses numbered 200 and above. See the individual program sections of this catalog and the UNM catalog for specific regulations.


UNM–Los Alamos utilizes a fractionated grading system. Following are the allowable grades and associated grade points:














CR Credit. Gives credit for the course but is not computed in the grade point average. CR credit is the equivalent of at least a grade of C. At the graduate level CR is used to report completion of a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. (See the following pages for specific information concerning pass/fail [CR/NC] option grading.)

NC No Credit. Not computed in the grade point average. At the graduate level NC is also used to report unsatisfactory completion of master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Certain workshops and courses may be offered under CR and NC as defined above.


The grade of I may be given only when circumstances beyond the student’s control have prevented completion of the work of a course within the official dates of a session and only when an agreement to resolve the grade has been made between the student and the instructor. Incomplete Grades must be resolved no later than one year (twelve months) from the published end day of the semester in which the grade was assigned. Incomplete Grades not resolved within the time frame stated in this policy are automatically converted (lapsed) to an F (failure) grade.

AUDIT. Audit is recorded for completion of enrollment in an audited course. No credit is earned for an audit grade option.

Withdrawal. AW is used for withdrawals after the grade required deadline beginning in Fall 2012, and for approved administrative withdrawals at the end of a semester. Examples of administrative withdrawals include: determination by the instructor that the student never attended the class, processing errors, catastrophic illness of the student or other reasons beyond the student’s control.

Grade Point Average

An undergraduate student’s grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned at The University of New Mexico by the total number of hours attempted. These hours must be attempted in courses with letter grades and the courses must be numbered 100 or above. Courses for undergraduate students given a grade of CR, NC, PR or I are excluded in the grade point average calculation. For graduate students, the Office of Graduate Studies, internally for their record keeping processes, calculates a grade of “I” as a 2.0 until replaced by another letter grade. 

Beginning Fall 2006, the academic transcript reflects a level GPA. The courses a student takes become a part of the level to which the student has been admitted. If a student is in an associate degree program, the level will be an associate degree, and all the courses taken in that level are reflected in the associate GPA. Courses that are not remedial or technical are also calculated into the undergraduate GPA. If the student is in a bachelor’s degree program, the courses taken in that status are calculated in the undergraduate GPA. The various levels are Associate, Undergraduate, Non-Degree Undergraduate and Non- Degree Graduate. Each level has a GPA. 

NOTE: This is a general University of New Mexico grade point calculation. Schools and colleges within the University may compute the grade point average differently. Grades earned in courses taken at other institutions are not included in calculation of the University of New Mexico- Los Alamos grade point average. The grade point average will reflect only courses taken at the applicable level within The University of New Mexico.


Grade Options

Pass/Fail (CR/NC) Option

1. This grading option is open to students enrolling in courses that do not apply to their major.

2. A student is permitted to enroll in a maximum of 4 credit hours per semester under the pass/fail (CR/NC) grading option.

3. CR (credit) is the equivalent of at least a grade of C. Students who do not satisfactorily complete a course under pass/fail (CR/NC) grading will receive NC (no credit).

4. A course may be changed to the pass/fail (CR/NC) grade option. See current Schedule of Classes for deadlines.

5. A maximum of 24 credit hours graded pass/fail (CR/NC) will be allowed toward a baccalaureate degree. Graduate students may not count more than 6 hours of course work in which a C (2.0), C+ (2.33) or CR was earned.

6. Courses that are specifically approved for pass/fail (CR/ NC) are not included in the 24-hour maximum allowed toward degree requirements.

7. The following may not be taken under the pass/fail (CR/ NC) option:

Courses in the University Honors Program and the Undergraduate Seminar Program.

Courses that are part of the student’s major (as defined by the major department) with the exception of those courses especially approved for use of pass/ fail (CR/NC) grading.

Courses that are part of the student’s minor (see specific college and departmental requirements).

Correspondence courses.

Courses the student is repeating after first having taken the course under the regular grading system.

Some schools, scholarship committees and honorary societies do not accept this grading system and convert grades of “Credit” to C and “No Credit” to F when computing grade point averages or may otherwise penalize students who use this option.

NOTE: Students may not be penalized by a department if, when selecting or changing a major field, they have taken a course in their major on a pass/fail (CR/NC) option basis.


A student may register in a course for audit, provided written permission of the instructor is obtained. (See current Schedule of Classes for deadlines.) A student who fails to attend class may be dropped at the instructor’s request. The fee for audited courses is the same as for credit courses.

Audit enrollment receives no credit and is not included in the student’s total course load for purposes of enrollment certification. Audited courses appear on the academic record. Courses taken for Audit may be repeated for credit.

Repetition of a Course

A student may repeat any course but will receive credit only once unless otherwise noted in this catalog. ALL ATTEMPTS and ALL GRADES are computed in the student’s grade point average. A grade replacement policy is available for repeated course work as described below.

Grade Replacement Policy

The course repeat policy was revised by the Faculty Senate to include a grade replacement option effective Spring semester 1991. Under this policy only undergraduate students may repeat a course for a higher grade and have the lower grade removed from the grade point average. This revision is an option for students who meet the criteria outlined below. Repeated courses for students who do not meet the criteria or who choose not to make use of the option automatically fall under the existing policy as described under “Repetition of a Course.”

The following outlines the procedure for the implementation of this course repeat (grade replacement) option. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE TO THIS POLICY.

  1. The Grade Replacement policy is effective as of Spring semester 1991 and affects only the University of New Mexico course work from Spring 1991 forward. This means that the first attempt in a course cannot have been prior to Spring semester 1991. The policy is not retroactive to any semester prior to Spring 1991.
  2. *A student who fails a course at the University of New Mexico and repeats the same course with a grade of C or better at another college or university may have the credit accepted for transfer, but the grade received at the University of New Mexico will continue to be computed in the grade point average.
  3. Students in undergraduate status are eligible to use this policy, and only course work that applies to an undergraduate degree is considered for a grade replacement.
  4. A repeated course must result in an improved grade in order to replace the other grade (e.g., a D cannot replace a D). The higher grade removes the lower grade from the grade point average and earned credit hours. Grades of CR, NC, PR, WP and W are not replaceable grades since they do not affect the grade point average.
  5. The process is not automatic. The process is not automatic. Students must initiate the process by completing the online form at http://registrar.unm.edu. The course numbers and titles must be identical, except where equivalencies or a change has been noted in the University of New Mexico Catalog. Substitute courses are not acceptable. Forms are accepted after the second attempt in the course has been completed.
  6. A grade replacement may be applied only to 12 hours of repeated course work. Only one grade replacement is allowed for each course, regardless of the number of times the course has been repeated.
  7. Once a grade replacement has been approved, the process cannot be reversed or changed.
  8. No grade may be replaced after a degree has been awarded.
  9. All grades remain on the record. An “E” appears on the transcript next to the course that has been replaced.
  10. Students registering for a late starting Fall course cannot use the Grade Replacement Policy to replace a grade within that same Fall Semester.

NOTE: This policy applies only to courses taken and repeated at the University of New Mexico or one of its branches.

Incomplete (I) Grade

According to academic policy, incomplete grades must be completed before a student is eligible to graduate from the University of New Mexico–Los Alamos. The grade of “I” is given only when circumstances beyond the student’s control have prevented completion of the coursework within the official dates of a semester/session. Students should not re-enroll or re-register (for credit) in a course in which an incomplete has been received in order to resolve the “I” (incomplete) grade. If an instructor requires the student to repeat the class in order to resolve the Incomplete, the student must register for the course on an audit basis.

Incomplete grades must be resolved no later than one year (twelve months) from the published end day of the semester in which the grade was assigned. Incomplete grades not resolved within the time frame stated in this policy will be converted automatically to an F (failure) grade.

Students resolving Incompletes in their semester of graduation must have the process completed (including the reporting of the grade to the Student Services, Building 2 by the deadline. Students are responsible for informing instructors that they are graduating and the grade(s) must be reported by the appropriate deadline. Failure to complete the process as described could result in the postponement of graduation until the following semester.

The instructor of record will report the final grade for the course in which the Incomplete was assigned to Student Services.

Extension of Incomplete

A student may apply for an extension of the time allowed to complete the required course work removing the “I” grade. The request for extension may be obtained in the Office of Records and Registration. For the student who re-enrolls in residence, a one-semester extension may be granted. If an extension is granted, it is the student’s responsibility to resolve the “I” grade by the date indicated.

Change of Grade

The instructor of a course has the responsibility for any grade reported. Once a grade has been reported, it may be changed by the instructor. Only the instructor who issued the original grade (instructor of record) may submit any change. The change of grade must also be approved by the college dean or departmental chairperson if submitted 30 days after end of semester. Any change in grade must be reported within 12 months after the original grade was issued and prior to graduation. Grade changes may be referred to the Student Services Office for approval.

Grade Petition Procedure

  1. A student seeking retroactive withdrawal, enrollment or disenrollment; extension of time for removal of an incomplete grade or a grade option change; or further academic record changes involving exceptions to the rules governing registration and academic records, may submit petitions to the Student Services Office. This petition process does not cover disputes involving academic judgment (Refer to the UNM Pathfinder, “Student Grievance Procedure,” Article 2, Academic Disputes).
  2. The petition must state the nature of the request, specify the semester involved, the course and section number, the student’s name, identification number, mailing address and telephone number. The petition must also state the reason for granting the request and include documentation of extenuating circumstances, such as medical, family or employment needs. The petition must be typed and signed.
  3. Students may only petition grades up to one year after an instructor and dean grade change form can be utilized to change a grade. (Effective as of April 2005 as approved by Faculty Senate Operations Committee.) This means no grade change can be petitioned after two years in which the course(s) was/were taken.
  4. Upon receipt of student’s petition, the instructor(s) involved will be contacted for a statement concerning the request.
  5. The petition (along with instructor comments) will be forwarded to the Grade Petition Committee for review and a decision. If the petition is approved, appropriate modifications are made to the student record.
  6. Students will be notified in writing of the outcome of the petition. The decision of the subcommittee is final.
  7. The student is responsible for tuition and fees incurred.

Academic Renewal Policy

Academic Renewal applies to students seeking undergraduate degrees who have been readmitted to UNM–Los Alamos after an absence of five years or more. The procedure allows a currently enrolled student to request his/her academic record be reviewed for the purpose of evaluating previously earned UNM–Los Alamos credits and recalculating the student’s grade point average from the point of readmission. The student may obtain a petition from the Student Services Office, in Building 1. If all criteria are satisfied, the petition will be approved and the academic record appropriately noted.

Academic Renewal Guidelines

  1. NOTE: Non-degree, second undergraduate degree or graduate students are not eligible for Academic Renewal.
  2. Academic Renewal may be applied only once and is not reversible.
  3. An absence of five or more years must have elapsed between readmission and the last enrollment at UNM–Los Alamos.
  4. The student must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Additionally, college entrance requirements such as minimum hours and grade point average must still be met after Academic Renewal has been applied.
  5. After readmission to UNM–Los Alamos, at least 12 credit hours, but no more than 36 credit hours, must be completed in good standing (2.00 GPA or better) before Academic Renewal can be applied.
  6. NOTE: If the degree-granting unit has placed the student on probationary status, it is not automatically changed by Academic Renewal.
  7. All graduation requirements must be satisfied after Academic Renewal, i.e., minimum earned credit, residence credit requirement, cumulative grade point average, etc.) 
  8. NOTE: Credit earned prior to Academic Renewal will not count toward satisfying the residence credit requirements.
  9. All courses taken prior to Academic Renewal will remain unaltered on the record. An appropriate notation will be added to the record to indicate Academic Renewal. Courses with a grade of C or CR or better taken prior to Academic Renewal will be carried forward as earned credits. Acceptability of these credits towards a degree will be determined by the degree-granting unit.
  10. Courses with a grade of C- or below taken prior to Academic Renewal will be noted and will not count for earned credits or for satisfying any graduation requirements.
  11. Academic Renewal, when applied, will be effective as of the date of the readmission following the five-year absence.
  12. The cumulative grade point average after academic renewal will be calculated on the basis of courses taken since the readmission following the five-year absence.

Classroom Conduct

The instructor is responsible for classroom conduct, behavior and discipline. Any action that would disrupt or obstruct an academic activity is prohibited. The instructor may refer situations involving classroom misconduct to the Dean of Instruction or Student Services Office for additional action under the “Student Code of Conduct” as published in The Pathfinder–UNM Student Handbook.

Use of classrooms or other facilities during scheduled activities is limited to enrolled students and University personnel. Use of these facilities during nonscheduled periods should be arranged with the appropriate department or other division of the University. Smoking, eating and drinking are prohibited in all classrooms and teaching laboratories, including seminars.

Dishonesty in Academic Matters

Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in academic and professional matters. The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action, including dismissal, against any student who is found responsible for academic dishonesty. Any student who has been judged to have engaged in academic dishonesty in course work may receive a reduced or failing grade for the work in question and/or for the course. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; hindering the academic work of other students; and misrepresenting academic or professional qualifications within or outside the University.


Non-disclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other University records will make a student liable for disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from the University.