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Your Education at Wichita State University

University Calendar
General Education Classes
Credit Hours
Grading System
Probation and Dismissal
Repeated Classes

University Calendar

Wichita State University operates on the semester system. The University calendar is as follows:

  • Spring Semester (16 weeks) -- mid-January to mid-May
    • Break or vacation time -- mid-May to late-May
  • Summer Session (8 weeks)* -- about June 1 to July 31
    • Break or vacation time -- August 1 to mid-August
  • Fall Semester (16 weeks) -- mid-August to mid-December
    • Break or vacation time -- mid-December to mid-January

*Note: Summer Session enrollment is not required unless it is your first term of enrollment. Students who study during the optional Summer Session may graduate faster.

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General Education Classes

One of the unique features of the American educational system is the requirement that students must take classes in areas not related to their major. We feel that a broad education is more beneficial in your professional and private lives than an education that is strictly focused in one area of study. Students often find that, after taking various General Education classes, they have an aptitude or interest in an area of study that they would never have considered before. With the help of your advisor at WSU, all students must take classes in:

Basic Skills Required: English Composition I and II, Public Speaking, and College Algebra or higher
Fine Arts Choose from: Art History, Dance, Musicology-Composition, or Theatre
Humanities Choose from: Communication, English, History, Linguistics, Modern and Classical Languages, Philosophy, Religion, and Women's Studies
Social and Behavioral Sciences Choose from: Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Ethnic Studies, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology
Mathematics and Natural Sciences Choose from: Biology, Biological Anthropology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics/Statistics, Physics, and Public Health Sciences

As a reminder, you do not need to select these classes now. You will meet with an advisor after your arrive in Wichita for assistance in selecting your classes.

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Credit Hours

Many students ask, "What is a credit hour?" A credit hour represents the number of hours that you spend in one class each week during a semester. Most classes at the University are 3 credit hours. This means that you will attend class 3 hours each week for that particular class. Credit hours are important because:

  1. the number of credit hours you study each semester determines how much you pay for tuition (currently US$554.54 per credit hour). The total cost of tuition for each semester is calculated as follows: Credit Hours X $554.54 = total cost of tuition. The cost of housing, meals, books, and medical insurance are extra. Estimates for these expenses can be found on our website or our application form.
  2. the number of credit hours you study each semester will determine how long it will take you to graduate from Wichita State. Most majors require that you complete 124 credit hours in order to graduate (although some majors, such as engineering and health professions, require more). For more information on the number of credit hours required to graduate for your major, please check out: www.wichita.edu/registrar and click on the link for "Catalog". Undergraduate International students are required by law to study a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. Students who enroll in 12 credit hours or more for the fall or spring semester (6 credit hours for the summer) are considered to be studying "full-time." Credit hours from any withdrawn classes are not used when determining a student's full-time enrollment status. This means you may not be able to legally drop below 12 credit hours -- even if you are doing poorly in a class. Many international students, however, study 15 or more credit hours each semester. In order to graduate in 4 years, students must complete 15 to 16 credit hours each semester (or take classes during the summer).
  3. credit hours determine your classification as a student. Students are classified as follows:
    Freshmen - have less than 30 credit hours (normally 1st year students)
    Sophomores - have 30 to 59 credit hours (normally 2nd year students)
    Juniors - have 60 to 89 credit hours (normally 3rd year students)
    Seniors - have 90 credit hours or more (normally 4th year students)
  4. credit hours represent the weight used in calculating the average of your grades. For example, a 5 credit hour class will have more of an impact on your overall grade point average than a 1 credit hour class.

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Grading System

Wichita State University uses the following system for grading:

A = 4.0 grade points = Excellent Achievement
A- = 3.7 grade points =
B+ = 3.3 grade points =
B = 3.0 grade points = Very Good Achievement
B- = 2.7 grade points =
C+ = 2.3 grade points =
C = 2.0 grade points = Average Achievement
C- = 1.7 grade points =
D+ = 1.3 grade points =
D = 1.0 grade points = Below Average Achievement
D- = 0.7 grade points =
F = 0.0 grade points = Failing

Your grade point average (often called a "GPA" in the U.S.) is determined by dividing your Total Grade Points for a semester by the number of Credit Hours you attempted. An example is as follows:

Class Name Credit Hours Grade Grade Points
Calculus - I 5 B+ = 3.3 16.5 (5 credit hours X a grade of 3.3 = 16.5)
Psychology 3 A = 4.0 12 (3 credit hours X a grade of 4.0 = 12)
Public Speaking 3 C- = 1.7 5.1 (3 credit hours X a grade of 1.7 = 5.1)
Geography 3 C+ = 2.3 6.9 (3 credit hours X a grade of 2.3 = 6.9)
Total 14 40.5

SEMESTER GPA = 2.89 (40.5 grade points divided by 14 credit hours = GPA of 2.89)

The term "GPA" is a general term and can actually refer to many different kinds of GPA's -- depending on the use. Students at Wichita State University may have the following GPA's:

  1. Transfer GPA - the grade point average for all classes you studied at another college/university
  2. Semester GPA - the grade point average you earned in one particular semester at Wichita State (as in the above example)
  3. WSU GPA - the grade point average for all of the semesters you have studied at Wichita State
  4. Cumulative GPA - refers to the combined GPA for all classes taken at other colleges/universities AND all classes taken at WSU

Why is your GPA important? First and foremost, your GPA is a reflection of your achievement at the University. Your GPA is also used in deciding if you might qualify for a scholarship, special honors at graduation, and your eligibility to graduate or continue your study at Wichita State. Some employers may use your GPA in deciding if you would be a good candidate for a job. For this reason, it is important that you try to obtain the highest GPA possible each semester.

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Probation and Dismissal

You must perform satisfactorily in your classes in order to be allowed to continue your studies at Wichita State University. Each Faculty (a Faculty is often called a "College" in the U.S.) at WSU has its own GPA requirement that is used to measure a student's satisfactory performance and his/her eligibility to graduate. Students must obtain the following Semester GPA, WSU GPA, and Cumulative GPA in order to be able to continue their studies at WSU and graduate:

W. Frank Barton School of Business 2.25 GPA
College of Education 2.50 GPA
College of Engineering 2.00 GPA
College of Fine Arts 2.00 GPA
College of Health Professions 2.00 GPA
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 2.00 GPA

Students who have a GPA below what is required by their Faculty/College cannot graduate or receive a diploma. Students who do not obtain the GPA required by their Faculty/College will be first placed on "probation" and given the opportunity to improve their performance before being dismissed (expelled) from the University. Students who are placed on probation will be given one semester to improve their GPA. Students who perform unsatisfactorily during the semester during which they are on probation will be dismissed from the University.

Students are placed on probation at the end of any semester in which they have obtained a Semester GPA, Cumulative GPA, or WSU GPA below what is required by their Faculty/College (see the above GPA requirements). Probation is removed when a student's Semester GPA, Cumulative GPA, and WSU GPA reaches the requirement for their Faculty/College. Students will remain on probation if they earn the minimum Semester GPA required by their Faculty/College during their probation semester but their WSU GPA or Cumulative GPA remains below the minimum. In short, it is best for all students to obtain the GPA required by their Faculty/College during each semester of enrollment at WSU in order to avoid being placed on probation and risk being dismissed from the University.

If you are placed on probation by your Faculty/College, you will be allowed to study a maximum of 12 credit hours during your probation semester. During the semester you are on probation, it is very important that you obtain the highest GPA you can. If, at the end of your probation semester, your Semester GPA, Cumulative GPA, and WSU GPA meet or exceed the requirement by your Faculty/College, you will be removed from probation. You will remain on probation if you earn the minimum Semester GPA required by your Faculty/College during your probation semester but your WSU GPA or Cumulative GPA remains below the minimum. Important Warning: If you fail to meet the minimum Semester GPA required by your Faculty/College during the semester you are on probation, you will be dismissed (expelled) from the University.

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Repeated Classes

The University's repeat policy allows students to have a total of 5 repeated classes. If you have already repeated classes at another school, those repeats will count toward the 5 you are allowed. After 5 repeated classes, all grades are averaged into your Cumulative GPA.

For other important information about the policies and procedures at Wichita State University, please check out https://www.wichita.edu/registrar and click on the link for "Catalog".

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